Jan 31, 2013

Tour Stop ~ Review: Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane

Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.

Rayne Darby has had a pretty rough go of things in her seventeen years. She's lost her parents; her sister, Mia, is a snobbish control freak; and her brother, Lucas, has been committed to the looney bin. She's alone, with the exception of her pet iguana, Floyd, and she suffers some massive guilt over the fact that her family has fallen apart. It's only until that fateful night that she goes in search of Lucas, who had escaped from his medical prison, that she meets Gabriel and things begin to change ~ for better and for worse. 

Indigo Awakening is a dark, mysterious, and rather intense read. It draws a connection between what we would consider the paranormal and the science of evolution. It's interesting and unique because we automatically assume that beings with extraordinary powers are fiction, but what if the human mind evolved? There is a myth that we humans only use 10% of our brain power. What if that were true, and we grew to use our brains in their entire capacity? According to Jordan Dane, you'd get Indigos. 
Supposedly Indigo kids had high IQs and were the next evolution of mankind with their special gifts.
But of course, when you have something that folks don't understand, there tends to be aggression. In this case, there's a church ~ a group that others may hesitate to question ~ that plays the role of a coverup for what's really going on. They collect Indigos, do some research and probing, and then discard whatever's left. They are afraid of what they do not know, and this begins a silent war between the "church" and the future of humanity.

Indigo Awakening is reminiscent of X-Men, but it's got its own unique flair. There are connections to the dead, psychic visions, mental bonds, and the fact that these kids are pretty much on their own ~ they live in underground tunnels and constantly live in suspense that they will be found out. 

There are so many characters to fall in love with in this novel ~ although it is difficult to determine which is the focus. The multiple POVs were a little confusing and distanced the characters from the reader. It felt like we were just skimming over the surface, and as soon as it started digging deep, we were switched over to another character's story. There is never a dull moment in this story, but there is so much going on, that it can be difficult to stay connected to everyone. 

BUT the characters do feel genuine and there are some dynamics totally worth mentioning. I adored Rafe and Benny's relationship. Rafe, this bad dude with a rap sheet, wants to be better because of this little boy he considers to be the younger brother he never had. They take care of each other. Kendra, the leader of the group, felt like one of the more dominant characters, but I'm not sure if I like her or not. I admire her strength and wisdom, and while she wants to save everyone, I feel like she's blind and inconsiderate of those closest to her (*ahem* like Rafe, a sweety she obviously loves but won't admit to it). Lucas ~ well... he just plays the role of the domino that starts the whole effect. 

Then we have Gabriel and Rayne. If I had to choose who the main character is of Indigo Awakening, I'd probably pick Gabriel. Like all the young people in this book, Gabriel has a pretty heart-breaking past, something Rayne helps him come to terms with. They meet when Rayne finds herself in trouble, and Gabriel scares her just as much as he piques her interest.
She didn't know anything about him, except that he had a thing for rain, knew how to lie, could spontaneously combust and was a real party animal.
He looked normal - sort of - if she didn't  count his Pied Piper bat entourage and the fact that she could roast marshallows on him.
I really loved Rayne's voice, and I'm a little bummed that we didn't get more of it in this novel. She starts out as the strongest character and then kinda fades into the background. I'm hopin' we get more of her in future novels.

The relationship between Gabriel and Rayne was... Sorry guys, it was totally insta-love. *cringe* For a badass girl who emancipated herself, has a pet iguana, and rides a Harley, I had hoped Rayne would live up to her image, but she immediately went soft and gooey under the gaze of Gabriel's eyes. *sigh* I love a little love, but it felt rushed.

But ya know, even with the insta-love, I found myself rooting for Gabriel and Rayne, their cause, and the group that they've become a significant part of. They have a battle to fight, and hopefully win, and while their spirits falter and they doubt themselves sometimes, together they are discovering that they are stronger than they could have ever imagined.

All in all guys, I'd recommend this one. It's totally action packed, loaded with mystery and unique questions, got a hint of romance, and ultimately it raises the issue of accepting yourself no matter what and fighting for the right to be who you are.

4/5 stars :)

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Favorite Quotes

She needed the distraction of being in a crowd with a drool-worthy boy buffet on stage, guys who knew how to dish out a heaping side of decibels.
Sometimes it did her good to picture Miss Perfect Mia with a ripe zit - ready to harvest - in the middle of her forehead.
Now or never, she flipped onto her belly and backed her way out of the vent shaft. She hoped she looked like a beautiful butterfly emerging from its cocoon, but more than likely, she resembled raw bratwurst being squished into a sausage.
He could've stayed there, watching her sleep, but that would only be torture over a life he could never have. 
The man's eyes bugged out like a pug on meth.
She could be strong one minute but need him the next. He liked that.

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Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty romantic thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She also pens young-adult novels for Harlequin Teen. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan and her husband share their Texas residence with two cats of highborn lineage and two lucky rescue dogs.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

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