The Conduit by Stacey Rourke

11 Jul

All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is to head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for. And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met. Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.

While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon. She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shapeshifting demon on the rooftop. Life isn’t always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each others’ nerves. Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever—their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

The Conduit is a refreshing take on Young Adult fiction. I think it’s fair to say that YA books can often be angst-filled, with troubled teens making tricky decisions. Celeste Garrett, her brother Gabe and sister Kendall have their fair share of tough decisions to contend with, but they deal with everything in the book with a big pinch of attitude and snarky humour.

The plot itself is unique, with the three siblings finding out they have roles to play as superheroes, thanks to a pact their ancestors made way back in the 17th century with the Gryphon. I love books that are set in the “real world” but have elements of fantasy, and this certainly didn’t disappoint.

What I love most about The Conduit is that it’s a funny book, and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. It’s not surprising that the author won an award in 2012 for writing humorous fiction—it’s definitely well deserved!

I also really like Celeste as a character—she’s so real and relatable because she’s a normal teenage girl, personality-wise at least. I also love the way she interacts with her brother and sister. It feels like a real, sibling relationship, complete with bickering at one end of the scale and supporting each other through epic battles at the other. Grams completes the family unit while the kids’ mother is out of town, and she’s also a colourful character! She takes no nonsense and doesn’t act the traditional way a grandmother might be expected to act, which I love!

The novel ends with a cliffhanger that made me seriously happy I already had the second book—I wanted to get stuck in straight away, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. Anyone who wants to read YA with a difference—this is your book!

(Free ebook copy received in exchange for an honest review)

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