I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Five: Out of the Dark by Holli Anderson
Series: Five #1
on August 20th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: the author
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Five teenagers who’ve recently discovered they have magical powers and are living in the Seattle underground feel it’s their responsibility to protect unsuspecting humans from otherworldly foes. Things are going well until Johnathan, their unofficial leader and the boy sixteen year old Paige is in love with, is bitten by a changeling – the venomous saliva causing him to metamorphose into a ravening beast with each full moon. Paige vows that, no matter the cost, she will find a way to cure Johnathan of the evil that has embedded itself in his soul.
Johnathan’s monthly transformation and daily personality roller coaster isn’t the only problem they have to deal with. The Five are also gearing up to face their toughest and most dangerous enemy yet—a powerful and ruthless Warlock who will go to any means, including high school, to build his Dark Army.
There is no specific genre that I will read, and no specific age range either. I enjoy a good middle grade or YA novel just as much as I do adult. I would describe Five as being an upper MG read, even though it is classified as YA. It does have its dark moments, but nothing a mature reader can’t handle. Parents: use your discretion.
The book starts off with Paige discovering that she has developed some new abilities. Her family doesn’t approve of this, and try to have her committed… or something (We aren’t really told about where she was being taken). This all happens in the first couple pages. I was sad that this scene, which could have been really dramatic and emotional, ends up being skimmed over. In fact, the whole first 10-15% of the book seems to be told in double speed. I admit that I almost gave up and passed on the book entirely. It was rushed, and a major info dump. I had a hard time getting to know the characters. There was too much tell, not enough show. Having said that, the book hit a point where I had caught up with everything I needed to know, and the story took off!
So now that the story had slowed down, the scenes developed at a more natural pace. The characters were given more dialogue and I had the chance to finally meet Paige. There was a good balance of dialogue and action, and the dialogue felt natural for kids that age. I loved when they took teasing jabs at each other!
As much as the characters improved after that turning point, I still feel as though I didn’t have enough chance to get to know anyone besides Paige. She easily stepped into centre stage, though did it with modesty. She is likable and genuine, and has a great voice as main protagonist. I’m hoping that the next book in the series will maybe have some scenes from the other characters’ POV. I would love to get a look into what they’re thinking, especially Jonathan! I mean… he gets bitten by a changeling and becomes a dangerous, violent beast! Who wouldn’t want to know what was going through his mind?!
I am very interested in seeing how this series progresses! It has built up some serious potential, in my mind.
He found me wandering around the dark, dilapidated Underground of Seattle, three days after my parents had tried to have me carted away. His dark eyes shone with kindness as he approached me.
Exhausted, hungry and thirsty after not eating for three days, my face streaked with dirt and tears . . . I’m surprised he didn’t take one look at my pitiful state and just keep walking.
“Are you okay?” His dark eyes bore into mine.
I shook my head.
“Are you lost? Hurt?”
I shook my head again.
“Can you talk?” His soft voice spoke of infinite patience.
“Okay. Good. Let’s start with names, then. I’m Johnathan.” His mouth turned up at the corners, revealing a dimple in each cheek.
I stared for a minute before realizing it was my turn. “Paige. I’m Paige.”
“Are you hungry?”
I licked my dry lips and nodded.
“Well, I just happen to have some gourmet food to share. Follow me, Paige.”
The scant light shining down from the century old glass embedded in the sidewalks above didn’t do much to light the way. I tripped every few steps over the rubble strewn everywhere. Johnathan stopped after I almost fell for the gazillionth time.
“Don’t be scared, okay? I’m going to . . . provide some light.”
I raised an eyebrow, unsure what he meant. I sucked in a breath as a small blue light appeared on the palm of his outstretched hand.
“Star-bright,” I said, tears threatening to fall.
“Star-bright.” I was sure he thought I was crazy. “I call it star-bright.” I held my hand out and produced my own blue light.
His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.
“You can . . . you’re like . . . like me?” His voice was barely a whisper.
I nodded. A tear slipped out of the corner of my eye and he reached up and wiped it away. I wasn’t alone. There was someone else like me. We stood, staring at one another, for a dozen frantic beats of our hearts. His smile lit up his face—all the way to the sparkle in his dark eyes. Gorgeous eyes. He let out a short laugh and ran his free hand through the loose curls of his almost black hair. In that moment, mesmerized by his smile, I forgot about my fear, hunger, thirst, and desperate situation. The increasing rhythm of my heartbeat in my ears and the jumble of butterflies flapping wildly in my stomach made all other thoughts vanish.
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