Jul 10, 2013
Author: Marianne Curley
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Source: Bloomsbury, NetGalley
For as long as Ebony can remember, she’s been sheltered. Confined to her home in a secluded valley, home-schooled by her protective parents, and limited to a small circle of close friends. It’s as if she’s being hidden. But something is changing in Ebony. Something that can’t be concealed. She’s growing more beautiful by the day, she’s freakishly strong, and then there’s the fact that she’s glowing.
On one fateful night, Ebony meets Jordan and she’s intensely drawn to him. It’s as if something explodes inside of her–something that can be seen from the heavens. Ebony still doesn’t know that she’s a stolen angel, but now that the heavens have found her, they want her back.
Hidden is a difficult book to rate. It’s the first installment in the Avena series, so I expected a large amount of world building, character development, and buildup. I had high expectations because I have read other works by this author. However, Hidden was excruciatingly slow, the plot didn’t get going until the middle of the book.
That being said, I did enjoy Ebony’s character because she is a tough girl who has been sheltered all her life, and all she wants is to enjoy being a teenager. She was stifled by her parents, and understandably upset by the secrets they kept. Still this story felt incredibly juvenile in the beginning when Ebony throws fits because she isn’t getting her way. The book started off slow in character development, I felt it was more like one action sequence after another, and didn’t allow us to learn about who Ebony was. We only got to see Ebony at her worst, and I wanted to know why I should care about this seemingly selfish child. I did enjoy it more when the plot began to move. Marianne Curley does do a fantastic job of creating a fascinating mythology, and that’s what I appreciate most from this novel.
I loved the idea that there were 4 different realms: Earth, Skade, Avena, and Peridis. Earth is the mortal realm, Skade is the equivalent of hell, Avena is where angels live, and Peridis is essentially heaven for mortals. This was all very fascinating especially where a fallen angel is the king of Skade. Prince Luca was an angel of Avena, until he decided he wanted to be the ruler but ended up exiled to Skade. He was interesting because you could tell he didn’t have good intentions, but he still drew you in.
Jordan was by far the most interesting character. He was entertaining and heartfelt, and he’d lived a hard life, which really made me connect with him. Jordan had the most depth than any other character within the novel. His dad is in prison for life, and his mom overdosed and died when he was seven. Jordan was creating a life for himself until a tragic accident happens. As a result, Jordan is ostracized and nearly dies a year later.
Thane, is the angel that has been sent to Earth to find a missing angel, and he saves Jordan’s life because of a connection between Jordan and this mysterious angel. Thane was a hard character for me to get into because he alternates between being a funny and confident guy, to waffling over how to approach Ebony and get her to listen to him. He also seems to have secrets although it’s clear he cares about Ebony, and what’s to keep her safe.
One of the parts that I had trouble connecting with was the love triangle. When Jordan and Ebony meet for the first time, it is an instant love connection. She stumbles into him at a club and he catches her and then they’re instantly in love. A few chapters later, Thane and Ebony meet, and they lock eyes across a crowded parking lot then they’re also in love. It creates an awkward love triangle, because there is no history, nor any build up of emotion; in just an instant, they love each other. I’m not sure how any of them can be as they haven’t spent any time together. I do hope that there is more character development in the future. The only character that I feel like I know is Jordan, but I would also like to get to know Ebony and Thane. What are her likes and dislikes, and what does Thane enjoy?
Once I had read halfway through the novel, I did really begin to get into the story, especially once the other angels show up, and the plot progressed at a much better pace. My favorite scene is when Jordan finally points out that while Ebony may have free will, if someone is coercing her into making a decision then how could it really be a free choice. I liked that observation, and I enjoyed that Thane had acknowledged Jordan was correct. By the end of Hidden, I did feel like the plot had progressed and I was starting to get a feel for the characters, but I definitely had quite a few questions left unanswered.
I feel that although Hidden has a slow start, there’s great potential for this to become an incredible series. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the next installment, and I look forward to learning more about the characters.
**This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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