The Balance by Michael Selden is a young adult novel about a girl named Phoebe, her gift, and her family. Before the Comet struck, there was the Order, long steeped in mysticism and alchemy, but it eventually became a technological behemoth. The head of the Order created Sanctuaries, intending them to preserve human progress for future generation, in case of war, they would provide safety and platforms to rebuild. Separately, there was the Council, a group composed of the three major religions, and they believed that the world was degrading based on a lack of faith and the spread of dangerous knowledge and technologies. These two groups would never agree and they seek each other out like the enemies they are. Seventeen years after the Comet struck we meet Phoebe, a girl who has a secret. She is a Sensitive, she can delve into people’s minds and that could put her and and everyone she loves in danger. She must hide her ability and its effects, but it isn’t easy, until she meets Caleb. With his help she learns how to make her gift work for her; she is able to communicate with someone she believed to be dead and through this connection, she learns that she and everyone she loves is in danger and must run for their lives. She also finds out how she came upon these gifts, and how to save those that mean the world to her.
“It’s amazing when you think about it. That such a small thing- a drop of water- can go through so many changes, be a part of so many different things, so many times. And yet, somehow, it always manages to come back as a drop of water.” I think this explains the thought behind this novel. We all go through these phases in life that change us, some for the better, some not, but they all make a lasting imprint. This is a book about two sides of every story, two ideals, and everyone thinking they are doing the right thing for their people. I personally found this story to be thought provoking and intriguing. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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