A native Oklahoman, Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a graduate of Yale University. She wrote GOLDEN at the age of 19. She is currently doing further study in the UK.
Gr 6 Up-Teenaged Bailey Morgan and her three best friends impulsively buy swirly shaped temporary tattoos to complement their outfits for the upcoming school dance. Suddenly, Bailey hears voices that say, "She comes. To fight, to live, she comes." Soon the girls discover that the tattoos have given them supernatural gifts: Bailey can start fires with her thoughts, Annabelle can read minds, Delia has the power to transmogrify objects, and Zo has premonitions. Bailey's dreams reveal that the voices in her head are from two ancient fairy warriors who are variations of the mythological Fates who control the thread of life of mortals and immortals. Adea and her sister Alecca both fell in love with Valgius, and when he rejected her for Adea, Alecca vowed to destroy the couple. She then began to gain power from young humans by giving them a vision of their secret desires, wrapping a web around them, and then pulling the life from their bodies. Zo's premonitions show that Alecca is planning to kill many students at the dance. Bailey discovers that she's one of a long line of humans who have been chosen to maintain the balance between both worlds. This chick-lit fantasy, similar to though not as dark as Neal Shusterman's fairy-tale retellings, is a fast-paced, fun read for Buffy and Charmed fans.-Sharon Rawlins, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Trenton Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Barnes's (Golden) book about four friends who get special powers from their temporary tattoos has some fun moments, despite the far-out premise. Even 15-year-old narrator Bailey acknowledges the surreal situation when she considers explaining what's going on to her mother: "An evil fairy princess who doubles as one of the three Fates is sucking out the souls of innocent people, and my friends and I have been imbued with the powers to stop her, but we only have the powers for like another twelve hours." But readers learn enough about the protagonist to believe that she could be a descendent of the powerful Sidhe, and the girls cleverly put to use their powers (Annabelle can control minds, Zo can see the future and Bailey can start fires). The book's best moments may come from ditzy Delia, with the power of transmogrification, who turns a hotel door lock into butterscotch pudding, plus gives the girls Rollerblades when they're on the chase, including a fashionable pair for herself that look like high heels. Delia also delivers the book's best line when facing off against evil Alecca: "You think you're bad?... I'm on the cheerleading squad; I know what real evil looks like." In the end, readers will get a few good laughs from these sassy heroines. Ages 12-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.