4 out of 4 stars
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Adam's life seems to be miserable. He is stuck in a place he hates, with the people he loathes. He fits neither in Piure, an idyllic city somewhere in California where he lives with his parents, nor at school, with a bunch of kids he disrespects. The boy is surrounded by darkness and hatred. Just when it seems like there is no hope for him, he meets Carly, a new girl in school who joins Adam's class. She looks to be his exact opposite. He senses straight away that Carly is somehow special. He can't shake off the feeling that there may be an odd connection between them. He doesn't know it yet, but his impression is right. The life-changing discovery Adam is about to make will turn the boy's entire world upside down.
Opaque: Scion Saga Book 1 by Calix Leigh-Reign is a young adult fantasy novel set in modern America. It follows the story of Adam, a teenager who discovers what his true identity is and what part he is about to play in a war to save the world he had no idea exists. The fantasy genre has become extremely popular over the last few years. Many titles are published every year, but Opaque is fresh and original. It is not just a book about teenagers with supernatural powers. It is a story about growing up, about the feeling of being misunderstood and lost, and finally, a story about acceptance and healing. I was impressed by the author's writing skills and how she develops the characters.
What I liked most about this book is how Calix Leigh-Reign developed the storyline. I was genuinely amazed by how she portrayed the two main characters. I must honestly say that in the beginning, I didn't like this book. I didn't know what to think about Adam. His negativity repulsed me and there were certain traits or behaviors I found disturbing, so I wasn't quite sure what the story is about and how it will evolve. That said, I changed my mind right after Carly was introduced. She felt like the ray of sunshine in the sad, dark life of Adam and I soon discovered that was exactly the author's intention. The further I read the book, the more I was into it. I think it is not exaggerated to say that the author handled the development of Adam's character masterfully, as it was quite a difficult subject. I also liked how all plot threads come together as the story expands. Some details, that in the beginning may be seen as insignificant, turn out to be actually important. That made the storyline even more interesting.
It is also worth mentioning that Opaque seems to be professionally edited. I didn't find any grammar errors or spelling mistakes. I feel like there are very few inaccuracies, but they are of minor importance and didn't affect the reading experience, which was smooth and pleasant. I liked the language used in the book. It is descriptive and engaging, which certainly helps to create the ambiance for the story. The style of dialogues is less formal and because of this, very natural. The author uses words that make the characters more approachable, as many of them are teenagers. I also appreciate that she decided to put in the dialogues some Russian sentences. It helps to highlight Carly's heritage and the environment Adam was thrown into.
I was fascinated by the world that Calix Leigh-Reign created. I can't think of anything that I would strongly dislike. The only thing that caught my attention would be when Carly finds out that before they met, Adam has committed a serious crime. He finally confesses to her, and she reacts as if everything was all right because she knows people that did worse things. That was slightly out of character but doesn't change my feelings towards this book. There are also a few scenes that put Adam in a very negative light. For example, when Carly finds a part-time job, he acts very possessively. On other occasions, he has some very dark thoughts that I found a bit confusing (for example, he constantly refers to all his schoolmates as „animals”), but I think it was helpful to show that the main character has come a long way to change.
As I mentioned before, Qpaque is addressed mostly to young adults. It contains sexual content and some delicate subjects such as violence, kidnapping, and torture, so I wouldn't recommend it to very young adolescents or readers who may be sensitive to these issues. There are nearly no profanities, as there is only one curse word in the whole book. I think it would be a great read for older teenagers and anyone who likes this genre. I'm not a young adult anymore, but I certainly wasn't bored reading.
I happily rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. An interesting plot and great development of characters are what I exceptionally liked. The supernatural thread gave me slight X-men vibes, but I'm a big fan so it's a pro. I enjoyed discovering the world of Descendants alongside Adam and Carly. I can't wait to read the rest of the saga.
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