Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Darwin's Children Books 1-3 Reviews

Can I share the story of how I almost turned down the first book in the series when I got the review request?
I know, right?

Darwin's Children was the second book I received to review for this blog. Not counting a short story which was my first.
Technically with that it would be my fourth, but I gave my first book the "pancake treatment" and threw all memory of it out, though the actual review is still in my archives.

I'm giving my experience with my "forgotten" first review book partial blame for my hesitation when I got the request for Darwin's Children. Another explanation can be found in my review for the book itself: "The cover and description do not do it justice, it makes it sound like a simple story and it is anything but." Apparently I was judging it by not only it's cover but it's description.
As if you don't do it! Really, what else are we suppose to base our decisions on?

Maybe reviews written by other bloggers?
In the three years I've been blogging, Darwin's Children is the only book I ever bothered looking into what other readers said about. And I still don't know what unnamed source made me do it then. I was pretty ready to respond with a "Thanks but no thanks," but, again, something made me hold off on a response.

And I'm so glad I did.

So let's review the books I've been reviewing since the beginning three years ago.

Sept. 9, 2011
I 'm not sure why but the last couple of weeks I have absolutely loved the books I've read. I don't know if it's just the books alone or something has been triggered in me that has made me enjoy reading as much as I used to. Either way that's good news for Darwin's Children.

Darwin's Children (Volume 1)Darwin's Children (Volume 1)
 My rating 4.5 of 5 stars

Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!

Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.

As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of...

Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!

Before I say anything else I'd just like to throw out the disclaimer that when I really like a book I can't always list what I liked about it so I tend to go on about what I didn't. 

And as I wrote that I couldn't even think if there actually was something that I didn't like. Well except the cover (which I've read around that I'm not the only one that felt this way about it), I just don't really like it when they put people on them, I like seeing the characters my way and this is a little too in your face. Oh and the description does not do it justice, it makes it sound like a simple story and it is anything but. (I used it because I can not summarize without giving too much detail or not enough.)

I really really liked it, the way all the emotions are describes is amazing and I know I said a couple of weeks ago that all stories are the same, but I've yet to read anything like this.

I loved the main character Jaycie, in the beginning she actually kind of reminded me of a friend I had in high school so I don't know if that helped me develop a connection with her, but there was definitely a connection. I don't even remember the last time I felt any type of connection towards a character in a book, especially one that I just started reading about.
That's true for all characters Haylee: I can't even describe what I felt towards her. And then there's Matt, he wasn't even a main character but I liked him so much it surprised me.

The way the story progresses is so great with most books the major conflict is introduce so early that it feels like it drags on or it takes a few hundred pages for anything real to happen. But with this nothing really major happens for awhile; we're just getting to know the characters and that's alright. And that's a good thing since there's actually so much going on with the characters that it does require explaining. And then of course we get to the major conflict and it's pretty much a force yourself to stop reading situation.

I hadn't even realized that it's been so long that I've enjoyed reading something as much as I did Darwin's Children, it got to a point where I couldn't even stop reading.

Jan. 6, 2012
Unnatural Law (Darwin's Children, #2)
Unnatural Law by Natasha Larry
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Jaycie Lerner’s psychokinetic power surge is over, and her astounding powers are under control for the time being – sort of. As she struggles to maintain her humanity in the face of the awesome terror and responsibility of her abilities, she also yearns for the chance at a normal life – and a relationship with Matt Carter, the best friend she had to leave behind. But Matt’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, and he’s not about to give up on his feelings for Jaycie. As Jaycie and her family grapple with the day-to-day routine of trying to keep their world together, Jaycie’s mother figure, Allison Young, endures a personal crisis of her own.
The superhuman blonde possesses the physical equivalent of Jaycie’s awesome psychic power. So evolved, at ninety-two she still looks twenty. But what good is extended life when everyone else around her is so fragile? With no one to share her unusual life, she’s a uniquely lonely woman yearning for the romantic love she sees all around her. But in a dream she gets her wish – and it quickly turns to a nightmare for everyone else in her life. The memory of a rose is all she can hold onto in the storm of obsession that nearly sweeps her away. Things quickly turn deadly for the vampires, but the Dey-Vah Guard fairies refuse to acknowledge there’s an imbalance in the nature they protect. As the danger gets ever closer to Jaycie and her family, the race is on to find answers before a secret plot can destroy them all.

While reading I kind of wanted to find something to dislike about it.
Nothing big just a little something for me to shake my head at.
Why? I really don't know; I'll just do that sometimes.
But I'm happy to report that I found none.

The writing feels so real as do all the characters.
I'm trying really hard not to make this sound like the review I wrote for Darwin's Children, but really my feelings are still the same. Maybe just a little amplified.
From the beginning I felt myself getting caught up in the story, which again I've yet to find any other to match it. And I doubt I ever will, it's such an original story with... I want to say true to life characters but that doesn't even begin to describe them. There's something so comfortable about them.

Jan. 17, 2014
Common Descent (Darwin's Children, #3)Common Descent (Darwin's Children #3) by Natasha Larry
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Eighteen-year old Jaycie Lerner’s telekinesis is finally in check – too bad levitating a picnic table is now a workout. Not to mention her previously dormant telepathy is back and raging out of control. As she struggles to manage her frightening power, the Dey-Vah announce they will soon reveal the supernatural world to the human race. To make matters worse, people start dropping dead all over northern Alabama. Then, a mysterious new enemy emerges.

Jaycie must elicit the help of the world’s only master vampire slayer and an assassin who converses with the voices in her head. Strengthening the Core is the only way to protect mankind from the coming vampire army, and that’s not even their most dangerous threat.
Jaycie and her family face their darkest hour when an innocent young girl serves as a pawn to form a deadly Alliance. The perfect vampire, Lilith Bradshaw, becomes an eye-opening example of how far the Alliance will go to serve their own destructive ends. The world around Jaycie plummets into darkness, and betrayals from the past threaten to undo them all.

I'm gonna say my reason for not giving it the 5 is because certain characters {cough cough} Matt, would start explaining things that would leave me tilting my head going "huh?" Also contributing to my confusion was the fact that I couldn't enlarge my text so anyone looking over my shoulder would have probably thought I was reading the fine print of something.

But this just proves that amazingly awesome things come in small fonts. Or large, whatever size you do read it in.
The minute I started reading, everything just came flooding back to me and I immediately started trying to come up with words to explain why I love this series so much.

It stands alone when it comes to other books. I can't even imagine trying to find one that compares. And the characters! There's just something that makes you want to embrace them and never let them go. When I started the series, I'm pretty sure I said what drew me to Jaycie was that she reminded me of a friend I had in high school, while true then, over time she stopped being a reminder and is now just a character that I love for her alone.

This one is different from the previous two, we get so much more from everyone. And get answers to questions we didn't even think needed to be asked. There's also some interesting plot twists in this and I can not see where things go from here.

Like I said above, it's just something special.

July 2, 2014
Conclusion: it's original and the characters are true to life awesomeness.

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