This fast-paced YA thriller leads readers on a breathless flight through the highlands of Scotland, the secret city under London, and history itself.
Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she's never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that's now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she'll continue her parents' fight or stay behind to save her friends.
With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she's not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn't as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.
"Five Stars! Mysterious, romantic, and totally fun! Toward a Secret Sky is the type of adventure I could lose myself in over and over again."
- Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval
"A deliciously atmospheric, twisty read that will hook readers from the start with its mystery and romance. It left me aching to hop on a plane to Scotland and have my own magical adventure!"
- Rebecca Christiansen, author of
Maybe in Paris
"Full of intrigue, savvy world-building, and sizzling romantic tension, Maclean's enthralling storytelling will keep readers flipping pages--and wanting more."
- Emily R. King, author of
The Hundredth Queen
"I enjoyed this so much. It has just the right combination of magic, intrigue, and romance, and the beautiful Scottish backdrop and descriptions of various ancient sites just made it all the more appealing."
- Heather Fawcett, author of Even the Darkest Stars
"Five stars! This was the type of thrilling story I always dreamed of reading when I was younger (way before paranormal romance became popular!)"
- Shaila Patel, author of Soulmated
"I would definitely recommend to anyone who liked Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, or even fans of the Princess Diaries. The book is fantastic overall!"
- Claire M. Andrews, author of Olympus Rising
From School Library Journal
After her mother dies in a freak accident, Maren Hamilton is sent to Scotland to live with grandparents she has never met. Not long after she arrives, she receives a strange package containing her mother's personal effects. Among the items, Maren finds an encrypted message as well as a warning that she is in grave danger and should trust no one. Things become even more complicated after she meets a mysterious young man, Gavin, who has secrets of his own, and develops a strong attachment to him. Those secrets may uncover truths about Maren's parents--and the reasons behind their untimely deaths. This paranormal novel blends elements of fantasy and mystery in a tale filled with plot twists to untangle, clues to be solved, and hidden passages to be discovered. A battle between angels and demons provides the central drama and will keep readers on the edge of their seats, and brief but effective descriptions of Scotland's landscape and history will further draw them into the narrative. Although there is a romance, it doesn't overshadow the plot, while the sometimes repetitive dialogue is still relatable and has the intensity and authentic tone of teen first love. VERDICT Fans of Lauren Kate's "Fallen" series and the film National Treasure will love this action-packed story of angels and demons, secret organizations, mysterious connections, and forbidden love. For those looking to refresh paranormal romance shelves. -Ericka Greer, Ouachita Parish Public Library, Monroe, LA