Publisher: Strange Chemistry, Angry Robot
Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook
BLURB from Netgalley:
17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother - from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland's "problem" and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.
She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together information about their family's heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for... but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.
I received an E-ARC of this book from Strange Chemistry, Angry Robot via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review and opinion.
I have to be totally honest I find the gem on the front cover quite ugly, though that said I’d still pick up the book and read the blurb. Of coure there's a byline on the cover too, "How far would you go to protect the ones you love?" I love a good byline and I can say without giving a spoiler that Becca will go as far as she need to in order to protect her brother Ryland. The byline could also refer to someone else in the book, but why and who you will discover when you read it yourself.The blurb did pique my interest, though the Goodreads Blurb is even better and much longer and I feel both blurbs represent the book quite well. Upon reading the book, the “ugly gem” is explained in the book, Mmm not sure if I’d change the cover, some may find the ugly gem off putting. Then again the cover kind of grows on you in time. I just feel that the cover could have been even better than it is.
Now to the book itself, I enjoyed it, even more than I expected to, and even though at times I could see where the plot line was going. There are plenty of little twists that are more unexpected too.
Becca and Ryland are the main characters in this book. Becca is the older sister who has always had to look out for and protect her little brother Ryland who is different. Ryland hears voices. Becca helps their mother see off all the so called experts who want to help/lock Ryland away. Becca and Rylands father left years ago so Becca has grown up quite quickly and to say she is bitter towards her father is rather an understatement.
Finally two strangers turn up who do seem to have Rylands best interests at heart so Becca reluctantly agrees to accompany Ryland to this “super school”called St Brigids and is in Ireland. The one thing Becca dreads is seeing their father, you see, he is the head of the school. The one bonus about the trip is spending time with one of the “strangers” who Becca becomes closer to on the journey Alex.
So there’s lots of twists and turns, apparently Ryland is to be the great saviour of the Holders race. Yes Ryland is a Holder, like his absent father. Holders have special powers and at the St Brigid’s are protected and taught how to control them.
The book is well written and I did really enjoy it too. It was an easy paced, flowing read, with little mysteries revealed along the way.
Did I enjoy the book? Yes, Would I recommend the book? Yes, I think those who liked Harry Potter may find a new series to interest them here, though told in a more “grown up” way and the perspective of Becca, a strong female character. Would I read a BK#2? Yes I would, this book did leave me wanting to learn more and I love the developing relationship between Becca and alex as well as becoming attached to some of the older teacher characters. Maybe I’d like to see more of Becca and Rylands mum in Bk#2. Would I read more by Julianna Scott? Yes she’s an author I would both look out for and recommend too.
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