Monday, November 14, 2011

Hidden, by Shalini Boland

After a life lost in the foster care system, Madison is happy to learn that she has enherited a house where she and her brother can live.  And not just a house, a grand estate, complete with large grounds, caretakers, and resident vampires.  We learn Madison's story as well as the backstory of the vampires, until eventually their paths cross, and romance ignites.

When I saw that this book was marketed as a paranormal romance, I guess I went into it with a certain mindset.  I expected it to be, well, kind of drippy, as many young adult paranormal romances seem to be.  I think in this case, marketing this as a romance is a bit of a misnomer.  The romance does not even occur until quite late in the book, and the story is so rich with action before we even get to the romance.

The story and narrative change with each chapter, in a structure where we alternately learn about Madison and we learn the backstory of Alexandre and the other vampires.  I have to say, of the two storylines, I preferred learning about the vampires.  I found the writing so much richer, luxurious even, with brilliant historical context, and was much more interested in those portions of the book.  I was actually sad when the storyline got the the point where the past had been completely covered, and the focus was solely on the present.

While I thought the character of Madison was sufficiently developed, I much preferred the character of Alexandre and felt much more connected to his story.  The book seemed more focused on him, and as a result, I was more invested in him than in any other character.  Once the book is completely focused on the present, the action does pick up, with a bit of a twist ending.  As this book is the first in a series, I am interested to see where the next book goes, and if I am better able to connect to Madison's character.

All in all, I think fans of young adult paranormal fiction will enjoy this book.  While it may be listed as a romance, it clearly has much to offer across several genres.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author.

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