Reviewed by Alysha Allen for Readers' Favorite
Two months after her mother, her only relative and best friend, dies, Layla Callaway is given a check for $773,000 and a letter written by her mother telling her that she was adopted for inexplicable reasons for the sake of her safety. In B.C. Burgess’ "Descension", Layla must either choose to leave the one-horse town of Gander Creek, Oklahoma, to go to Oregon where she hopes she will find her parents and the answers to her perplexing past, or stay working at a dead-end job in a diner. As she becomes enamored with a piercingly beautiful man who guides her to the secrets of her birth parents’ heartbreaking past, she discovers she is the descendant of a long line of magical witches and wizards. Yet little does Layla know a powerful and malignant wizard with burning orange eyes would have her as his own and has since before she was born. Now, knowing she is alive he will only hunt and pursue her relentlessly until he should have her in his clutch.
I know a 21-year old waitress working at a diner in the boondocks isn’t your ideal start to a paranormal romance. But for me, I was only intrigued by Layla Callaway who departs pleasingly from the normal main style of a young adult novel. Travis and Phyllis are our main character’s only true friends, who invigorate the story with their comical quips. I only wish these two animated, well-formed characters could have been more actively present throughout the novel.
As a dear fan of Oregon myself, I fully enjoyed the sublime scenes of lush and verdant, untrammeled nature being described with such aesthetic attention. Despite all these, I found most of the characters to be rather flat, with no singular personality characteristics to distinguish one from the other. There was little in their manner of speaking that would strike me. In fact, the monotonous dialogue quickly became tiresome. Yet I would say that if you didn't get enough romance after reading the 'Twilight' series, this book should be perfect for you.