Author: Debbie Federici and Susan Vaught
Trade Paperback, 326 pages
Publication date: 2004
Ages: Young Adult
List: US$9.95, C$13.50
Price & More Info: Click Here
How often do you meet the hero of a book who tells you right off the bat
that he has ADHD, and who started his (unplanned) adventures without his
medication, but with a full bladder?
The story is told, alternately, by Brenden (Bren) and Jasmina (Jazz). He is
a soon-to-be high school senior. She is Queen of all the Witches (let's not
get into that discussion. This is a novel, after all). This is not a story
about Wicca. This Witchcraft if not the reality we have all encountered,
but rather the Witchcraft of ages past.
Live Oak Springs Township (the "L.O.S.T." of the title) is, like a magic
circle, a place which is not a place and a time outside of normal time. It
is a place where all is not as it seems, and which figures prominently only
in the beginning and the ending of the story.
Jasmina Corey (now, where have I heard the name "Corey" before in reference
to Witchcraft?) is the descendant of a powerful Witch couple. Her father is
dead, her mother is missing. Although this is purely a fantasy work, she is
aware of and abides by (most of the time) the Wiccan Rede.
If you have read the Diana Tregarde novels by Mercedes Lackey, you may have
a feeling for what this novel is like.
Bren is a young man who starts off not believing in anything except the
concrete realities of the day-to-day world. His ADHD provides him with a
convenient excuse for not being able to do magic, when he is exposed to the
idea that magic is real. As he spends time with Jazz he finds his magical
abilities expanding, even though he conceals this information from her (for
reasons he can't even explain to himself).
Jazz is frustrated through his, apparent, lack of progress in learning
magic. She has her own set of issues, many of which she refuses to face.
She is frustrated by the level of responsibility which is hers by right of
This book ends with a bittersweet taste, unlike many books aimed at this age
group. Brenden must make uncomfortable choices, and Jazz must learn what it
is to lose, and by losing - win.
I doubt if this is the start of a series, it is pretty neatly tied up at the
end, although I could see ways for it to be expanded for another couple of
books, at least. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason