Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review: The Holders (Holders #1) by Julianna Scott

Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Twitter | Goodreads 

17-year-old Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The abandonment of their father, the so called 'experts' who insist that voices in his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland's perceived problem, Becca doesn't buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland's family, that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what's best for Ryland.
What they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family's heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for. However, they are all--especially Becca--in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.
She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some reason, Becca and Ryland. There's an attraction between Becca and Alex that can't be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However, certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them to be.
Becca is lost, but found at the same time. Can she bring herself to leave Ryland now that he's settled and can clearly see his future? Will she be able to put the the feelings she has for Alex aside and head back to the US? And can Becca and Ryland ever forgive their father for what he's done?

Becca's little brother hears voices in his head, and she's put her life on hold to protect him from well-meaning experts who want to 'help' him.
When the book opens, she's on her way to scare off the latest batch of helpful people. When she walks into her living room she notices a cute young man and a crusty old fart on her couch. She also notices that her mother isn't tossing these guys out the door.
Well, it seems as though they don't think Ryland is crazy. They believe Ryland is not schizophrenic, but actually reading people's thoughts. And after a bit of convincing, they get Becca and her mother to agree to send him to a school in Ireland that can help him control the voices. Becca doesn't entirely trust these guys, so she decides to accompany them across the pond. At least until she's sure there's nothing hinky going on. Also, it seems that her absentee father is one of these special people who teaches at the school, and since he abandoned them after her brother was born, she certainly doesn't trust him.

After they arrive, Becca finds out that Ryland has been prophesied to become one of the greatest Holders of his generation. Unfortunately, there are some strings attached to the prophecy. While the Holders are a race of people who have been endowed with magical abilities, not all of them are good. One Holder in particular has been waiting years for Ryland to come into his power, so he can use him  to complete his plans of...World Domination!
Or something like that.

It was an easy decision to give this one 4 stars.
Because even though I saw quite a few of the twists coming, it was interesting enough that I stayed up late trying to finish it. There's nothing super-duper original about the story, but it's well-written, entertaining, and fun.
I'm a cheap date, what can I say?

I gotta mention that this didn't seem like a young adult novel. Was it because Becca had already graduated from high school, and there wasn't much (if any) teen drama? Or maybe it was because she took off to Ireland in a very adult-like manner to watch out for Ryland? I can't really pinpoint it, but she seemed older than seventeen. If it weren't for the fact that we are told how old Becca is, I'd be tempted to assume she was in her early twenties.
Everywhere I looked online, this sucker is labeled as a YA book, so that's what I labeled it as, too.
God! Peer pressure is a bitch!

Anyhoo,  if you're looking for an urban fantasyish story, you might want to check this one out!


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