Initiation (Protector of Hidden Worlds #1) by L. A. Limpkin
What would you do if you found yourself in a strange, new world, without knowing how you got there or even where 'there' is?
Confronted with this question, Hannah chooses to explore The Forest, a realm as dangerous as it is interesting. Will she find answers to her burning questions in this new world, or will her experience turn into horror and despair?
In The Forest, nothing is as it seems. Two different species struggle for survival. Both need Hannah to survive.
She has to pick a side. Will she know whom to trust?
How would you feel if someone told you that a place you’ve visited doesn’t exist? Furthermore, what if you were told that you belonged to that mysterious place?
Hannah Link has been to the Forest, the place children visit but adults insist doesn’t exist. After all, there’s no forest anywhere near the road to Downhill. But those who’ve seen the Forest know it’s there, and Hannah both knows it exists and feels a connection to it. But why?
I was immediately pulled into the mystery surrounding every single character in this book. The primary focus in Initiation is on Hannah - who were her parents, why does she keep seeing the Forest, what’s her connection to her adoptive mother, and why is she important to the Forest - but there are other characters with questions just as important to the plot.
We learn that Hannah is stuck in the middle of two groups: the llumens and Little Will who controls the Shadows. There’s a good bit of backstory as we learn what Hannah’s destiny is, and I believe Limpkin shows us just enough of the past that will come to light in the next books in the series. I enjoyed the themes of an orphan embracing her fate and the classic good versus evil. While the plot was predictable from that sense, the twists that each character experienced kept you on your toes and constantly guessing at which role each person has in the fate of the Forest.
To learn more about L. A. Limpkin and her books, check out her website: https://lalimpkin.com/.