Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy is the story of Evie.  Evie was abandoned at a young age and following a number of foster placements has finally been picked up by the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPAC).  As it sounds IPAC is responsible for searching and detaining paranormals and, keeping them restricted or imprisoned, using them for active duties.  Evie, although she thinks she is normal, is able to see past the glamours that paranormals use to blend in with regular people.  So, is Evie as normal as she thinks??  When paranormals start to die under mysterious circumstances Evie becomes entangled in a dangerous search for answers.

I thought this was an excellent debut novel from Kiersten White with some interesting concepts and although the paranormals included vampires and werewolves that wasn’t all that was involved.  Fey, gnomes, mermaids and a few others joined in.

What I enjoyed about this book was the way it makes you think.  For example IPAC – why was it okay for them to go out and contain paranormals and keep them imprisoned, or to trick the fey into working unquestioningly for them – not to mention a few other underhand tricks that IPAC got up to!  I mean it basically comes down to the fear of things that aren’t like you.  I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t be afraid of these paranormals and clearly there are some (hags) that are incredibly dangerous – but IPAC never tried any other methods – just simply, bag, tag and detain, just imagine an immortal life in captivity!  I actually ended up feeling sorry for the paranormals.  Also, I thought to a certain degree that there was a message in there about looking beneath the surface to what lies underneath, you can’t always judge people by their appearances.  The Fey, for example, are so beautiful they’re almost impossible to look at but they are either evil (seely) or very evil (unseely).  (Actually, I must admit, that thanks to authors such as Holly Black and Melissa Marr I do really enjoy books about fey!)

I found the start of this book very entertaining and quite fast paced but for me personally I found Evie a bit ‘young’.  It’s totally understandable that she is this way having lived most of her life in containment with nothing other than tv to keep her in touch with ‘normal’ teenage behaviour and I suppose it is refreshing to have this innocent or naive heroine in this role – one who doesn’t stomp around in DMs kicking everyone’s butt – but, I did want her to stand up for herself a little bit.

To be honest, I will read the next book because I think it was well done and I’d like to see how Evie develops – but, I think my daughter and her friends will love this so much more and be more in touch – what with all the girly stuff, boots, pink taisers and floaty dresses.  There is a really nice romance building up with Lend (and by the way I do like that name) and then of course we have the ‘bad’ male character in Reth (who I actually liked – how odd?)

I would recommend this book to readers of the paranormal although I think this really is suited to a younger audience (and yes, I know, these are YA books – but I read YA as well as a range of other genres and find them entertaining).

Rating B





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