I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Rouge #1
Published by Self Publish on August 20, 2013
Length: 293 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
“You have a fire inside of you.”
Hunter Harrison desperately hopes her guardian Joshua is joking when he confesses – very solemnly – that she is pyrokinetic. Hunter would normally laugh in his face, if it didn’t explain all the spontaneous fires that happen only when she’s nearby. Still, the logic is a little hard for a smart, socially isolated eighteen-year-old to comprehend. That is, until Joshua explains the truth behind her parent’s death.
Spun into a new life filled with cold truth, terrifying wonder and a mountain of responsibility, Hunter faces the flames dwelling inside her. But the fire is more deadly than Hunter can comprehend. It explodes when she’s angry. It erupts when she’s afraid. And, worst of all, it threatens the life of her boyfriend Eli, who is innocently unaware of her abilities.
So how does an extraordinary teenager juggle dealing with superpowers between work, graduating and keeping her hormones in check?
Simple. By fighting fire with fire.
Rouge by Isabella Modra is book one of this new sci-fi series about a young girl who develops has a rather unusual power. Hunter Harrison is 18 and believes that all she has to worry about is finishing high school and going to college, but she’s wrong. After a freak fire at school and home, Hunter learns she not only has the power to withstand burns but she can create fire as well. Her guardian Joshua changes before her eyes. No longer is he the awkward science nerd she grew up with, but there’s a darkness to him, a darkness that frightens Hunter. Joshua wants to protect her, but at what costs?
Where do I even start?! There is so much I loved about this book, but also things that I didn’t care for. Let’s break it down.
Hunter is a very opinionated, smart, young woman, but she’s also hurting. She’s an orphan. Her parents died in a fire when she was little and she’s been raised by their best friend Joshua. Hunter knows Joshua tries, but he’s not exactly the best parent or guardian. He’s cold, awkward, and not very touchy-feely if you know what I mean. So Hunter feels like she has lacked love in her life.
Joshua is a mystery in and of himself. At the beginning of the story I loved him. Here’s this awkward, OCD, professor/scientist who loves his friends and when they die he loves their daughter, though he doesn’t know how to show it. Then some weird things happen. He’s cold, harsh, and has a temper that is just downright scary. So I’m on-the-fence with him.
Eli is the romantic interest for Hunter and well….I just didn’t care for him. He’s a rich kid who has daddy issues. Daddy ignores him, parents are divorced, he cowers to Daddy’s every whim. He’s a vegetarian and avid animal right’s activist. He’s also the nerd at school and the one the bully picks on. To Hunter, he’s handsome and driven and all these other things….
Anyways, he’s just not my favorite character. Hunter idealizes him too much. At least that’s my opinion.
One treat the author does that I truly enjoyed is getting the POV of different characters throughout the story, though she does stick with Hunter and Joshua mostly. I love this little insight into the characters’ thinking.
The story revolves around the origin of Hunter’s powers, her discovering her powers, and her becoming a woman in general. It’s a true coming-of-age story with an awesome sci-fi element! However it moves slowly. Like I mean really slow. The book is divided into 5 parts, and each part is almost like a novella and has a complete story in and of itself, but they all tie together nicely. Part one is the origin story and moves quickly. In fact it takes place prior to Hunter’s birth and tells the story of her mom and how Joshua became her guardian. It hooked me! And I must say I wasn’t prepared for how it moved into part two (but no spoilers 😉 ).
The story really didn’t pick back up until Hunter discovers her powers. There’s some arguing and some training with Joshua then it slows down again and takes a very big detour into romance with Eli. And I’m not even kidding. It’s a huge distraction, or at least it was for me, maybe because of my feelings for the character.
FYI there are several scenes that are for the 18+ crowd and I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger. I was not expecting that at all!!! In fact after reading the synopsis I was expecting a YA coming-of-age sci-fi. Well I was part right, it’s just not for the YA crowd. Sorry guys!
Overall I enjoyed the story, slow parts and all. I definitely recommend that it is for mature audiences due to sexual content and violence! Otherwise if you enjoy coming-of-age stories or a good sci-fi story, then I highly recommend you check it out. I don’t think it will disappoint you. In fact, I’ve already read book two of this series and loved it!!! Be warned though this book is slowly addictive and ends with a cliffhanger that leaves you begging for more.