Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: Indigo Awakening

INDIGO AWAKENING
The Hunted #1
Jordan Dane
Paranormal Young Adult
HarlequinTEEN
Available now
Source: eBook from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.


MY THOUGHTS
With an intriguing premise, Indigo Awakening pulls us quickly into a world nearly identical to our own save for one key element, bypassing a slow build up and thrusting us directly into the action as young Lucas escapes the confines of a mental health facility. Though the plot is not an altogether unique one, the concept of evolutionary advancement in the form of supernatural abilities in young kids is certainly fascinating, our minds unable to help wondering if perhaps somewhere in the world, behind closed doors or hidden away so as to not be exposed, such people and gifts exist, biding their time before they change the world as we know it.

Though conceptually an engrossing tale, we find ourselves a touch less enthused with regard to the myriad of characters, the large cast constantly jostling one another for our attention as we bounce back and forth between seven or eight of them. We get a tiny piece of each of their stories before moving on to the next person, asking ourselves all the while if that last brief interlude was truly necessary to the overall plot. Reading Indigo Awakening is a bit like standing just a few inches from a large stained glass window–the characters an indistinct blur of color, light, and shadow that has us aching to take a few step backs so we can see how everything fits together to create a unified image. Instead we remain pressed up close, feeling like we have little pieces of each person, but no real context to help us figure out who they are individually or how they relate to the larger whole.

Our time spent with secondary and tertiary characters limits our time with protagonists Rayne and Gabriel, and as a result, our investment in their romance is equally limited, their time together lacking the desired tension because we simply aren’t granted access to the moments where the relationship can truly build and develop in complexity. Perhaps the most poignant relationship is not Rayne and Gabriel at all, but rather that of Raphael and a little boy named Benny, the brotherly bond between them the one connection that truly tugs at our heartstrings and ensures an emotional link to the story itself.

Overall, Indigo Awakening presents a setup that never fails to pique our curiosity, our interest in the various young people and their gifts in particular enough to keep us turning the pages, however, the repeated short jumps between one character’s story and the next keeps us from really settling in. We’re constantly on the move, and for those readers like me who love to spend time getting to know the characters on whose journeys I’m piggybacking, this is a bit of a trying tale.

Rating: 3/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

47 comments:

  1. This sounds like such a good read, I am a little sad that there wasn't more character development between the main characters. I can only guess that maybe there would be more of that in book two?
    I don't know. I think I will wait on this one until book two comes out and see how the reviews are on that one.

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    1. I liked all the characters, there were just so many of them that I didn't feel like I got to know any of them all that well. I am curious about book 2 though:)

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  2. I really liked this one but I agree the many POV made it very hard to connect with the characters completely. Often I would have loved to stay a little longer but then we moved on already.

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    1. Yes. Two or Three POVs I'm good with, but seven or eight was just way too many for me!

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  3. This doesn't sound very good, Jenny. Too many character, too much back and forth with their stories and most importantly, not feeling the romance! That won't work for me, but I like that you atleast enjoyed Raphael and Benny's relation. Thanks for the review :)

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    1. Definitely too many characters for me Aman:) And Raphael and Benny just about ripped my heart out, I adored them.

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  4. I have to agree, I think the romance and the people involved in it didn't have enough time or pages for me to fully invest in it. I agree that the more enjoyable relationship was the one between Raphael and Benny. I love these kind of relationships.

    great review,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. Exactly Juhina! If there's going to be a romance, I want to spend time with them so I can actually feel something for the two of them and root for them as a couple:)

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  5. I am unsure, have I seen this one around before? Dunno

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    1. It released several months ago, so you've probably seen it around:)

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  6. I haven't heard of this one, but I'll probably skip it. I'm not a huge fan of books with a too-large cast of characters I can't really get behind. Still, wonderful review, Jenny!

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    1. I would have liked it with just 3 or 4 key characters Keertana, it was hard to keep track of everyone and their individual abilities.

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  7. I haven't heard of this one before, but it sounds like the type of book I've been stuck reading recently. I really don't like it when a story jumps around too much and I can't actually become invested in a character's story arc. I think that would bug me too much. But, as always, you've made it sound like it's still worth a read. Wonderful review, Jenny :)

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    1. There were things I definitely liked about this one, and Jordan is one of the sweetest people ever, but I needed the number of POVs to be lessened so I could settle in a bit better:)

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  8. I was really disappointed when I couldn't join the tour for this one but after that I never really bothered to get the book. Why? I have no idea. Regardless I really like the idea of this but I like you like to meet my characters better. Great review Jenny :)

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    1. I'm curious to see where book two goes Tanja! Maybe there will be fewer people to follow after and it will work better for me:)

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  9. Bummer this wasn't quite all it could have been, but you do get like +193845123 points for using the phrase 'pique our curiosity'.

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  10. I thought I'd read your review for this ages ago...? Must've been hallucinating! Anyway, I've generally read mixed reviews for this and I don't think I'll like it. I don't like books that feature too many characters and the romance doesn't sound great either :( It's such a pity since I really like the premise!

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    1. Hahaha no you probably weren't. I had a tour stop for this one a while back, but I held on to the review for a while and just now had time to get it up on the blog!

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  11. I had a hard time with this book because of the thing you mentioned about the characters. It was so hard for me to get into the book and I always like to connect with my characters, but this wasn't the case with this one. Anyways, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it despite the confusing characters, Jenny!
    Lovely review! :)

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    1. Yes, you and I are much the same Nick! I need to feel connected to the characters, and there were just too many to keep track of that I didn't end up caring for any of them except Raphael and Benny:)

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  12. Jenny, glad you enjoyed the story. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book.

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    1. I'm curious about the next one for sure Savy! Such pretty covers on these books too:)

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  13. New follower :)

    Love the blog name!

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  14. I just love books about kids with superpowers. Back when Hunting Lila came out, I really wanted to read more of them, but there weren't that many. So every time a new one comes out, it totally feels like my birthday.
    It's too bad that the characters took away from the plot, but I'm still curious enough to give this a try.
    Gorgeous review as usual, Jenny!

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    1. ME TOO! And I adored Hunting Lila:) I liked the supernatural aspects of this one and the kids' gifts, I just wish there were fewer POVs.

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  15. I agree with you wholeheartedly. It wasn't a bad book, but no real connection. I mean you got to enjoy some characters, but it was almost impossible to really get a feel for any of them. That was my biggest complaint. You said it so well!

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    1. Exactly! I want to get in the minds and hearts of the characters (in a non creepy way obviously), and there were just too many in this one for that to happen.

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  16. I don't plan on reading this one... no one seems overly excited about it. The book seems to have some great ideas but it just doesn't work. If you can't get along with the characters than what is the point?

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    1. I'm thinking about trying book two in the hopes there will be a greater character connection, but we'll see:)

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  17. I agree, I would have loved to have seen more focus on Rayne and Gabriel an their relationship, and poor little Benny. I will probably read the second book though, just to see what happens. Great review Jenny.

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    1. BENNY! *dies* He was my very favorite part of this book:)

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  18. This sounds interesting but like a lot of first books the world-building and character introductions sounds like it overshadowed the story. Maybe book two will be better. Great review:)

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    1. I'm hoping book two will improve upon this one, there's definite potential in the world and the actual characters even if there are currently too many of them:)

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  19. I haven't heard enough good about this one to pick it up. I think that all the different characters would get confusing to keep straight. I'm glad you still managed to enjoy it okay though.

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    1. It was at times, and then I also just didn't want to flip to other people, I wanted to stay with Gabriel and Rayne and maybe Lucas, but I didn't need the other 5 people we follow.

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  20. The touch and go feel of this one has me worried. Not to mention a large character cast and switching from past to present. I don't think this one is for me.

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    1. It was a challenging read at times, but I really enjoyed the premise and all the kids' gifts. Maybe certain things will be sorted out in the next book:)

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  21. That is a lot of characters to keep up with. I find it difficult to keep up with a lot characters when they don't distinguish themselves from one another or don't stand out as main characters. The storylines get blurred for me. I lose interest if I have to keep flipping back to remember who is who. I have a copy of this one but I have been hesitant to read it. Still might give it a try, but I'm forewarned. Maybe I'll take notes?

    Heather

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  22. Hmmm...I would definitely be a bit disappointed if I felt that I didn't really have enough time with each character to get a great feel for them.

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  23. I usually just prefer to follow a couple of main characters - rarely do I enjoy books where the story diverts to secondary and tertiary characters too. Still, this doesn't like a bad read overall. The premise is quite interesting to me, but I probably won't rush out to read it. Lovely review, Jenny! :)

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  24. This sounds like a really great premise but the delivery seems lacking. Too bad someone didn't focus the story a little more on the main characters before it went out. Still, people who enjoy plot driven stories may enjoy this. Wonderful review, Jenny! :)

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  25. This was a DNF for me. I did not like the characters and couldn't get into the story. *sadness*

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  26. It's such a shame the character focus was spread too thin, because this sounds like such an interesting premise! I also am disappointed the romance wasn't given more room to grow. Sorry this wasn't the best read. I might still give it a try sometime, but certainly with adjusted expectations. Thanks for your honest review!

    (apologies if this is a duplicate comment, I could have sworn I commented but it didn't show up :D)

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  27. The synopsis sounds interesting so it's too bad that there's such a large cast of characters that the main ones sort of end up getting lost among them. I probably will pass on this but a great review as always, Jenny.

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