Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Thea, and Lexi have caught everyone’s attention, including the eye of practical Harper. But it’s her sister, Gemma, they’ve chosen to be part of their group. Sixteen-year-old Gemma seems to have it all – carefree, pretty, and falling in love with the boy next door. But her greatest passion has always been the water. She craves late night swims under the stars, where she can be alone yet belong to the sea. Lately she’s had company.
Penn, Thea, and Lexi spend their nights dancing, singing, and partying on the cove – and one night Gemma joins them. When she wakes up groggy on the beach the next morning, she knows something has changed. Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. As she uncovers the truth about her new mythical powers, Gemma is forced to choose between staying with those she loves or entering a dark world brimming with unimaginable secrets.
Wake is the first book in Amanda Hocking’s Watersong Series and having read and enjoyed the Trylle Trilogy this was one of my hot picks for 2012. I just managed to sneak in reading it before the end of the year and as with the previous books that I’ve read by Amanda, I found myself absolutely racing through it, intrigued and gripped by the world Amanda creates and the mysteries of the story.
I’m a bit of a water-baby at heart so was drawn to the premise of Wake and lead character Gemma right from the start. Hocking sets up the story and characters very well and I felt like I knew Gemma and her sister Harper and what made them tick almost immediately. Gemma is a dedicated swimmer, hoping to be an Olympian one day and only truly at home when she is in the water. She came across as sweet and dedicated at the start of the story and quite a contrast to bossy older sister Harper who has assumed a motherly role in the family due to the absence of their own mother. I also liked Harper and as the novel progressed I found that her character really grew on me, particularly as she tries to figure out what is going on with her little sister and why she’s acting so out of character.
The mystery element of the novel is set up from the start with a chilling prologue involving the enigmatic Penn and Thea. Hocking maintains the intrigue surrounding the girls for a large part of the novel as they register increasingly on Gemma and Harper’s radar building to the fateful night that Gemma joins the girls for one of their beach parties. From this point the plot accelerates fast and I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I will say that I loved the mythology surrounding the story and I think Hocking has framed it well into a contemporary fantasy novel.
The romance element to the story is also well done. I liked that both sisters have potential romantic interests and I particularly enjoyed Harper’s relationship with loner Daniel. I’m sure there’s much more to come from him as a character and hopefully from their relationship. Gemma’s budding romance with boy next door Alex is also sweet and I liked the twist that the story put on their relationship.
With a dramatic ending that left me wanting more, I’m very glad that book two in the series, Lullaby is already out! I love the way that Amanda creates new and exciting worlds that exist alongside the one we know and I can’t wait to find out more about the watery world in Watersong.Wake is an excellent start to this new series and highly recommended for readers looking for something a little different in the paranormal romance genre.
Find out more about Amanda Hocking and her novels at: http://www.worldofamandahocking.com/
With thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this novel.