Friday, February 17, 2012

Becoming (Daughters of Saraqael #1) by Raine Thomas

Becoming (Daughters of Saraqael #1) by Raine Thomas
Publisher: Iambe Books
Release Date: July 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Source: Author



Goodreads Summary:
 Every 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.




My Review:
When it comes to Young Adult Fantasy, it really doesn't get better than Becoming. To say that I was blown away would be an understatement. I wasn't just blown away, I was swept away. I loved everything about Becoming. It was charming, fresh, innovative. World-building at it's finest. Truly, a beautifully crafted story with lovely characters, settings, raw emotion and a powerful message. In this book, love truly does conquer all. And I'm not only talking about romantic love, but love for one's self and for our fellow man. There is an underlying theme in this book that without respect, love and understanding, you really can't go anywhere in life. And I really loved it!

The romance in this story was incredibly refreshing. There are no love triangles. No instantaneous love. The love shared between the main characters, Amber and Gabriel, is a love that is nurtured overtime, grown out of mutual respect and admiration. They are friends first and fall in love later. The only hurdles in this love story are the personal insecurities and doubts of each character rooted in their complex backgrounds. The love in this story felt very real and it was very sweet. Amber -who is the female lead in this book- is a very strong young woman, who is unassuming and very funny. Her main struggle being her general distrust of others due to not having a stable home for most of her childhood and being moved across several foster care homes for most of her life. Gabriel, the male lead in this book, is more of a gentle spirit, strong but more comfortable around others. He is a true gentleman and really is the perfect balance to Amber's more distant nature. I loved that Amber and Gabriel felt very real, the dialogue for both of these characters was incredibly believable and truly authentic to how people sound like in their late teens.

When it comes to world-building, I thought that Becoming shined. Why? because it was really creative, intelligent, and complex. In Becoming instead of having angels, fairies, vampires, or wolves, we have a new type of being introduced to us. They are called The Estilorians. In this book, the humans are not aware of their existence; even though at some point in time, humans and Estilorians shared the world. The difference between the two being that Estilorians have a slight different appearance, special powers and react different to emotion while humans don't have any special powers and are more emotional beings. Eventually, The Estilorians have to separate themselves from the humans and become the stuff of what human myth and legend is based upon. And from here on, the book delves and centers itself around the myth about the daughters of Saraqael, an Estilorian and we soon discover new truths about our main characters, the Estilorian world and people, and their battles.


But above all, my favorite part of Becoming is it's study on emotion. Each character in the book has a very particular personality and struggle. Whether it is being too distrusting, too logical or too fearful and when you add the lack of emotion that characterize the Estilorians you have yourself a quite fascinating read on how the lack or excess of emotion can affect any culture (human or not). Also, I felt like this book centers around how dangerous the fear of the unknown can get. How it can devolve into cruelty, coldness and jealousy even. And considering how fleshed out each character in this book is, both primary and secondary characters, the reader soon finds themselves absolutely captivated and invested in each characters emotional struggle and journey to overcome what main issue plagues them.

I definitely can't wait to read about Olivia and Skye's journey in book two and three, in the Daughters of Saraqael series. Because like Amber and Gabriel, they were also quite interesting and lovely characters to read about it.

My advice: Read this book. It has everything you want in a Young Adult fantasy/romance novel. It is packed with adventure, love, creativity, insight, and humour. Becoming is truly captivating from start to finish.

My Rating: 5/5

12 comments:

  1. Awesome Awesome review!I loved Becoming,also Central & Foretold.They each get better n better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Happy to hear that because I can't wait to read Central & Foretold!

      And thanks so much! So glad you liked my review :)

      Delete
  2. Great review. I haven't heard to much of this one. So glad to hear it's good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, it was really good! And thanks :)

      Delete
  3. I love it when read a review of a book I haven't already seen posts for on every other blog, and I'm really surprised I haven't heard of this before because it sounds fantastic! It's nice to see that this story introduces us to an original type of being and that the characters feel realistic. Adding this one to my TBR list immediately!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! So happy to hear that because it was such a good read :)

      Delete
  4. I have heard great things about this book and your review convinced me even more, Jennifer! <3 Awesome review, glad you enjoyed it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Celine <3

      And yay, so glad to hear that! Becoming was awesome! :)

      Delete
  5. Oh wow this actually sounds really good! I haven't heard much about it but no insta-love and love triangle definitely sounds refreshing! I love that cover too it's very eye catching! Lovely review Jennifer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. It's incredibly good. I really loved how different it was. And thank you, Giselle :)

      Yup, no insta-love or triangles. It was beyond refreshing and the cover is even lovelier in person. Very pretty!

      Delete
  6. This is the first I've heard of this book... It sounds great! The fact that there's no insta-love or triangles is highly attractive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? I loved that it had no insta-love or triangles because sometimes those type of romances can be extremely tiring to read about.

      Yes. This book is really good. It's very unique :)

      Delete

I love comments so feel free to tell me what is on your mind :)

This is an award and tag free blog, though I am always incredibly flattered when someone thinks of me.

Thank you for stopping by and have an awesome day <3