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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance by Lali A. Love is a delightful read, a well-written meld of fantasy and science fiction, with a strong appeal to young adult readers. Sixteen-year-old Jo attends Forest Hill Academy, a preppy co-ed private school for privileged scholars, but she has huge problems to handle. Since the night her mother, Lilac, was taken hostage by a homicidal maniac, she’s been plagued by nightmares. But things escalate when a deadly parasite attacks her classmates, turning them into sleepwalkers, imprisoned in their own bodies. Primed by the Council and Ascending Angel Academy, Jo must accept a difficult mission to embrace her celestial being and unlock the power of creation in order to fight the encroaching darkness. With friends by her side and the Galactic Compass, does she stand a chance against the powers of darkness?
This is a well-plotted and beautifully narrated story. The use of journal entries adds depth to the story and allows readers to understand the emotional turmoil taking place in Jo’s world. It is one of those stories that brilliantly showcase the primordial struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, and I found it interesting to follow the protagonist as she evolves under the watchful gaze of the council that speaks the codes wordlessly to her. The character cast is impressive and the author provides a clear background to each of them: Nisha, Rey, Daphne, Flynn, and Zaxden. Lali A. Love’s story stands out in its originality, with themes of science and spirituality, and a conflict that is strongly and intelligently articulated. The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance is a wonderful read.