Title: Revival (#1)
Author: Jena Leigh
Published: November 14, 2012
Series: The Variant
Goodreads 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.
The first thing about 'Revival' that got my attention was the quality writing - Leigh has a smooth and natural writing style. I liked it a lot. Her point came across easily and the writing just felt very thought-out and uncluttered. The storyline flowed, having the perfect mixture of intrigue, banter, and the supernatural.
I enjoyed the fun parts as much as the serious ones and how Leigh kept the story balanced between the two.
'Revival' was shortly narrated from different character's third-person point-of-view (but mostly the main character, Alexandra) and I loved it, which I rarely, if ever, do. It gave the story so many layers and I cared to get to know the other characters because they were all so darn likable!
There are many character involved and they're all interesting and substantial in their own way. I was curious of John Grayson's story and enjoyed reading about the Grayson family in general. I even liked the villain because he was so solid.
Although Alexandra and Declan spend some time together and are clearly attracted to each other, there wasn't really more than sweet or suggesting moments, and a pinch of jealousy involving Nathan. It was all innocent and subtle.
As mentioned, I found all characters likable, however, when it came to a potential romance I'm glad Leigh didn't pursue it. The entire book is set over a period of a week. A single week. So it wasn't realistic for any characters to develop feelings for each other.
There were some unexpected twists in the story and intriguing revelations. My only problem was that there wasn't a climax. The whole story just goes evenly. I was sure that no matter how late in the book, something shocking would occur (well, it had to?), but it never did.
The awfully small and short conflict at the very end (regarding the secret government organization) was disappointing, consisting of a conversation, easily resolved by a little talking back and forth. Yes, talking - not exactly what I'd expected.
There are also a lot of unanswered questions when the book ends, threads that's been pulled throughout the story but that still hang loose. I hope the sequel will catch you up and give you more of a conclusive experience when you finish it.
Other than that, 'Revival' was entertaining and enjoyable. Definitely look out for this author.