Vaalbara: Visions & Shadows by Michelle Horst is an exciting tale that focuses on the 18 year-old Aislinn as she comes to realize that nothing about her life is quite the way she has long accepted it to be. Aislinn is an interesting character who finds herself with no past, at least not until she was found alone at the age of 13. She has no close friends (unless you count an imaginary platypus), an incurable stutter, and a general dark outlook on life. Unexpectedly, one day she finds herself befriended by a strange new boy named Ryan. Aislinn comes to learn through him that her unusual, often demeaning life has long been planned out and given to her purposely. Not only that, but she and Ryan are secretly immortal. If that’s not enough, he tells her she has been divinely appointed to pick out 10 people that she will see in visions to take for the beginnings of a new world! O by the way, Earth and all life as is known is coming to an end. You know; an apocalyptic, biblical, End of Days?
Awo, the being we call God, has trusted Alchera(Aislinn learns this is her true name) along with a few friends and family to collect the 10 chosen humans so they can be transferred to a new planet to ensure the survival of the human race. This task has fallen to immortals (people who live forever if not killed, they can still die fine if injured enough!) because the angels can’t be bothered to take time away from what they would be doing. There is a time or two that well known angels like Michael take the time to stop by, but they force the hurry of quite important decisions so much, that when looked at; angelic ‘gifts’ once given, can seem almost cruel.
What it eventually comes down to is that Alcherra(Aislinn), Raighne(Ryan) and a few others have only 10 days to travel around the Earth and collect the people they are counting on Alcherra’s visions for. It is a grand adventure with no time to be wasted, and the most terrifying villains attempting to prevent their success. The team can Magically travel through waterfalls, but that’s not much of a help as the destruction of the world begins through earthquake, tidal wave, and horribly destructive winds. Knowing death itself is racing against them, can the heroes find and secure everyone they need in time?