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Arson (Arson #1) by Estevan Vega
Release Date ~ May 4, 2010
StoneGate Ink Press
E-copy received from author for blog tour
ARSON GABLE FEELS LIKE A FREAK. HE CAN CREATE FIRE. HE NEVER ASKED FOR IT. HE NEVER WANTED IT. BUT HE CAN'T SHUT IT OFF.
Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. After years of living in fear, he will be forced to confront his haunting past and embrace the unknown as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Edgy, realistic, and breathtaking, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated teenager with unimaginable ability, is set to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.
Arson sounded so completely different from other YA books I've read that it instantly drew my interest, and after seeing the positive reviews other bloggers had given it I knew this was one I just had to try out for myself.
I was pleased to find a unique book which is able to take some familiar ideas (mutant teenager with a power he doesn't want and can't control very well) and still embark into new territory. And while it isn't flawless, it's a very quick read which is a great choice for those looking for something a bit more eccentric than your typical YA fare.
- A deliciously creepy beginning:
Guys, what's better than a book that starts up by completely creeping you out? Things are so messed up and mysterious that you keep reading because you're like, I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING, why is everything SO WEIRD?! And Arson COMPLETELY delivers in this area - especially with Arson's secretive past and the arrival of a new neighbour- a teenage girl who always wears a mask so that people can't see her face (not even her parents). Masks just freak me out (I watched that movie, The Strangers, years ago and I was terrified by all the random masked people popping around everywhere *shivers*)
- Secondary characters who drive the story:
Um, I kind of hate to admit this but I was less than enchanted with Arson. But EMERY- that was a character I could get behind. I think Arson confused me more than anything, because I had a hard time understanding his motivations and character, so Emery really stole the show for me. She admittedly creeped me out at first, and well, most of the time with her mask but she was just a lively character, with so much dimension to her. And I loved that she wouldn't take crap from anybody. She's a little bit broken, but not weak by any means.
- Complete with an adrenaline-pumping ending:
My heart was just POUNDING by the last few chapters as the story just completely took off in a different direction. I knew it was slowly being angled that way, but then BAM, off we go! I really don't want to spoil anything, although it isn't really like we know too much but the conspiracy theorist in me was just jumping up and down in excitement because I was so caught off guard and pleased by how things turned out.
And there was definitely so much going on in terms of secrets and characters that I was confused more than once. I was trying to piece together what was central to the plot and what wasn't - and frankly, I really didn't care that much about Emery's parents and I couldn't quite pin down Arson's Grandma, although I found her intriguing. And messed up - I'd really like to know more about THAT history for the book.
So while I really enjoyed the idea of this book, and really appreciated the strong, eccentric characters who aren't cookie cutter stereotypes, I didn't feel that the execution was as strong as it could have been. But overall, still a very good start to an exciting series.
At his website http://www.estevanvega.com/
On Twitter @EstevanVega
Or on his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/estevan.vega
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