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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Daughter of the Mara is book one in The Mara Chronicles by Alexandra Bittner, a spellbinding young adult urban fantasy that follows the paranormal life of a young girl, a tale filled with emotion and a compelling narrative. She was locked away in a psychiatric hospital for a crime she doesn’t remember committing. Drifting between sleep and wakefulness, Jay Atkinson is already convinced that she is crazy, until a young man storms the psychiatric hospital to tell her that she isn’t really crazy. In fact, she is a rare breed, a gifted incarnation of a nightmare: she is the child of a mara. Helped out of her prison, Jay’s real journey begins, but it isn’t an easy one, because she faces enemies she never believed existed, enemies who want her dead. While she struggles to reconcile her nightmarish reality with the real human world, she has to find ways to defeat her enemies. But does she have what it takes to control her destiny?
A sweeping story that combines elements of urban fantasy with a psychological thriller to create an engrossing experience for readers. I loved the characters, especially Jay and Harvey, and how they make me reconnect with the doldrums of life and those moments we feel as though we are lost in a zone between dream and reality. The story is emotionally charged and readers can’t fail to appreciate the psychological depth of the conflict. Daughter of the Mara is beautifully written and it is heartbreaking at times to watch the protagonist struggle with her reality, unable to trust her mind and the world around her. Alexandra Bittner’s writing transports readers from their immediate reality and thrusts them into a world where they begin to feel goosebumps and wonder if anything is real. A page-turner in its genre.