Although this story is outside my usual genre, I genuinely enjoyed it. Ellie felt very real to me as an ordinary seventeen year old suburban girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances and discovering extraordinary things about herself. She seemed a real teenager, not an adult's idealized concept of what a teenager should be. The creatures she faces in battle each have a distinct personality and motivation, which lends more interest than a world populated by generic bad guys who are defined only by their species' characteristics. And I'm not entirely certain all those she's opposing *are* irredeemably bad guys. While developing the mythology of this world and revealing the challenges Ellie faces, the author has been ambiguous - perhaps even devious - and left us with plenty of mystery to uncover in the remaining two books of this series. I'm looking forward to the journey.