Thursday, January 17, 2013

Revival by Jena Leigh Will Have You Wanting Her Next Book, NOW!


The stars line up perfectly in Jena Leigh’s YA paranormal adventure Revival. The cover is beautifully done. It bares a certain quality of intrigue that is just the right amount to entice any interested reader. The gal looking at you is Alex. She is a Variant that is capable of a surprising ability that has all characters in Revival guessing. Jena Leigh will satisfy any X-men fan with her glut of characters that have so much depth to them that it blew me away how she managed to include so much material in Revival. Jena Leigh is a great example of a self-published author who has a series that is capable of drawing in a large fan base. In my opinion it’s the variety of characters that readers can pick as their favorites. I’ve noticed with popular series, fans can talk endlessly about their favorite characters and background stories that the author’s provide. All characters form this web enabling readers to discuss and create new reasons why they love the books they read. I think that Revival is fully capable of this.



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Summary:

Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life.

If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is.

After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be... and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe.

Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real. 

Alex is a character that goes through stages. First she feels a bit uncertain and lost then goes on a path of discovery when she is told that she is a Variant. Of course this leads to being empowered when she comes to terms with what she is and totally owns it. At the end of the book she was still a tiny mystery to me, but this is good because now I need to read the next book that Jena Leigh has in the works. Alex is definitely inexperienced with her ability and during her training sessions will be seen as a bit green. But rather than be a pouty baby she picks herself up with dignity and always has a silver tongue comeback ready for Declan. Because of the family she has lost and gained in her story, she is a heroine that isn’t cursed but instead one with purpose.

There are so many great characters in Revival it’s unfortunate that I can’t discuss all of them. Declan is someone who I can practically hear coming down the street in his heavy boots. He is resolved and a tad short with people but manages to open up unexpectedly with Alex. He pushes her in every step of her training and with the help of Jena Leigh he is able to explain a lot of the technicalities of being a Variant. Kenzie is Declan’s sister and superb comic relief along side Alex’s BFF Cassie. Nate is portrayed as the leader of the Variant siblings and lives by rules, unless Declan challenges him. Nate is still a mystery to me and yet another reason why I must read the second book.

I appreciated the level of storytelling given by Leigh. She worked in the prior generation of Variants that happen to be the current group of Variants parents in nicely and without confusion. Their story in addition to Alex’s is intense and suspenseful. It reminded me of the short-lived television show Secret Circle. Revival has a certain level of mapped out mystery that will keep readers entertained. The action that takes place in Revival is also good. Each Variant is powerful but when they work as a team you get great detail from Jena Leigh that will enable readers to imagine great scenes from Alex, Declan, Kenzie and Nate. LOVED the car scene on the freeway and the parking garage. No spoiler’s here folks. You’ll just have to buy a copy of Revival for yourselves.

I really enjoyed this book. It had just the right amount of everything. It had action, mystery and a beefy plot that I want to read more of in the second book. If you are a comic book lover I feel Revival will satisfy. It does have romance but not at the level that most YA books do, which I was pleasantly surprised by because not all YA books need to go there. Jena Leigh provides enough of a strong story that’ll have you vested in her characters. Her characters do seem to be building on something in the future though. If you have never taken a chance on a self-published book I strongly recommend Revival by Jena Leigh. If this book were on the shelf today at a bookstore it would be featured right along with popular YA titles and you’d never know the difference.


Revival will be available to purchase through Barnes and Noble and iTunes next month around Valentine's Day according to Jena Leigh's Blog. So keep an out.

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