One morning the people of the North woke up and the people of the South were gone. That s the first thing every child learns on the colony world of Jigsaw. But for one girl, knowing about The Disappearance is not enough. Hawkeye wants to know why.
That's why she spent half her life researching The Disappearance. And that's also why eight Neighbors show up on her doorstep, demanding that she accompany them into the Forbidden Cities ruled by the Southern gods to speak with the Spirits of Glory. Everyone thinks Hawkeye is an expert on Neighbors, these almost-humans who move, talk, and think as if they were born inside one of the Time Fractures. But she can't imagine what they want to ask the ghosts of their ancestors, or why they need her to go along. The Southern gods caused every human inhabitant of the Southern cities to disappear overnight :- what else might they do?
But the Northern gods say Hawkeye should go and her curiosity won't let her refuse, even though she's going into more danger than she can imagine. Pain and puzzlement wait along the broken interstate, along with scavengers who want to kill them all. Hawkeye's questions only generate more questions as they move farther and farther into the South, right into the heart of the Disappearance, until Hawkeye's questions have all been answered.
Even the ones she was afraid to ask.
Spirits of Glory is a short yet interesting and thought provoking science fiction story about a young girl's quest to discover why people disappeared from her planet. Initially the girl Hawkeye is a little timid and is reluctant to go on this journey with the mysterious Neighbors. However as the story progresses Hawkeye grows more confident and learns to handle herself better in different circumstances.
In Spirits of Glory, Devenport has created an intriguing world that I very much enjoyed. The planet that Hawkeye lives on is called Jigsaw because it suffers from a number of Time Fractures. A Time Fracture is basically a time bubble that traps everyone within it in the present, which means that everything takes longer to complete in the bubble than outside of it. This also has the side effect where people on Jigsaw are more mature than their appearance.
As for the general theme of the book, I couldn't help but feel a sense of eeriness throughout the story. You know something had happened on Jigsaw and caused the disappearance of half the planet but you're not quite sure what. There are also talks of spirits and gods that punished the inhabitants for the wrongdoings and yet you never quite see them. Devenport does a great job in conveying these points in her writing and helps the readers become familiar with them at a steady pace.
Devenport writes with wonderful and compelling prose that keeps you hooked on the story but I felt the pacing is a little slow for my liking. However the story as a whole more than makes up for this minor complaint.
Spirits of Glory is a YA novel that is different from what's currently popular on the market. It is a coming of age story that focuses on self-discovery through knowledge rather than physical/supernatural power or through beauty. A recommended read if you are looking for a unique YA novel with deep meaning.
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