Looking for Dei
David A. Willson
Publication date: March 23rd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.
A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.
David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.
Much of his material is inspired by the “Great Land” of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction—not necessarily in that order.
Looking for Dei is Willson’s debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at davidawillson.com.
Rating: 4 stars
Date Read: 6/6/18
This was a very quick read for me. It was engrossing enough that I didn’t want to put it down, even when I had to work. There was not really ever a dull moment, with big action happening pretty consistently. Even when there was a lot of information/world building coming at you, it was interesting.
Nara is probably the most innocent (teenage) character I’ve ever read. She’s like a Disney princess, but with super powers. Which is awesome. But her disposition definitely put her at a disadvantage at several points in this book, where she did something with good intentions and had it back fire (majorly!), or was unable/unwilling to really help in a fight or two, which lead to trouble. Also that childhood bestie romance definitely got me smiling.
There were some very clear draws from Christianity, which is fine, but it kind of bothers me that they used “amen” at the end of their prayers. I mean, this is not set on Earth / our world / universe, so it’s not something that I feel fits. I feel this way about a lot of other books too – if you’re making up a completely separate world, don’t give them such specific things from ours that have come about due to historical events/ideologies. General things or things necessary to understand descriptions like royalty, age, colors, measurements, direction, etc. are fine.