Mila’s Flight (The Darkest Day, #0.5) (2019) by Danielle Forrest is a wonderfully crafted book with pages which turn themselves.
The story follows the title character and protagonist 21-year-old Mila Dragomirov who wants to become a space pilot. We meet Mila after she has just received the news that she has passed the necessary qualifications to go about making her dream a reality. When she finds out her best friend May who is also like a twin to her has passed too, the pair go to a bar to have a good time and celebrate the news. But this is where things irrevocably change for Mila. She encounters some creepy, drunken men here who harass Mila and scare her to the degree that she shifts into a tiger in order to protect herself. Which naturally works and she gets rid of them but it leaves her in a state of panic as people who shape shift have a bleak future ahead with very little opportunity. She decides her military hopes are over and flees, leaving a letter open on the computer to May. She also leaves May an emergency phone number which she specifies clearly is only to be used in truly emergency circumstances.
After leaving home Mila finds herself homeless in Louisville. Out on the streets, she must find food and tackle the dangerous characters she encounters. She regularly goes to the volunteer food kitchen and she encounters some selfish people who stop the children from getting food. She also encounters some guy who attempts to shove her out of the line to get ahead but she deals with him. Soon though, she finds herself being followed by a man who is mysterious to her but who we know is Jackson who is a shape shifter too. He has recognized that she is from the strength she displayed in handling the twat who messed with her. He is trying to find her to protect her.
Meanwhile back home Mila’s mother Alyana is missing her daughter and holding out hope that she will return and that she is safe. May is missing her and it is affecting her love for her work. Alyana and May’s mother Sarah discuss how May is not holding up well and decide that neither are they so they agree together to meet with a therapist to discuss their inner feelings about Mila’s disappearance.
First of all, the writing style in this book is fantastic. It is very to the point which I like. There is a lot of important issues dealt with here. The book shows the harassment people face in both sexual and non-sexual ways. The author writes very well the fear which comes into a person when faced with the creeps and bullies of this world. Prejudice is also an important theme in the book. Mila realizes that she may not be able to keep her ‘difference’ under wraps and flees home where she finds herself homeless. This is sadly too common of a story for people deemed ‘different’ by society even in this day and age. Trust issues is also a hugely important issue in this book. Mila is very street-wise, very bright and she has also been through a lot so naturally she is going to find herself less trusting than maybe some other people. Her trust issues are both a fantastic protection mechanism when people are not to be trusted and a hindrance to her when she meets people like Jackson who understand her and are trying to help. But how would she know who to trust and who not to? I understood her apprehension to trust Jackson because we as readers knew his motives, Mila didn’t.
I liked all the main characters in this read but my favourite was Mila. She is a tough cookie who will not be walked on and is truly badass in the best possible sense of the word. She also has a massive heart filled with goodness displayed very much in her need to make sure May was alright and in her giving some of her food to the children who got none even though she hadn’t much for herself and as we later learn she needs more food as a shifter. She has a great balance of softness and strongness and I love that in a person so I thought she was great.
The plot is great. The characters are great And the story develops in an interesting and authentic way. I’m looking forward to reading what comes next in Mila’s story. There was a sneak peak at the end of the next book in the series Mila’s Shift (The Darkest Day, #1) which I look forward to reading.
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