(Review first appeared at Goodreads)
Imogen Reiner has a difficult life. Her mom has been in a coma for ten years and her dad is gone. She’s been guided by her grandfather for years to exercise caution and conceal some of her unusual traits from her friends at school and suspects there are a lot of things she doesn’t know.
When her granddad sends someone to live with her and train her and a mysterious stranger arrives at her college and seems to see things about her that most humans can’t, Imogen is caught between conflicting emotions and fear. She has to struggle to figure out who to trust while coming to terms with truths about herself that have been kept from her all her life, such as her ability to read chroma (colors that betray a person’s feelings and level of honesty) and where she’s really from.
I received a review copy through The Book Club’s reviewer group and am so glad that I did. There are a few minor things (verb tense consistency, one or two typos). In a lesser read those tiny points might have stood out more.
As is, the concept for this story is so compelling that the reader is swept up in the story, turning pages late into the night, desperate to find out what happens next. The parts of the story that center on Imogen are intense and compelling, and as a cast of supporting characters is fleshed out her world becomes very real for the reader.
There are sections intended to provide backstory, and while this is done in a way that ultimately intersects authentically with Imogen directly, I wasn’t completely certain the reader needed all of the details, but that’s more of a question of taste. Of course, I was invested in Imogen’s story, and the intersecting history stepped away from directly focusing on that, so I did find myself reading on to get back to her.
I’ve had to cut off my top recommendations for 2018 and start building a list for 2019, but had I read this a few weeks ago there is no doubt it would have been on my 2018 list and my 2019 list starts with this book firmly on top. It is worth every cent and if you love a good action/adventure/sci fi story with some romance this should rise right to the top of your TBR pile.