Monday, 20 August 2012

ARC REVIEW: Wake by Amanda Hocking

Pub. Date: August 7th 2012
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 309
Readership: Young adult
Genres: supernatural, mythology, sirens

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.
Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different. 
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

I have heard great things about Amanda Hocking's novels. I have yet to read the Tyrelle series but I plan to soon. I'll be honest, the cover of Wake is what drew me in at first but the mythology aspect to it is also what hooked me. I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of Wake.

As much as I was eager to read Wake, it took me a little while to get into. I liked Gemma, I liked Harper, and I liked the other characters but it took me some time to really get into the story. Even then, I seemed to read Wake at a slower pace than other books. It wasn't that I didn't like it, I just had a hard time connecting to the characters. There's Gemma: the younger sister who is driven but also has a rebellious streek to her. Then there's Harper: the older sister who feels almost motherly to Gemma because of a tragedy that happened that took their mother away from them so she was left to basically raise her sister. Harper is over-protective, practical, more mature than most people her age and a little reluctant to live her own life. I still felt something was... missing with all the characters. They had little depth. I hope that was only first book jitters and they will become more rounded as the series progresses.

I also found that the pace of the book was a little too speedy. It was difficult to get a grip on a timeline which probably added to the disconnect to the characters. We know it was happening in the summer but it was really hard to tell how much time had passed from the time Gemma had met the sirens to the end of the book. It left me feeling a little confused.

I will say that Amanda Hocking is fantastic at world building. The sirens were absolutely beautiful but so, so creepy and so, so aggravating that you just wanted to reach in and slap them a few times. The setting she created was beautiful. It was as if you were right there in the water, or at Bernie's Island or the library or any of the other settings in the book.

Though the book has a few flaws, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Amanda spun a unique tale, I'll give her that. I will definitely be continuing the Watersong series!

I liked it

*Thank you to Raincoast books for providing a copy for review in exchange for an honest review!*

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