THE DECK OF OMENS by Christine Lynn Herman. Review.

THE DECK OF OMENS by Christine Lynn Herman.

Titan Books. p/b. £8.99.

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins.

Back at the same spot where she read her brother’s cards for the first time, May Hawthorn studies her family’s tree, turned to stone following the Gray’s corruption, and wonders whether there is any hope at all for its restoration. The tree had chosen May over Justin and now it is time for her to show them all why. Once again she must deal the Deck of Omens but this reading will not be the same as the ones before.

Harper Carlisle shoulders the blame, like always, not yet ready to reveal everything she has learned and everything she has remembered to her family. She will discover that her newfound power has its costs. Untrained, Harper poses even more danger than they realised but the Hawthorns are not the only ones capable of teaching Harper to master her abilities – she may find allies in unexpected quarters.

The Gray looks set to destroy Four Paths and spread even beyond its borders. They must find a way to stop it, without delay. Violet, still new to Four Paths and its dangers, is nonetheless determined to destroy the beast. Now, with the help of the founder families and Isaac in particular, she may have discovered a weakness.

The Deck of Omens concludes the youths’ battle against the Gray as May, Justin, Isaac, Violet and Harper uncover just how the Gray came to be in the first place and learn what they can do to combat it. Like the first book the story navigates through each character’s particular struggles and motivations at an excellent pace, maximising forward motion and drip-feeding adequate back story to flesh out the mysteries of Four Paths and the Gray’s origins.

Harper is the stand out character in this second book as she works through the aftermath of another betrayal and has to decide who to ally herself with if Four Paths stands any chance of ridding itself of the beast for good, and her cast of lead and supporting characters are equally well-portrayed. Like The Devouring Gray before it,this is an easy and enjoyable read bringing a satisfying resolution to a strong YA story.