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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Eclipse Arts by Michelle Chastaine revolves around three students at the Eclipse Supernatural School for the Arts boarding school as they juggle their passions, family expectations, and friendships. Liska, passionate about music in a family of dancers, meets Airin the banshee and Ephy the light bender as they start their journey at Eclipse. Throughout the school year, the trio encounters administrative issues, handles family pressures, and strives to excel in their diverse talents—music, shapeshifting, and manipulating light. Ephy, a half-goddess, faces the weight of her lineage and her family's desires for fame. Airin deals with bullying and the conflict between passion for music and family obligations. Liska seeks to pursue music despite her family's dance traditions. They prepare for a talent show, but success seems impossible when everything goes wrong, from technical difficulties to backstage drama and even sabotage attempts.
Michelle Chastaine sweeps readers up in a magical mid-grade tale with three characters that we desperately want to see flourish in the first book of this new series by the same name, Eclipse Arts. Chastaine does an excellent job of developing the characters' personal struggles and ambitions, setting the stage for potential growth. Liska, Ephy, and Airin have big issues that are very relatable to young readers, like concerns about fitting in, excelling in their studies, and embracing their unique identities. The supernatural world-building is exceptional, and what I loved most was that the school setting allowed us to learn about the diversity of students and their fantastical traits. We see fox shifters, water shifters, light-benders, banshees, and various magical classes like witchcraft and ghost and ghoul classes. It's just so much fun, so well written, and really engrossing, and both I and my young reader look forward to seeing where the students go next. Very highly recommended.