Ali Cross is a self-published author of books that deal with young adults in the genre of the paranormal, with some romance thrown in for good measure! The first in the Desolation series is entitled Become. When I read this book, several things occurred to me. I’m not sure if the author intended all of the messages that I received when I read it, but that’s the beautiful thing about fiction. Everyone who reads a book gets something different from it and sometimes when discussing literature, other people’s feedback can tell the author things about the book that they may not even have realized or intended.
There are three reasons at least why it is a powerful book to read. The first is that it there are some interesting things going on with the names, like the main character Desi (short for Desolate) and her friend, Lucy, one of the friends who gives Desi the motivation to become good. The second is that metaphors abound throughout the story, which is thought provoking. The third is that it is a classic battle between good and evil, with an absolutely splendid cliffhanger (it is the first part of a series).
One of the first things I noticed is that it might make sense for Lucifer’s daughter to be called Lucy, but that’s not the case. I think that’s an implication right there that the devil’s daughter cannot taken at face value. Around the 80% point in the book, a lot of things are explained that illustrate what a fascinating character Desolation is. Desi’s friend Lucy is at the centre of the first of two real friendships that Desi experiences. There does not seem to be a connection between these characters and the real life Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, but the similarities of names did make me think about some issues. For example, the situation comedy portrayed a couple where the male half of the partnership is dominant. In the Desi and Lucy friendship in the book, of course there is no male. Lucy, however, seems dominant because she is the one who teaches Desi about love and friendship. The book plays some interesting games with the issue of dominance. At times, James seems dominant; at other times, Desi does. There is a lot of push and pull in their relationship. The fact that Desi is not called Lucy is suggestive of the idea that she is not going to accept evil forever.
There are several metaphors in this book, but one that really stood our for me is how James can often be seen leaning against a door. This is symbolic, because it is suggestive of the idea that he controls who leaves or enters a particular area. Since Hell and Heaven figure largely in this story, I think that’s significant. In actuality, Desi is the one who controls where she will spend eternity. This is another example of the push and pull between the two characters…and this isn’t even the main romance! There are lots of levels to this story.
In each of us as human beings there is a battle between waged between our good selves and evil selves. This book touches on some universal themes, then, that are great to read. One of the unique ways that the author writes is that she capitalizes adjectives and verbs. So instead of becoming good, Desi Becomes good. This is very effective because it lends an importance to the process of character growth and lets us know that the stakes are very high. At the end of this book, there is a cliffhanger that is not what you might expect. Without giving too much away, Desi has to make a decision that some might say they understand, and some might say they don’t. It’s an excellent way to have us anticipate what happens in the next book in the series, which is available now!