I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Black Amaranth has roots tied to mythology in the form of Vulcan, the god of fire and blacksmiths. The plot is an intricate and at times a dizzying mix of all types of mythic lore. We have shapeshifters, Nosferatu, Seraph, and Gypsies with magical powers. There are so many, I was beginning to wonder if humans were the minority on Earth.
Set in our modern times, main character Ally is kept in the dark about her ancestry until she stumbles upon an attack against her uncle the night of her high school graduation. She always knew she was different since she has a tendency to light up with magical fire at night after her nightmares. But somehow her heritage was hidden from her. When it comes to light, she is forced into quick training for an impossible decision she isn't ready to make.
Ally is hit with one eye-popping surprise after another, and frankly I was surprised with how well she handled everything. She is very loyal to her friends and her uncle Argyle. Ally jumps into her role with amazing ease and embraces her training. While I realize she couldn't really deny reality when people suddenly sprouted wings, I still couldn't believe how well she accepted her fate. The few meltdowns she had were totally understandable. Ally knows she must make a choice based on love, and that choice will determine whether the apocalypse occurs or not. No pressure there.
There are so many interesting characters in this book, and most of them don't get the time they deserve. Ally's friends Dave and Jessica provide constant support and comic relief. Then there's Michael, the farmboy from next door. Ally has such strong feelings for him, but she manages to rationalize them away at every turn. While I did enjoy the characters and found the plot rather intriguing, I felt lost at times during the story. Ms. Hibbs does an excellent job with foreshadowing so I was aware of what Ally's choice should be even when she seemed lost.
I noticed Ms, Hibbs bio indicates that she's working on book two in The Vulcan Legacies Series. This is good news since I didn't care for the ending at all and would be unhappy if it was simply left there. Poor Ally, I felt like the way it ended was like rubbing salt into her wounds. It was heart-wrenching. I recommend Black Amaranth to everyone high school and up that enjoys an intriguing paranormal story. If you like mythology then I think you'll really enjoy this one.