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Stork    by Wendy Delsol order for
by Wendy Delsol
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Wendy Delsol's Stork mines Norse mythology for its mysticism, and explores the usual romantic triangles and misunderstandings of young love. Its heroine, sixteen-year-old Katla, is a California girl transplanted to her math professor mother's small home town in Minnesota after her parents' divorce.

Though not thrilled by the move, Kat makes the best of it, helping out her afi (grandfather) in his store. Doing so one day, Kat is suddenly plagued by an itchy scalp and a crazy rash. Spotting a light in the intriguing (but usually closed) Hulda's Fabrics and Notions across the street, Kat dashes across and introduces herself. Initially unwelcoming, Fru Hulda changes when she sees the rash. She draws Kat downstairs to a meeting of old women, and informs her that she's the newest (and youngest) member of an ancient order, the Storkur Society. Storks are women with the special power to connect those unborn children who need guidance with the right mother - dreams show the candidates.

When blue-eyed farm boy Jack delivers apples to the store, he seems to expect Kat to know him - his touch sends a surge of cold up her arm and they clash instantly. Kat dubs him 'eye-locking, freezer-zapping, angry Apple Boy.' At school, Kat befriends Penny and is shunned by charismatic football team captain Wade, with whom she had a very brief late summer fling, which she now regrets. Wade and his girlfriend Monique are king and queen of Norse Falls High. Soon Kat's stork dreams start, visions of a crying infant and the mothers the babe might have, candidates who are all people surprisingly close to Kat.

As the dreams' pressure mounts, there are attempts on Kat's life, and she discovers something shocking about her past history in this small town, something of which everyone around her was already aware. She learns of the existence of evil-born Ravens, sworn enemies of the Storks who are 'masters of dark arts, snatchers of souls, an ancient cult rewarding immortality to those who execute three truly heinous covenants.' Is one of the people Kat knows in this Minnesota town a Raven? Of course, Kat will find out, as will the reader.

Stork, which introduces an appealing power couple, is a welcome take on the YA paranormal love story. I enjoyed it very much and hope that this is the beginning of a new series, one I intend to follow.

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