exciting start to a new series
ANALIESE RISING is a YA fantasy that sets us up with a new world and new characters. Analiese (Ana for short) is walking with her brother when they witness a car hit a pedestrian. As they go to help, the pedestrian is insistent that Ana not touch him, that he will die, and that Ana take his bag to his grandson. Ana and her brother go to the hospital, but it is too late and the man is dead. Not wishing to deny his death wish, Ana finds his address inside the bag and takes it to his grandson, Marek.
Soon, Ana is pulled into a hunt with Marek for something his grandfather left for him. They do not yet know what it means or even what they are looking for, but considering that the bag also contained a list of names with Ana and her parents crossed off, it seems to involve her and her family also. Together, the travel to Europe where they continue a scavenger hunt while also dodging people who seem to be after them.
The book was a slow build but did not feel slow while reading, particularly considering the clues that increase interest and time sensitivity imposed by the people following them for seemingly nefarious purposes. I did find myself lost in a few places- the same way Ana and Marek were lost trying to discover this new world of gods and goddesses and where their place in the mess is. Ana and Marek are way smarter than I am in terms of figuring out the clues and cryptic hints left for them- at times unbelievably so. However, this is explained by the coaching they have had since childhood for such things.
The reader is still left with a lot of questions at the end of the book, and I assume we'll get more answers in future books of the series. However, with that, it felt more like a prequel for something bigger to come. I would have liked more answers, but that is also my personality style (I don't like not knowing things!).
Overall, I liked it and look forward to more books in the series. I do wish there were more answers in this book, but it was a really fun and at times very intense mystery/hunt with some interesting fantasy elements that I look forward to learning more about in the future.