Gordon A. Long has done an excellent job building an Old World type setting for this story. Aleria is a smart, self-assured, high-strung, spunky teenager from an upper class family who is able the see the hypocrisy going on around her. She has a reputation for pulling harmless pranks or stunts to call these out. She also has a talent for sizing up people’s characters rather quickly. After completing the class Quest, an individual rite-of-passage, Aleria comes to the conclusion that it was more or less a farce, which doesn’t prove her mettle. So she initiates her own Quest to prove to herself she is capable of taking care of herself.
Now the real adventure begins. She is smart enough that she shares her destination with her best friend Mito, who has promised not to tell unless Aleria doesn’t return in a proper amount of time. After being on the road a few days she meets a fellow traveler who has traversed this road many times before. She asks to join him on a short cut across a mountain trail. When a rebellion breaks out in the direction Mito knew Aleria was headed she alerts her parents and a search for Aleria begins.
Aleria learning about the rebellion makes smart decisions and tries to alert the authorities. Thinking she is now safe she inadvertently gets captured by Raif, one of the rebel rousers. These men are a loathsome group of disparate men. It is all Aleria can do to try to stay alive and sane while suffering abuse and the threat of rape. However, Raif is not who he seems and Aleria must decide whether to trust him or not. The pace of the story turns fast and furious at this point and became hard to put down. There are a fair number of twists because these men are not very well organized.
The story starts out slow as we are introduced to Aleria, her parents, and a few of her classmates. I found the cast of characters who played important roles were well developed. The dialogue seemed realistic with a good amount of humor. I really enjoyed Aleria and Mito’s friendship. Mito is from the poorer side of town but has managed to enroll in the girls Academy. Mito is a smart, levelheaded girl who tries to keep Aleria balanced, their heart-to-heart talks were engaging and intelligent. I am hoping for some romance to develop in book two, there are a couple of possibilities.
FYI: The author uses Canadian spellings.
Out of Mischief is Book 1 in the World of Change series.
Format/Typo Issues: I found a small number of proofing errors throughout the text.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** June 18, 2015
(review of free book)