Becoming by Raine Thomas

12135131.jpgEvery three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.

As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family.

To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human.

Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.

Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — Ooooo, this is going to be another hard one to review.  Yet again, I had mixed feelings about this baby.  I was actually sucked right in from the beginning and thoroughly enchanted by Amber and Gabriel.  The book started off really strong in other words.  I was intrigued by Amber’s mysterious power build up, and what it could mean, and what it would do, and I just felt so many emotions in the first bit of this book.

Even Amber and Gabriel’s relationship had me so enthralled.  Sometimes it’s not quite as much fun when the love is found so quickly in the book and you don’t get quite the same build up, but I did enjoy the build up that we got.  I seriously swooned over Gabriel’s obvious love for Amber.  And he was just so adorable, and gah!!  He was definitely a book stealer, I adored his character right until the very end (but I will get to that).  And I could totally feel their chemistry with each other.

Then we got to about the point where they left for their trip to Alaska, and it felt a little like where I expected the book to go just didn’t follow.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I guess I just lost a bit of what was sucking me in.  It’s like we were bombarded with a TON of information all at once, but at the same time I still wanted to know what her “Incidents” were caused by.  We sort of got an explanation, but apparently it wasn’t what I was looking for.  We also started getting into the heads of a lot more characters, which I don’t necessarily mind, but by the time I got to the end of the book, I felt like Amber and Gabriel’s story was a bit shortchanged, you know?  Like if they were only going to get this one book, then I wanted more time in their heads.  But I guess that was all the story they had to tell.

I did THOROUGHLY enjoy the action-y type scenes (both in Alaska, and then later in the Estilorian plane).  I was intrigued with the abilities that we were shown, and it had me on the edge of my seat.  And while I was leery of how the story would progress once they reached the Estilorian plane, I was so completely satisfied with the Amber and Gabriel part of the storyline that I was a happy camper.  Their love had me grinning from ear to ear, and I was so happy with how that all worked out.  Again, Gabriel was just so SWOON!!!

On the other side of the coin, there were a lot of descriptive moments in this book, and that’s not something that I’m personally much of a fan of.  (from her hair and makeup and clothes to the appearance of the guest houses, that kind of thing)

And then there’s the world building.  On that I am truly torn.  I loved the unique paranormal world that was built, but holy shit (excuse my language), it was kind of overwhelming.  Mostly just all the names.  There were *9* classes of Estilorians.  And quite frankly, I had a hard time keeping them straight.  It was just too much.  I ended up losing interest because I would become a bit confused at times.  But at the same time, some of the stuff was really cool, you know???  GAH!  I’m so freaking torn!!!!

So my final assessment??  This will tell you: I bought the box set for the 3 Daughters of Saraquel books, b/c I am definitely intrigued and want to learn Olivia and Skye’s stories.  So regardless of all the little niggles, I was definitely sucked in enough to want to continue, and that says a lot since I don’t have a lot of time to spend on books if they aren’t intriguing.  And I wonder if the next two books might even surpass this book b/c they won’t be mired down in that initial world building, you know??  Fingers are crossed.  🙂


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