Hidden (Avena #1) - Marianne Curley
Rating: 4/5 stars
Ebony has always known that she is different. Her violet eyes mark her out, and her protective parents have kept her in a gorgeous valley, home-schooled, safe from everything - almost as if she's being hidden. But she's changing: glowing, getting more and more beautiful, and stronger than anyone knows. Ebony can't stay hidden for ever, and when she meets complicated, intense Jordan, something explodes inside her - something that can be seen from the heavens; something that changes everything. Ebony is a stolen angel, concealed on Earth. Now the heavens have found her, they want her back. (Description from Goodreads)
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I really enjoyed reading Hidden. I’m a fan of angel books, but have a hard time finding new ones to actually pick up, even though I know they’re out there. So when I was given a copy of Hidden I hoped it would be an angel book I’d fall in love with. And it definitely gets double thumbs up in my books.
The moment I opened the pages of Hidden I was intrigued. Main character, Ebony Hawkins, is going through a strange time. She feels like she’s way too different from the people around her, and her parents won’t seem to answer the questions she has about herself. Enhanced hearing, sight and smell, amazing strength and an ability to run a lot faster than anyone else at school makes Ebony determined to not be the focus of attention in any way possible. But after a stumble literally pushes Jordan Blake, a guy from Ebony’s school, into a wall, Ebony finds her life changed in unbelievable ways. I didn’t know what to think about this beginning. Ebony and Jordan are so different both in personality and presence. Ebony is tough and determined. She defies her parents to claim some sort of independence and keeps this need to be in control of her actions throughout the entire book. Where as Jordan came off as the weaker of the two characters. He just never seemed to get it together. Their differences made everything stand out more.
I found the beginning of the book was a bit slow. Ebony and Jordan, despite going to the same school, don’t know each other when they first meet, which makes things a little tricky because a fair bit of the novel involves both characters searching for information about each other. From a reader’s point of view, we pick up on the clues a lot quicker than the characters do – Ebony and Jordan, unfortunately, suffer from cluelessness for a lot of the book, but I sort of enjoyed being in the know before them. It made all the revelations that much more exciting.
I liked the split POV because it meant we got to see more than just Ebony’s story – even though she was the most important character in the book. If we hadn’t been focusing on Jordan too, we wouldn’t have been introduced to most of the angel side of the story. I really liked the mystery that surrounded Ebony and her angel connections. Stolen at birth and hidden on earth, Ebony’s history is unknown. I was desperate to find out why she’d been taken and who from her previous life would save her. The angel and demon storyline (even though it wasn’t completely “demon” like) gave the book an extra danger. Though some aspects of the angel history seemed brushed over, it still made the story very interesting.
The romance in the story was a neat little twist. I went into it thinking the focus would be entirely on Ebony and Jordan, as main characters with shared POV and narration...then Thane entered the scene and I was all: Jordan, who? Thane is amazing. His feelings for Ebony were obvious from the start and I waited impatiently to see what would come of them. Despite Ebony’s apparent connection to Jordan at the start, I couldn’t ignore the attraction that came from Thane, or the way he stood out as a presence in the story. His role was so important. Thane really made me smile.
I loved that the ending was a mix of action, mystery and closure. I’m dying to see Ebony learn to fight a bit more – I want her to join in the action. And I definitely won’t say no to more Thane! Can’t wait for book 2.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)