Untethered, by Katie Hayoz
Kyra's Star Ratings: * * * * * all around
As if high school, her parents breaking up, and her mother's health food "cooking" weren't bad enough, Sylvie Sydell finds herself slipping out of her body at unpredictable moments. As her life goes from bad to worse, those moments of astral projection become a refuge... until she discovers the dark side of her strange talent.
Normally, I'm not drawn to YA books (I finished high school 33 years ago and have no desire to re-visit those years) but this book kept me up half the night reading because I had to find out what happened. The characters are well-rounded and engaging - even the popular clique kids aren't just popular clique kids but multi-dimensional individuals, and the adults in the story are also well-done, with their own personalities and heartbreaks. The plot is suspenseful and the stakes rise at every turn. Sylvie goes through a tremendous growth cycle, from being the insecure weird girl at her school to depths that eventually horrify her to a kinder, broader view of the world and, especially, of herself. A lot of the other characters also go through a lot of growth and change.
The writing style is smooth, clear, and evocative. There's also a good bit of humor - I enjoyed Sylvie's jaundiced view of high school and everything connected to it, and her descriptions of her mother's cooking.
All in all, an excellent and enjoyable book.
Introducing Professor Roric Rossony, the (reluctant) hero of The Lost Book of Anggird.
1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
My name is Roric Rossony. I chose this name for myself, as the name I was given at birth would not be appropriate for my situation in life. 'Roric' is the Vorunnic form of my given name, and 'Rossony' is the surname of an explorer from the Vorunne Dominion whom I read about and admired as a boy.
2. How old are you?
I am thirty-five years old.
3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
I have been estranged from my family for twenty-three years and would prefer not to speak of them. Though I will admit to some regret at not having my younger brother in my life.
Perhaps the closest thing I have to family now is my friend and mentor, Professor Delric Baldrin, who was my teacher of Balance Theory when I was a student.
4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?
I long ago came to the decision that carnal urges and appetites, and the feelings that can lead to them, are incompatible with the life I wish to lead. In short, I have never kissed anyone.
5. What is your occupation?
For the past twelve years, I have been a Professor of Balance Theory at the University of Vorunne City. My duties include presenting lecture courses on various aspects of magical Balance, leading small seminar groups for advanced students both from the College of Magecraft and the College of Scholarship, publishing books and scholarly articles on Balance Theory, and conducting research into magical Balance. My expertise covers the full range of Balance Theory, also taking in such subjects as mathematics, natural history and philosophy, and magical philosophy. I have a particular interest in the design and Balancing of magical devices, though that is only a small part of my work.
6. What are your best and worst qualities?
I believe that my best quality is that I am meticulous in all aspects of my work, paying great attention to detail and always striving to produce work of the highest quality and scholarly integrity. As for my worst quality, I am told that I am fairly rigid in my attitudes and habits, to the extent that I have garnered the rather unflattering nickname 'Broomstick Rossony.' I suppose there might be some truth to that, but my habits and routines have served me well so far, and I see no reason to change.
7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?
Please see the answer to question number four. I am not seeking a romantic partner; I am quite content by myself.
8. What is your favorite thing to do?
I find my work to be tremendously fulfilling, in all its aspects - teaching, researching, and writing. I did rather enjoy making the flameless magical lamps that I use in my rooms and that have been adopted for use in other areas of the University, such as library storage rooms.
9. What is your greatest fear?
[this question was left blank]
10. What is your most treasured possession?
Rather than any material possession, I treasure my good name and integrity as a Scholar and Professor.
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