Manifest (Mystyx #1) by Artist Arthur 2010 ARC
IQ "I shrug because I don't really think it's a big deal. I like being alone. That way I don't have to explain the things about me that even I don't understand." Krystal pg. 16
Krystal Bentley has just moved from NYC to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown. She went from big city to small town, from living with her mom and dad, to living with her mom and stepfather (Gerald). She is angry at everyone about everything. In Lincoln, Krystal starts hearing from ghosts, which is freaking her out. Especially because she might be falling in love with a ghost, Ricky Watson who is the same age as her. He was killed last year and he wants to find out who killed him and why (in order for him to crossover). Krystal's ghost hearing ability leads her to meeting other "freaks", Sasha who can disappear and Jake, who can move objects with his mind. They all have a "M" birthmark and were born around the same time. They call themselves the Mystyx. With the help of Sasha and Jake, Krystal will find out what happened to Ricky. But she will also learn a whole lot more than she ever wanted to know.
Transitions. That is the number one thing that sticks out in my mind as to why I didn't like this novel. There were no smooth transitions throughout this novel, the chapters jumped from one thing to another. For example, chapter one ends with Krystal meeting Ricky. Chapter two opens up with Krystal talking about how bad her mom's cooking is. I felt like I missed something so I flipped back to check, but it was no mistake. It was so frustrating! In addition to that, Krystal is annoying. I had a really hard time reading about her. Then she miraculously changes overnight. This happened not only to Krystal, but also to Gerald. Gerald comes off as a rude and uncaring stepfather. This later changes without any warning. I didn't buy it, but apparently his growth is real. Krystal is a whiner and incredibly selfish. The story grows tedious as she holds off on helping Ricky. I expected her decision to come sooner, but she keeps refusing to help him and I couldn't understand why (well besides the fact that she's a brat). The writing and dialogue was stiff, no lines really jumped out at me as being incredible.
I was surprised by and really enjoyed the Greek mythology elements of the story. The Greek mythology ties into the Mystyx powers and I'm eager to learn more about where the powers come from. The mystery was quite well done, lots of twists and the clues are slowly uncovered. There is a lot more to Ricky's death than just having to do with Ricky. The ending is disturbing, but in a good (?) way. I was kept on my toes. I really like the supporting characters of Sasha and Jake. Although Sasha acts weirdly and I'm not sure if that's intentional or not. The writing about her is kind of awkward. I want to see more character development of Sasha and Jake, because they both seem to have interesting stories. There seemed to be a possible love triangle or square forming over Krystal, but I'm not really sure. I really liked Ricky, he was my favorite character. He was so sweet and I couldn't understand why Krystal wouldn't want to help him. I did understand Krystal's frustration over being so abruptly uprooted. Her mother's refusal to explain why she divorced Krystal's father didn't make that much sense, it was just irritating because it was clearly hurting their relationship.
Manifest is a slow and oftentimes frustrating read. You have to be willing to ignore the random chapter transitions and the very slow start. Also be prepared for urges to shake the main character, as well as developing a crush on Ricky. The end almost makes it worth it, I just want some more character development. I would be interested in reading the next book in the Mystyx series in the hopes of finding out more about Sasha and Jake and where their powers come from. There are some surprising parts of the story that make it more enjoyable. The combination of supernatural and a mystery make this story a good one and the series has potential. Plus the cover is really pretty :)
Disclosure: Received from publicist for review. Thank you Lisa!
PS Check back on Saturday for an interview with Artist Arthur.