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Becoming (Daughters of Saraqael Book One) Paperback – November 2, 2011
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"...great potential to do something amazing in the young adult market."
-The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Move over Edward, Jacob, Peeta and Gale, there's a new hottie in town."
-Unreality Book Blog
"Here's a book that will rock your world, make you smile, and keep you guessing."
-Chelsea Fine, bestselling author
About the Author
Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning...two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and young adults with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. When she isn't writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida's beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.
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Even Amber and Gabriel's relationship had me so enthralled. Sometimes it's not quite as much fun when the love is found so quickly in the book and you don't get quite the same build up, but I did enjoy the build up that we got. I seriously swooned over Gabriel's obvious love for Amber. And he was just so adorable, and gah!! He was definitely a book stealer, I adored his character right until the very end (but I will get to that). And I could totally feel their chemistry with each other.
Then we got to about the point where they left for their trip to Alaska, and it felt a little like where I expected the book to go just didn't follow. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I guess I just lost a bit of what was sucking me in. It's like we were bombarded with a TON of information all at once, but at the same time I still wanted to know what her "Incidents" were caused by. We sort of got an explanation, but apparently it wasn't what I was looking for. We also started getting into the heads of a lot more characters, which I don't necessarily mind, but by the time I got to the end of the book, I felt like Amber and Gabriel's story was a bit shortchanged, you know? Like if they were only going to get this one book, then I wanted more time in their heads. But I guess that was all the story they had to tell.
I did THOROUGHLY enjoy the action-y type scenes (both in Alaska, and then later in the Estilorian plane). I was intrigued with the abilities that we were shown, and it had me on the edge of my seat. And while I was leery of how the story would progress once they reached the Estilorian plane, I was so completely satisfied with the Amber and Gabriel part of the storyline that I was a happy camper. Their love had me grinning from ear to ear, and I was so happy with how that all worked out. Again, Gabriel was just so SWOON!!!
On the other side of the coin, there were a lot of descriptive moments in this book, and that's not something that I'm personally much of a fan of. (from her hair and makeup and clothes to the appearance of the guest houses, that kind of thing)
And then there's the world building. On that I am truly torn. I loved the unique paranormal world that was built, but holy s*** (excuse my language), it was kind of overwhelming. Mostly just all the names. There were *9* classes of Estilorians. And quite frankly, I had a hard time keeping them straight. It was just too much. I ended up losing interest because I would become a bit confused at times. But at the same time, some of the stuff was really cool, you know??? GAH! I'm so freaking torn!!!!
So my final assessment?? This will tell you: I bought the box set for the 3 Daughters of Saraquel books, b/c I am definitely intrigued and want to learn Olivia and Skye's stories. So regardless of all the little niggles, I was definitely sucked in enough to want to continue, and that says a lot since I don't have a lot of time to spend on books if they aren't intriguing. And I wonder if the next two books might even surpass this book b/c they won't be mired down in that initial world building, you know?? Fingers are crossed. :)
Amber and Gabriel discover a love for each other and then find out they are both from another world. Amber has been created to help bridge the gap in information that Gabriel's people have with emotions. They are unable to love or reproduce and require the transfer of souls from certain humans who are dying in order to keep their species populated. Amber's father loved a human and was unable to save her from dying but was able to impregnate her with three daughters before her death and his own. Amber is one of the daughters and the other two tell their story in the next books.
What I really liked about this love story is that it was NOT a triangle. Both Gabriel and Amber loved each other faithfully and continually. It is unusual for a YA story not to include some form of unfaithfulness with the romance and heartache just to make the story "interesting". The love story was beautiful and Gabriel's protection of her body and mind is what I would want form myself and my daughters. I can't wait to see how the other two girls fall in love.
I highly recommend this story and am off to read the next in the series.
Would I/Did I buy it? Yes (2.99)
Would I read it again? Oh Yeah!
Would I recommend it to friends? Yes
When it comes to fantasy, I get confused super quick. Don't know why, but I do. This book was so easy on my brain! It was so beautifully written that I understood everything. This world of Estilorians is by far one of the best world building stories that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. It was alluring, fast paced and adventurous. This story is everything that I look for in my YA books, or should I say books in general. I'm mentally kicking myself for not picking it up sooner. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. I'm sure it will be just as enticing as Becoming.
Oh, and I was just putting my post together and saw this on Raine's website. Estilorian Central, where you can read up on each Estilorian class and what they look like. How frickin cool is that? Raine, you are a genius. I love it!