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Reviewed by Eileen Johnson for Readers' Favorite
Etched by Britt Nunes opens with the phrase “Shhh, you’re safe now.” This phrase recurs throughout the book as a sort of mantra for a young child that we first meet as she is lost in the swamp while being chased by unknown people. The child describes her brain as being “broken.” She has mysteriously awakened in the mud of a swamp with no memory of anything that came before except the phrase, “Shhh, you’re safe now.” Suddenly, she hears voices of a man and woman. The man picks her up and carries her back to the Manor where the couple discovers that the child has been 'etched.' So begins Basil’s story and her search for where she came from and how she got where she is.
In the best tradition of young adult fantasy fiction, Etched is a great story set in some future time when the environment and society have obviously deteriorated. The story line includes action, mystery, the unknown, the love of a family, and a hint of romance. Nunes has fully developed the characters and, by the end of Etched, we begin to understand who all of the mysterious characters are and what relationships they have to each other. The end of the book leaves us hanging on a cliff and clamoring to know more about the story. I can only hope that Nunes is at work on one or more sequels to this book that will help tell the rest of the story. At the end of Etched, it is very clear that none of the characters are really “safe now.”