This is a series review for the Gives Light series by Rose Christo. It is six books long so far, with the seventh book in the works (date TBA). It is a series about sixteen-year-old Skylar who was left mute after the serial killer that killed his mum discovered he had a witness. His father, who is Native American from the Shoshone tribe, goes missing and Skylar goes back to the reservation to live with his grandmother. There he makes friends and falls in love with a boy on the rez.
It’s going to be quite hard to review this series without spoiling any of the later books in the series and you definitely want to go in unspoiled. Skylar is a delightful character. I think I’ve said this in one of my reviews for this series, but a lot of the time you get teenagers who have had bad things happen to them and they’re self-destructive and angry. I love A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness where the main character is a thirteen-year-old boy with a mum who has cancer and he’s angry in that. Skylar is the opposite and he is just relaxed and good-natured through most of the series. He gets angry and gets upset but he has a different way of dealing with it than you normally don’t see from teenagers in fiction. I do like the former but it is good to see more of the latter, just to have some variety. Skylar’s character was the main reason these books were so easy to read, I sped through the ones that are out so far.
The latter books weren’t as good for me, possibly because they seemed like they were following a similar kind of formula which was great for the first few books but then got a little wearing at times. The plot twists were still surprising and I still liked the characters, but I think my favourite is the first book of the series, though I was really happy to see the series continue. There are four books from Skylar’s POV and two books (so far) from Rafael’s POV. I prefer Skylar’s POV at the moment, Raf’s POV is fairly poetic and flowery, he tends to be more dreamy than Skylar, and I’m not such a fan of that.
The author is Plains Cree and Lenni Lenape and her best friend and grandfather are Shoshone. She is incredibly knowledgeable, not just on Native history, but on the issues that are plaguing them today. I really love how she covers reservation laws, racism and how Native children are taken from their parents in order to make money for the state. A lot of these things are hard to read but I’m glad she covered them anyway. This is a diverse, own voices book series and I really hope more people pick it up. It’s on Kindle Unlimited as well.