Haven: A Stranger Magic was a compelling read, but seriously lacked in page count. Just as the story began to take shape it ended. The protagonist Sam, is the stereotypical 13 year-old, 98 lbs. weakling and social outcast, with a mean-girl-esque older sister, Sarah, who might actually be the more complicated character. Sam hates his life. His father died when he was young and he has no memories of the man. His mother works double shifts at a diner to make ends meet and she has little time for her high school aged children.
Sam’s best friend and fellow social outcast, Travis, is the only one who tethers him to reality. Together the boys discover a secret in the old abandoned quarry caves outside town that shakes the foundation of what they know to be true. I found it hard to imagine that after the events in the cave the boys walk to Sam’s house and then Travis just walks home by himself. I would have thought they would have stayed together, since it was early summer.
The story then shifts to the perspective of otherworldly beings who begin to explain the backstory of who Sam and his family are, why they are there, and some foreboding about a Viper, that hunts them. And then it ends.
If the story was meant as a prelude to a bigger novel, or as part of a series of novellas that tell the larger tale it should have been advertised as such.
D.C. Akers crafted a workmanlike world where magic exists along the fringes, and the ordinary might not be so ordinary after all.