Walk the Web Lightly | Mary Pascual


Coming May 7, 2024 from SparkPress; 296 pages.

Content Warning: Death, kidnapping, language

About the Author: “Mary Pascual is a writer and artist who believes finding magic is only a matter of perspective. She loves stories about characters with heart and fantastical settings that are more than meets the eye. She grew up in California and enjoys reading, art, traveling, exploring outside, and building elaborate stage sets for Halloween. Writing has taken her on a number of unexpected adventures, including working in high tech, meeting psychics, interviewing rock bands, and even once attending a press conference for Bigfoot. She got hooked on reading adult science fiction and fantasy in the fifth grade—so, in retrospect, much of her reading material was completely inappropriate (which probably explains a few things). She lives with her husband, son, and assorted demanding cats in San Jose, CA” (Bio from author’s website).

Find Mary Pascual on the following platforms:

“‘Our gifts let us see so much…but it’s not really living if we’re not in our lives.’”

Walk the Web Lightly by Mary Pascual weaves together crucial lessons about family and heritage with supernatural elements to create a world that is entirely its own. Walk the Web Lightly is Pascual’s second young adult novel, and it follows Naya, a young girl whose interests are piqued by science and medicine, trapped in a family that cares more about art and tradition. What sets this family apart, however, is their supernatural abilities to see through the webs and lines of time. Naya believes she is ready for science camp, but her family disapproves. In Naya’s attempts to prove her maturity, she comes to realize that her powers are more dangerous than she thought, especially in the wrong hands.

Walk the Web Lightly is an interesting young adult novel, to say the least. The age of the main character is difficult to place. At times, Naya feels like she is only ten or eleven, but as the book goes on, things get so dark that I thought Naya might be sixteen. By the end of the novel Naya’s age is confirmed, but the story feels too mature tonally to be middle grade, while the characters feel too young for this to be a story for young adults. The novel dragged for me in the first half, with Naya being a flat character with superficial interests that aren’t explored to their full capacity, and the grandmother character being far too mean and close-minded. The novel took a drastic turn in the second half, however, and shocked me immensely. Near the end of the novel, Naya is kidnapped, seemingly out of nowhere. While the novel established that the assumed “bad guy” in the beginning of the novel was watching Naya, the ending was genuinely terrifying. With the combination of the tonal switch and the characters coming across one-note, I cannot say that I fully enjoyed this story. In the final chapters, it becomes clear why Naya’s grandmother was so harsh and why their supernatural powers must remain a secret, but ultimately, the conclusion did little to progress Naya’s character motivations or establish how she could pursue her interests in the future knowing how powerful she is. Walk the Web Lightly has some imaginative ideas and explores both Naya’s and the villain’s powers in a fascinating way, but it feels like two separate novels for two different ages of readers.

Walk the Web Lightly releases on May 7th, 2024.

Pine Reads Review would like to thank SparkPoint Studio & SparkPress for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.

Jenica Delaney, Pine Reads Review Writer