Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
For seventeen-year-old Lena, living in the trailer park with the rest of town's throwaways isn't exactly paradise. Dealing with a drunken father who can't keep his fists to himself doesn't help matters either. The only good thing in her life, other than track, is the mysterious man who visits her dreams, promising to find her. When a chair burns her arms, Lena chalks it up to stress-induced crazy. Yet as bizarre incidents escalate, even being crazy can't explain it all away... until one day dream guy does find her. Tarek lost Lena seventeen years ago after she was accused of treason and marked Tainted. He finally discovers her reborn on Earth into a life of suffering as punishment for her crime. However, someone else has already found her... and wants her dead. Willing to sacrifice everything, he fights to keep her safe so she can live the only life she's ever known-even if that life doesn't include him.
Hello everyone! Sorry for not posting at all for the past couple of months but I just took the SATs and life with school has been a crazy mess. I was supposed to get this review up yesterday because it was the deadline given when I was sent a copy to review but I had no time to sit down and read or actually write my thoughts down. Hopefully it's okay to be a day late...Anyway, huge thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a copy to review and let's get into my thoughts:
Lena lives in a trailer park surrounded by a feeling of constant fear. Lately she's been dreaming of a mysterious man who promises to find her. When a chair in a movie theater burns her arms, she's sure she's going crazy. To top that, her drunken father who hasn't left his alcohol behind for years decides to go sober after hearing a voice from God. Tarek has been searching for Lena ever since she was accused of Treason and marked Tainted. He finally finds her on a dimension called Earth, but someone found her before him and is hunting her down. He's willing to protect her to the ends of the world even if it means sacrificing himself.
I've heard nothing but fantastic things about this book, it's literally all over Goodreads. So to say that I went into this book with pretty high hopes is an understatement. Personally, I didn't find this book to be as amazing as everyone else said it was. The plot line is definitely intriguing and the worlds/dimensions/energies that create this story is really cool. However, the world building fell a bit flat for me. While I did enjoy how everything worked, I felt detached from the world. It didn't feel engaging or really interest me very much. There are a lot of things I think that could have been better explained. What we do get about the history of Guides, Protectors, and Wardens feel rushed and unclear which doesn't help with the whole understanding of the book.
As far as characters go, I found myself really trying to connect with the characters, but always falling short. Lena is a strong person who has been through a lot, but throughout the book Tarek always tells us about how beautiful she is, how strong and loving she is, but everything he says falls a bit short. She's definitely determined and very caring towards her family, though I can't extend that to include her father. I guess I wanted more "action" from her part instead of her doing random acts of energy explosions when she's scared. Especially towards the end of the book where everything is falling apart, she doesn't really do much which really disappointed me.
Then we have Tarek. I'm a bit conflicted on how exactly I feel about him. He's very protective and loyal, but he's a Protector so that kind of comes with the job. In his relationship with Lena, he seemed to hold a lot of things back and made choices (like the last one) without conferring with her. It is obvious that he cares about her and I understand that losing someone you love once scares you, but telling her she's strong and letting her show it is kind of different. As a character overall, he's not bad, but similar to Lena, I wanted a tad bit more action.
Other characters include Wilma who I think is awesome. Through her, we get to see the most expression of energy/power that takes place in this book and I would not want to cross paths with her and get on her bad side because she would rip me apart. Then there's Zander who I want to punch for deceiving Lena, but whose motives I understand and don't blame him for his actions. There's also the big bad guy who is just really mentally unstable, but I did sympathize with him just a tiny bit. I mean, if you're all alone in this cold and gray dimension, of course you'd want some life and color.
Overall, this book wasn't bad. I feel like that point might not have been made clear. The story is definitely interesting and something that I will look into in the future. This is the first book in a series which is why I hoped for a bit more world development, but it's a nice beginning to a pretty interesting and intense world.
3 out of 5 stars