Title: Salvation’s Song
Author: Pearl Love
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Page Count: 326 pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5
An ancient evil threatens the world, and only the chosen few can save it: the Singers, the Seekers, and the Saviors….
Tyrell Hughes enters his junior year of high school at Winton Yowell with everything going for him. He’s popular, he has great friends, and he has the eye of the hottest girl in school. Jeremy Michalak is a transfer student hoping to escape the bullying he suffered at his last school. All he wants is to keep his head down, make it to graduation without any trouble, and pursue the thing that makes him happiest: playing clarinet.
Tyrell and Jeremy have nothing in common except their homeroom assignments and a mutual attraction each is determined to keep hidden. That is until a dangerous mystery draws them inexorably together. Young people all over the city are dying of seemingly natural causes, but Tyrell and Jeremy discover there are dark forces at work that only they can stop. Now the boys will have to put aside their differences and accept their feelings for each other if they are to fulfill their destinies and become the city’s salvation.
Mysterious deaths abound in this coming of age story although their significance is only slowly revealed. That these deaths only hint at the supernatural is in line with how such things initially touch the lives of the protagonists. It is only as their bond grows and their love of music align that things start to happen that draw them into a dangerous world they were blissfully unaware of. I would like to say that the mechanism that transitions them into this supernatural side is smooth, but it uses trust in an adult role model that sadly just doesn’t ring true. Beyond this point the story changes into a supernatural battle with the protagonists at its heart with a back story and characters that whilst explained superficially are nowhere near as fleshed out as those in the earlier part of the book. This is a book with two stories, the rich sedate real world and the frantic poorly defined undercurrent.
The seriously overused literary device of ‘he likes/loves me/me not’ is present as is the ‘is he/am I gay?’ but thankfully broken up by other more interesting plot elements…well at least for the first half of the book. Once the tension of the story starts to rise and the characters’ importance coalesces, the apparent tension between them bubbles over into clichéd angst. Having said that, when we come to the first kiss it comes, as you would hope, out of the blue and is not signaled.
This is a slow burn but worth the wait. Too often the protagonists are thrown into the supernatural, but here it intrudes on normality in stages that make sense to the flow of the story and the development of characterization and interaction. Then, just when you get used to the pace the focus of the story, it lurches in a different direction entirely as the lives of the key characters are caught up in a supernatural struggle that draws on their inherent abilities and the strength of their relationship.