Jun 18, 2013

ARC Review--Hidden by Marianne Curley

Hidden (Avena, #1)
For as long as Ebony can remember, she's been sheltered. Confined to her home in a secluded valley, home-schooled by her protective parents, and limited to a small circle of close friends. It's as if she's being hidden. But something is changing in Ebony. Something that can't be concealed. She's growing more beautiful by the day, she's freakishly strong, and then there's the fact that she's glowing.

On one fateful night, Ebony meets Jordan and she's intensely drawn to him. It's as if something explodes inside of her--something that can be seen from the heavens. Ebony still doesn't know that she's a stolen angel, but now that the heavens have found her, they want her back.

I receieved this e-ARC from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.    

When I heard that the fabulous Marianne Curley was going to have a new release this year, I went a little nutso! I adored reading her time-travel/magic books from years ago. Even re-read them several times since back in that day new reads were hard to come by! Imagine that!  

So when I glimpsed Hidden on Netgalley I attacked and thankfully already had auto-approval from Bloomsbury!! And I was not disappointed! The reviews I've read so far--since this is already released in Australia and I believe the UK--have been mixed. And I can see why. I did enjoy this read a lot! Marianne continues to use the dual point of view between her heroine and hero--although in the Guardians of Time trilogy we had quite a few points of view from the cast of characters--and I still enjoy this because I like to know what our main characters are thinking.  

Ebony is a young teenage girl going through some awkward changes. She's always known she was a tad odd, she is very pretty for her age, graceful and the like and she's incredibly fast and pretty strong too! Add to all that having strange bumps on her back that start to protrude feathers and well, let's just say she begins to think she's more than an awkward teenager.  

Jordan is a bit different himself. After an altercation that left him dying, he is rescued by some angels. In exchange he's to help Thane out on Earth. And it involves Ebony. Thane believes Ebony is the lost angel he's been searching for for years. Trouble is, Ebony needs quite the bit of convincing of what she is.  

This part was a little odd, and yet at the same time I can get where Ebony needs more proof. True, she knows somethings different with herself, but when Thane and Jordan sort of bombard her with facts and details, it's too much for her to handle. Despite the immediate attraction she has to Thane, she just can't trust that they have her best instincts at heart. I first think, okay you know you have wings and other strange abilities and yet you can't believe what these two guys are telling you? That your life is in danger? But then again, these two guys, one she barely knows and another she doesn't yet feels a very strong connection to (Thane) are coming to her with this story that sounds too incredible to be real. But still, I kind of think Ebony should've been a little more open-minded to the idea after all she learned about herself.  

There's a lot of mystery building up in this one. We only get a brief indulgence of knowledge regarding the angels and the planes of existence that they inhabit. There are four with the good, the bad and the in-betweens. There's official names but I can't remember where they showed up in my e-galley nor their names, besides Avena. So some of it's a little confusing still. Thane isn't the only searching for Ebony, in fact there's a whole story behind Ebony and how she came to be on Earth. Prince Luca--our main bad buy--is also after Ebony for his own sinister purposes that involve her having his children. Creepy, right?  

But so much of the story focused on Ebony trying to get used to the idea that she is an angel and that Thane is only trying to protect her. Ebony just has so much doubt and disbelief that there wasn't much for plot building. Hidden definitely has that "first book" kind of feel to it where you have to be introduced to this new world and get the lay of the land.  

As far as romance goes, well, it's complicated. Isn't it always in YA? I feel like YA romance can be more complicated than the adult romance, but I guess because the teen years are pretty complicated! Anyway, there is some sort of connection between Ebony and Jordan. Since Ebony is an angel, Thane thinks it's because she is meant to be his guardian angel. That she has that protective streak to her and Jordan is the one she's meant to protect. Jordan feels an attraction for her pretty much since the beginning, but with all the chaos going on, there's really not time for romance. And then there's the immediate attraction Ebony feels for Thane, like a part of her just knows him even though she doesn't know him. It makes for a complicated love triangle, especially when Thane has a fiancee waiting back in Avena for him...  

Yeah, definitely complicated romance going on!  

But still, I did enjoy this one! I am positively elated that Marianne is writing again. While there's no time traveling or magic in this book like her previous books had, it still has its own unique flare to it. True, angel books can be hard to write, but I think Marianne did a pretty good job. Hers is a different kind of story, instead of focusing on the fallen angel falling in love with a human or something of the like, we have more focus on just angels. Both good and bad.  

Because of mixed reviews, I am not sure I can say this story is for everyone. Naturally, anyone is welcomed to give it a go. I'd say if you're looking for a different kind of angel story then go for it! If you love any and all kinds of angel stories, definitely! But if the whole teen romance thing is getting tiring--love triangles and drama, annoying heroines--you might want to think about it. While Ebony isn't overly annoying like some heroines, she does have her moments where you want to bop her upside the head. But again, I say I kind of understood where she was coming from in those minutes while at the same time wanting to bop her upside the head because I was like, really?!  

Hidden was still a fabulous read! Perhaps I might be a tad bias, since I adored Old Magic and the Guardians of Time trilogy--4 books I HIGHLY, highly recommend--and I don't want to not like this book, but I wouldn't say that's the case entirely. Just slightly! Still, I definitely enjoyed this novel and soooo cannot wait to see where Marianne takes the rest of the trilogy!    

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars    

Hidden releases (in the US) June 25, 2013


  1. It sounds amazing(: Lovely review!

  2. The concept sounds really interesting, sadly with the main character having a lot of self doubt for me it translates into the pace of the book slowing down and taking the reader down the me me me slop.
    Glad you enjoyed it :)
    Lil Berry @ Forget About TV, Grab a Book

  3. I cant wait for Marianne Curley new book, her past books are so lovely and cool.
    Thanks for your review, sounds amazing book :D

  4. Hi Jessica, thank you for your honest review of my new book, Hidden. I'm so glad you liked it and gave it such a lovely high ranking of 4 and half stars! It is wonderful to be back writing again. All the best, Marianne Curley


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