by Becca Ritchie
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Release Date: October 19, 2008
Series: Wynter Chelsea
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: Paperback, 384
Rating: 5/5 (Avg 4.5/5)
Four hundred years ago a creature descended upon the Earth. The supernatural hunted innocent lives wanting blood and vengeance. Two families, the Wynters and the Chelseas, knew of the darkness that reigned over the world. For thousands of years they hunted and killed to protect those who knew nothing of the dangers.
Amanda Chelsea vies to be a part of the Wynter Chelsea legacy, constantly craving the thrill of a lifetime that her older brother, Jack, and the two Wynter boys experience. At seventeen, Amanda’s passion to fight is overwhelming, and she cannot come to grips with why the boys are protecting her. Abilities are cast upon the new generation of Wynters and Chelseas, only in hopes of guiding them to vanquish the impenetrable creature. Even as Amanda Chelsea receives the power of empathy, feeling other people’s emotions, it brings more harm than a vital potency. Through the turmoil in New Jersey, Dustin Wynter is the only one able to relate to Amanda with a similar gift. As Jack’s rage boils over the edge, Dustin must put the pieces back together and hold the legacy up with a shaking arm and a quirky brother by his side.
When the world couldn’t seem to become anymore dangerous, both parents of each family go missing. Now with no choice but to bring Amanda along, she finally is able to fight without hassle, but is it worth it? Is the disappearance of the ones she loved a price that she has to pay for her dream to join the legacy? Traveling across the United States, the four young adults must confront their hidden emotions and ultimate reason for living.
I went into this book pretty much on blind faith because of the lack of reviews online, but I couldn't really say no when (1) the synopsis of the book was so intriguing, and (2) the author was so courteous and sweet. After reading the book, I was glad I decided to go with it.
This book was completely amazing. There's action from the very beginning and it doesn't let up until the very end. There's demons and other creatures around every bend, each different yet just as evil as the last. When the action lulls, you're still completely swept away learning about Amanda, her family, friends and the history of the Wynters and Chelseas. Throughout the entire story is the mystery behind the disappearance of the parents, which is never strayed from in any way. There's also a bit of a romantic interest sprinkled in there as well.
Every once in a while, I would get a little frustrated with Amanda and her choices. They seemed a little irrational to me. But as I was reading and saw the way she was raised and treated, I eventually came around to understanding why she reacts that way that she does. I can't say that I wouldn't do the exact same things if I was in her place. Her relationship with Dustin makes my heart swell so much. Both Amanda and Dustin love each other completely, depending on one another as much as they consider one another when making decisions. They complement each other perfectly. As a matter of fact, I think all four of the kids are very complementary of one another - though not as much as Amanda and Dustin. Jack is definitely the big brother type that has to juggle that with being a leader as well. Sometimes he struggles doing both at the same time, but his decisions are definitely leader-worthy. And Trevor is just ... Trevor. He's definitely the jokester, but can be more serious if the situation calls for it. I think he was one of my favorite characters, aside from the two leads. You don't see much of the parents, but you can feel their presence throughout in different ways.
I honestly can't tell you whether I thought this book was more character- or plot-driven when you have so much of both. "Chock full" doesn't even begin to describe how much action, history and intrigue there is in this book. Yet, it doesn't feel overwhelming at all. Becca did an incredible job at writing the story. You never feel frustrated by everything crammed into the book, nor do you feel confused because everything is explained in its own time in the book. I think the part that blows my mind the most is the age Becca was when she wrote this -- fourteen. Incredible, right?
This is a book that has flown under the radar for long enough. It's one of the most highly recommended YA paranormal books that I've read this year. Once you finish, you'll want more... and thankfully you won't have to wait because Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity is already out and available for purchase!
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