Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Rae of Hope by W.J. May

How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth of the past?

Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan has never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is a very unique, gifted school.

Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her. She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become marked with a unique tattoo (tatù) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatù enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their marking.

Both her parents were marked though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young and never told her. Learning about her family’s past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope for her own life.

My Rating: 5

My Review:
Sometimes, I know exactly what I am looking for in a book. I can think to myself and say, hmm, I could go for a Victorian-style ghost story right about now... I get an idea, and the yearning is there until I can fulfill it. Other times, I will come across a book, not entirely sure what to expect, but upon reading, I realize that this is exactly what I have been looking for. Whatever that was, this is it.
Rae of Hope was one of those books for me. Okay, okay, it wasn't a total surprise. First of all, it has a unique plot, which is not as easy to find in YA fantasy. Not to mention, I have a little bit of a thing for boarding school stories. Especially when they involve something supernatural. But these vague characteristics alone do not automatically craft an amazing story. No, May manages to do that all on her own.

There were so many things that I loved about Rae of Hope that it is a little ridiculous. First, the idea of the tatùs. Absolutely beautiful, and exciting. The description of the markings and the power behind them is nothing short of enchanting. All the different abilities shown really added to the story, and gave a true feeling of a whole community throughout the school.

Second, the plot. Folks, this one is a wild ride. An absolutely brilliant back story (if you read my reviews a lot, you should know how I feel about a good back story) created a great foundation for the novel. There were many twists and turns. Even in scenes that were relatively normal days, I felt incredibly excited reading. Certain parts toward the end? A complete surprise! It definitely kept me on my toes.

Third, Rae herself. I feel like I mention if a novel has a great voice a lot, but character is such an important part of narrative that I can't overlook it. Especially when there is a great female character, and Rae is definitely one of them. She is the kind of person that I could see myself hanging out with and really talking to, which allowed me to feel closer to her during the actual read. I think that is very powerful.

Might I add, I would absolutely love to go to Guilder. Okay, maybe it is a little much that I nearly fell in love with every single male student that was introduced, but I can't exactly complain. They just all had there own thing going on, and it works so well. Maybe the high amount of swoon-worthy males is not entirely realistic, but a girl can dream, right?

On that topic, I would like to add that the romance in Rae of Hope is tastefully done, and unique from a lot of other stories, which is very refreshing to read. My inner romantic definitely approves.

All in all, Rae of Hope is a brilliant start to a series. With everything from casual fun teenage exchanges to incredible supernatural abilities to dark secrets from a darker past, this novel really does have it all. I can highly recommend this book and not even feel guilty if that means I'm asking people to spend money. (It's kinda worth it.) It's the kind of book that sticks with you, so you can make guesses and think about it afterward, and I can't wait to read more.

1 comment:

  1. wow... Im loving that you loved Rae of HOpe! Wait till you read Dark Nebula... mauhahahahhaha :)