(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I have to be honest… I would have given this book 4 out of 5 stars, if it wasn’t for the romance and my complete lack of belief in the connection between Rain and Jabari. While I did like Rain and Jabari separately, I felt that their relationship was rushed and all of the actual development was taken out in favour of instant!love. (I have read exactly one series of books where the soulmates thing has been handled well).
I did find myself drawn very well into the story from the beginning. The first scene did a really good job of establishing a darker atmosphere around the world of the storyline. And it was pretty awful to see how the world Rain lived in mirrored one of history’s most awful times… but in a modern age, which I thought was shown to be almost as bad.
I did like Rain’s relationship with her little brother. Daktari was really sweet at the beginning and even though I was confused by exactly how much time had passed after the first scene, I thought the author did a good job of showing how bad the life in their ‘zone’ was. While I only got to see what Rain’s day was like, I thought it was shown really well how much strain was being put on them all. By the end of the book, her mother went right down in my estimation, even though I could understand why she’d fallen so deep into depression. I did like Rain and Daktari’s father, even though I didn’t get to see all that much of him. I thought that his care for his children came across really well.
The different abilities that the characters had came across really well, but I did feel Rain was going too close to the line of a character classed as a Mary Sue with how many abilties she had compared to the others around her. While the fact that Cole and his cousin hit on any female they found attractive made for humorous moments, there were too many references to how attractive Rain was for my liking.
Although there were some scenes of tension, it felt like there was very little actual danger that the characters were in. While I thought it was good that their experiences made them more careful and less likely to take chances, everything seemed to go quite smoothly for them… and their powers meant that even the brief moments of danger were handled quickly. With the exception of Zi, none of the others seemed to suffer from any detrimental effects from using their powers so many times within succession of each other.
I am going to be reading the next books in this series… but I hope the storyline will be more of a focus than the romance. The dream Rain has later on sounds really intriguing… but after she decides to tell the others about it, the book skips ahead with no explanation given as to what they actually talk about. And I think this glossing over is a big problem in this book.