Review of Crossroads by Mary Ting

Product Details
Five stars, on steroids!

Turning 18, for Claudia Emerson, is just another day in the life, in her opinion.  However, other planes of reality have other plans.

Things are getting really weird.  For one, her dreams of a land distinguished by two intersecting roads and tall grass, dreams she’s had all her life, are getting too real.  The people in those nighttime sojourns are noticing her, talking to her, telling her to go back.  This baffles and angers her; after all, it isn’t her idea to come to this place.  Dreams are not controllable.

But is it a dream?  She meets up with Michael, a denizen of what he calls The Crossroads, which is a place between mortality and eternity.  There is no hope for it; he isn’t able to answer the question as to why she is there, and therefore takes her to a crystal dwelling he calls Halo City.

Phillip, who is obviously in high authority there, informs Claudia that she is in the thick of a population of alkins, a race of half-angels, half-humans.  And now she is in the thick of some trouble as well, for if the “fallen” (those who rebelled against angelic authority and were allied with the forces of darkness) get wind of her knowledge, they will use her to get into the tightly-fortified Halo City to wage war against the alkins.

Michael and several other officers of Halo City are appointed to watch over Claudia as she goes about her daily mortal duties, but she is harassed again and again by Aden, the leader of the fallen.  He believes that Claudia is the key to getting into the alkins’ city.  Whether she is on the job with Patty, her best friend, camping with her church group, or attending a party, Aden will not stop at trying to get her to give her soul over to him.

And when it’s discovered that Claudia is more than she ever thought she was, her protection is more important than ever.  This is a job that both Claudia and Michael learn to love.  For they have discovered that love can transcend both time and laws.

I picked up this book, planning to read a short bit of it on a flight from New Orleans to home, but I ended up reading the entire story during the journey.  It was simply too good to put down.  I’d like to say from the start that I do not read romances, but this one made me realize why this genre is so popular.  It wasn’t graphic and we didn’t have intimate bedroom scenes, which I think is the sign of really intelligent writing.  Every time something romantic and intense would come up, there would be a clearing of the throat from a third party, and some embarrassed smiles. 

Every character was clearly delineated, very believable, and a pleasure to get to know.  And the way Michael treated Claudia, the words he used to describe his love—I was going “awww!” so much I thought my fellow plane passengers might think me nuts. 

There is a section in the first part of the book that doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the story, but once I’d finished the last page, it was clear to me that, even at the beginning, Ms. Ting was alluding to events in her next book.

Kathy Ree

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