Author: Sydney Paige Richardson

Narrator: Rocky Taylor

Length: 11 hours 37 minutes

Series: The Halves of Us Trilogy, Book 1

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Sep. 3, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Twin Sisters: One destined to rule, one cursed to destroy.

Some say blood is thicker than water. But for twin sisters, Adie and Aura, their connection runs even deeper than blood.

After investigating a surprise attack carried out by dark souls controlled by the Wicked Willow, an evil residing in a neighboring region, Aura uncovers a family secret: She is the fulfillment of a curse placed upon her family centuries ago.

While Aura is destined to destroy their planet, Thindoral, Adie is fated to follow in their mother’s footsteps and become Ruler, but even Adie’s path comes with revelations. Dangerous premonitions plague her dreams, all depicting Thindoral’s demise at the hand of her sister.

As darkness takes control of her mind, Aura must determine whether defying fate and time is the choice that will seal her destruction, or if self-sacrifice will save all she holds dear. Meanwhile, Adie is faced with an impossible decision: Save her sister, or protect their world?

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Sydney wrote her first book, Girls, in the second grade, about her and her best friends in college [because college was super cool when you were 8]. They went on treasure hunts and fought bad guys with their super powers. Her second-grade teacher was so impressed with her, she laminated a cover and bound it. That will forever be the moment Sydney dreamed of holding a copy of her own book and placing it on a shelf.

Now all grown up, Sydney’s head still stays in the fantasy world, fashioning worlds where the power of a star can be harnessed and used for time travel, flying is just as easy as walking here on earth – and her best friends are fairies. Her characters are dark and lost individuals, but your love for them will grow when you realize not everything is black and white.

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Rocky hails from Washington State and frequently haunts the Oregon coast. She holds a BA from The Evergreen State College and has worked as a stagehand since 2008. After years of bringing stories to life behind the scenes she has transitioned from backstage to behind the mic. An avid reader, traveler, and lover of humanity, she brings all of that to the world of story-telling.

When not in her studio, she volunteers as a community mediator, loves partner dancing and like all Pacific Northwesterners, lives for beautiful summer days.

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The door closed behind them, and Adie removed Aura’s hand from her mouth. She peered out into the empty room. “We have to get out of here!” Adie’s stomach churned as her nerves took over. Aura stepped out from the curtain and ran after Adie, hugging her tightly. “What happened? I thought you were gone!” She pulled away from Adie, wiping away new tears. “And why are your eyes blue?” “I don’t know . . .” Adie tried to hide the welling in her eyes. “But if Uncle Gossamer finds us in here, we’ll be in terrible trouble. We have to get back to our rooms.” Aura nodded in agreement. “I’ll leave the key here. He’ll think he dropped it.” She knelt and carefully placed the key on the floor. “I suggest we pretend this never happened.” Adie bit her lip to hide its trembling. “Agreed.” She made her way to Adie, hugging her again. “You had me so worried. Where did you go?”

Do you have a twin? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have one? Researchers say that twins may have more than just a genetic connection. Some twins that get separated at birth, grow up with similar mannerisms even though they have no way of knowing the other. Can you imagine how that bond grows if they are together? Now, imagine twins that have two separate destinies, one good and one evil. It’s unfathomable! Richardson has an alluring young adult dark fantasy which will have readers devouring the pages of this first installment with fervor.

Adie and Aura are twins. They are sisters who have grown up together, knowing that one will become the next ruler of Thindoral. What will be the destiny for the other? Wanting to find out sooner, rather than later, the girls sneak into their mother’s safe hold and decide to touch the one thing that gives power to the kingdom. With the Rokis’ power, Adie begins to have nightmares. Agreeing to never speak of what they did again, Aura and Adie may need to break that promise after the kingdom comes under attack from dark forces that no one knows how to defeat. Under siege, the sisters learn first hand what it takes to fight for their land, even if it means losing their soul to the darkness to do it. The prophecy states that one is meant to rule and one is cursed to destroy, but do prophecies always come true if you choose to defy fate? Only time will tell…

Richardson’s first installment in the Halves of Us Trilogy is quite eventful and entertaining. The characters are full of passion, curiosity, and innocence. The two sisters are forced to face things that are far greater than they can even comprehend. They can either choose to do it alone or together. Their innocence and lack of knowledge of outside forces, plays a vital role in this story. While it is classified as a young adult dark fantasy, there are aspects of this story that feel it should be for more of a mature audience; however, the dark fantasy is spot on. While the story in itself is sensational, Taylor’s narration isn’t what was expected for this first installment. She carries the pace quite well, but every sentence spoken feels rehearsed, monotone, and matter of fact. Readers may wish for a vocalist who gets into the story, sharing varying emotions like fascination, curiosity, betrayal, and grief. If you are a reader of dark fantasy, you may find this satisfies your appetite.

An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to The Halves of Us by Sydney Paige Richardson.

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