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**CRUSH ALERT** (Susan) on character Skylar St. Claire – This boy, to young man, to man (throughout the series) has stretched my heart to capacity & beyond. Quite possibly my favorite fictional character I’ve ever read…
“I never want to hurt you. You get that, right?”
Skylar knows Rafael wants something very specific from him–and Skylar wants him to have it. Convincing Rafael is going to take some serious innovation. Skylar lost his voice twelve years ago to the Nettlebush Indian Reserve’s first and last serial killer. That serial killer was Rafael’s father.
Rafael’s father, Skylar learns, isn’t the problem. Something else happened when Skylar survived that blustery summer night. Something Skylar never thought twice about. Something Rafael can’t look past.
The Supreme Court ruling on Kelo v. New London changes the face of US property laws, plunging the reservation into an insidious tug-of-war between the Bureau of Land Management and the Plains Shoshone who have called the soil home for centuries. History, Skylar realizes, is repeating itself. Their parents powerless, the law their enemy, Skylar and his friends are going to have to get creative if they want to keep what’s left of their land.
The first 2 books of this series (Gives Light and Looks Over) are some of the best reading I’ve done in a long time. The books are exquisite, and as you can see by my crush alert, I love the main character Skylar and his coming-of-age story. Rose Christo continues Skylary’s journey in book 3, “St. Clair”.
St. Clair pretty much picks up where book 2 left off and we’ve got the whole cast of characters back: Rafael, Granny, Dad, Annie, Aubrey, and even Balto, the coywolf. It feels familiar by this point…it feels like home with these characters. And by now, I can hear Skylar’s voice (he’s mute so not ‘hear’ but hear…???) so clearly in my head. I’m completely invested in these stories that all intertwine to make up these books…the days-in-the-life-of tales.
This book is another strong showing by Rose Christo. The writing remains lovely and subtle and tender. And Skylar still has his huge, caring heart. And there are funny musings and observations that continue on.
But he’s growing up now. And as his relationship with Rafael progresses, we come to learn some things about Skylar’s past…that even he never realized. Along with this, Skylar faces a series of other tragic moments and heartaches and fears. Honestly, this book gutted me. I hated see Sklyar hurt in any way. But Christo writes even these scenes with the softest of hands (maybe too soft at times?) that it never really slapped me in my face…but I almost wanted at least a little pinch to affirm that I wasn’t the only one anguished over these circumstances.
The real struggle for me with this book is the overkill of cultural tales and folklore…which was fascinating and magical in the first 2 books…but came across as almost preachy in this 3rd one. Every time a story was about to be told, I used it as an excuse to step away from my Kindle, grab a drink, check my email, tweet…and this was a foreign reaction from me towards this series.
Also by about halfway into this 3rd segment, the clear voice of Sklyar started to morph into what I believed was the clear voice of…Rose Christo? I started to lose the character as the author put more of herself into the message. I’m not usually overly sensitive to shifts like this, but because I’ve come to know Skylar so well, and care about his so much, it felt really jarring and obvious to me.
But all in all, though it wasn’t nearly as strong as books 1 & 2, I’m glad to have read it simply to have gotten more of Skylar’s tale and to watch him grow into an amazing young man…
A bit of a biased rating, but…
Title: St. Clair (Gives Light #3)
Author: Rose Christo
Release Date: September 19, 2012
Purchase Links: Smashwords