I was pleasantly surprised with Cathi Shaw's debut young adult novel 'Five Corners,' the first book in The Marked Ones series. Cathi manages to create a fantastic story with a cast of characters that the reader can't help but fall in love with. The story starts off simple enough by introducing three young women that all bear the same mysterious mark. Before long, the quiet, peaceful existence at their family run in is disrupted when a man and his two young sons, both bearing the same mysterious mark as the women, suddenly appear at their inn. The moment the young men enter the inn, none of the character's lives will ever be the same. Forced from their home, the Marked Ones set out on a journey to save not only themselves, but also others that bear the same mark as them.
Shaw does such an outstanding job of slowing building this world, reveling information only when it is needed, not simply for the sake of giving the reader information. She allows the characters to develop over the course of the book as they react to the situations around them giving them the three-dimensions that many writers are unable to accomplish. As the characters start to realize what is at stake, and understand how dire their situation is, the pacing of the story picks up. And of course, because this is a planned series, it ends at the precise moment leaving you wanting for more.
From the moment I finished the first sentence, I was hooked and had a hard time putting this book down. I can't wait until the next book comes out so I can continue this journey with these young individuals and see where this mission to discover their origins and to save their own, and many other lives will lead. A great debut novel by an author that I am hoping I will see more from.