Indigo Awakening Paperback – Dec 18 2012
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About the Author
Jordan Dane makes up stuff for a living. She hears voices in her head and considers that to be a good thing. Her stories weave a tapestry of vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Her debut adult book, No One Heard Her Scream, was named Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2008. She writes young adult novels for Harlequin Teen: In the Arms of Stone Angels, On a Dark Wing, and a new series coming in 2012. She lives in Texas with her husband and two very funny rescue dogs.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Sunset BoulevardLos Angeles, California
Lucas Darby stumbled through heaving waves of neon signs and drifting shadows, straining to make sense of the muffled whispers he heard. Drugs had forced him to endure a neverending silence, where even the music in his head had died. But now the voices had emerged and quenched a killer thirst in his soul. Even though he couldn't make out what they told him, simply hearing them brought light to his shadows.
Unable to focus his eyes, he ignored the blur to concentrate on what he heard in his mind. Most of the words were too garbled. The few messages that came from deeper inside him, those words felt like his thoughts, but they were in voices he didn't recognize.
I hear you now. Don't stop.
Even when he let his thoughts reach out, he had no idea who "the others" were or if they heard him. Without drugs to cloud his brain, the voices had returned, and with fresh eyes, he saw the colors, too. Beautiful prisms of fluid light radiated off ghosts without faces. Bodies drifted in front of him in colors that wavered like heat shimmers off hot asphalt.
"Watch where you're walkin', kid."
Lucas got shoved. An old man's face leached from the darkness before it got swallowed by glistening ooze that bled down his world.
He didn't know if he said the word aloud. Even at fifteen years old, speaking didn't come naturally to him. His mother told him that as a baby he hummed a strange melody before he ever spoke. One day, the music stopped and he felt as if he'd lost an arm.
He missed the music. Nothing felt right without it.
Over the years, drugs had invaded his body like poison, but as the meds drained, new sensations finally came. Strong perfumes mixed with body odor and the smell of alcohol, fryer grease and hot dogs wafted on the night air. Images spiraled in front of him. Shapes of people emerged from a rush of colors and made shadowy obstacles as he kept his feet moving on a sidewalk that didn't end.
Don't stop. Stop and the Believers find you.
Lucas didn't know if those thoughts were his. He only knew he had to obey.
The Copperhead ClubWest Hollywood
Rayne Darby kicked back at the bar drinking alone, nibbling on stuffed olives and nursing a watered-down pineapple juice with extra cherries and an orange slice. She scrounged for food wherever she found it. Not because she had to. Three squares and the food pyramid had never been her thing, but her lame excuse for dinner had triggered thoughts of her mom. Her parents would hate how she lived, especially if they knew she had her seventeen-year-old butt in a bar.
But with both of them deadkilled in a private-jet crash five years agothey never knew how she turned out. Some kids might envy that she didn't have anyone waiting up for her and no one argued about the choices she made. Living on her own for the past six months, she did whatever she wanted, whenever. Sometimes she liked how freedom tasted. Now just wasn't one of those times.
Liquor bottles on mirrored shelves were awash in green spotlights with two bartenders eclipsing the eerie glow as they worked. Rayne had moved her bar stool into the shadows near a stockroom. Avoiding the light made her feel invisible. Hunched over her drink with her head down, she wore what she had on earlier that day, not bothering to changefaded jeans, her favorite black Led Zeppelin T-shirt and an old brown leather jacket that was too big for her. Something she'd inherited from her father.
Everything about her said, Don't mess with me.
She'd come to hang with the band, but when a sudden rush of dark wrapped around her mood, she didn't feel like playing nice. She found the nearest shadow and morphed into it. With school out, forgettable jobs by day made the Copperhead something to look forward to...most nights.
Raising a finger, she got the attention of Sam, her favorite bartender, and fished cash from the pocket of her jacket. Sam had given her that squinty you're full of shit look until he carded her last year. She had the cred. Her ID looked totally legit. At first she thought he'd turn out to be a real tool and boot her ass anyway. But after he saw that she didn't abuse the privilege by ordering alcohol, he let it go.
Besides, beer tasted like horse piss. Not that she had firsthand knowledge of that. She only knew she didn't like beer. One night of puking into a nasty public toilet in another bar had cured her of wanting a repeat. After she visited the capital city of Spewcanistan on a not-so-temporary barf visa, she decided to lay off the booze bullet to the brain and make a change in scenery. Here, she felt at home, especially with Sam watching over her like a big brother. The guy turned out to be seriously cool.
"With all the fruit juice you're downing, I'd say you're fully immune to scurvy. That could come in handy if you were a pirate." Sam shot her his signature deadpan expression.
"I'll keep that in mind if I see Johnny Depp."
"You ready to switch up to OJ, live on the edge?" the young bartender asked as he wiped the counter and gave her a fresh napkin.
"Think I'll have the main course. Dose me with spicy tomato juice, straight up."
"At the risk of sounding like I'm stalking you, you want extra celery?" Sam crooked his lip into a smile.
"Good one. LMAO," she said with her serious face. "Yeah, whack me with extra vegan sticks. Thanks."
"Coming right up, moneybags."
Sam tolerated her and never questioned why she racked up frequent-flyer miles at the Copperhead. Even during the school year, she came to hang. The truth was that she hated being alone in her apartment. She needed the noise, but tonight she had more of a reason to show. She knew the band.
Archimedes, Watch Out was a pop-punk band with solid gang vocals, on tour out of Texas. She followed them on MySpace and Twitter and had seen them before at the bar. Austin, the keyboard guy, had a fierce stare online that gave him edge, but in person he had soft marshmallow for a heart. The front man, Dalton, had an amazing voice that would take them far, and Tommy played sweet riffs on guitar that matched his eye-candy good looks. All the guys were totally hot looking. That worked for her. She needed the distraction of being in a crowd with a drool-worthy boy buffet on stage, guys who knew how to dish out a heaping side of decibels.
With a fresh tomato juice in front of herand practically a whole thing of celeryRayne tossed a bill onto the counter for tip money, then noticed her cell phone light up and felt the vibration on her fingertips. She recognized the number. Her jaw tightened as she debated answering. Against her better judgment, she nudged her head to Sam and gestured to let him know she'd be in the storeroom, the only quiet place to take the call. Being a regular had its privileges.
After she got behind closed doors, the music dulled to a belly thump as she said, "What's up?"
Her older sister didn't waste any time pissing her off. "What's that noise, Rayne? Where are you?"
"It's my stereo. I've got it cranked to brain bleed." Rayne didn't have a stereo. "Why are you calling, Mia?"
"Where's Lucas? Is he with you?" Mia got her attention by going full-on parental. If Rayne ever felt the need for drama from another mother, her only sister knew how to pile it on.
"What are you talking about? Why would he be with me? You've got him under lock and key, sister dearest." When she heard only a deep sigh on the other end of the line, she dialed back the smart-ass and asked, "What's going on, Mia?"
"Haven Hills called. He's not on the grounds. They can't find him."
"What?" Rayne slumped against a metal utility shelf. "That's not possible."
"Well, apparently, it is." Mia's voice carried a razor's edge. Typical. "He can't do this. I'm responsible. If you're hiding him, I swear I'll find out."
"Damn it, Mia. Why do you always.?"
She didn't see the point in arguing. Her sister was as flexible as concrete. Rayne had learned that the hard way. Haven Hills Treatment Facility on Sunset had been the home for their younger brother, Lucas, for the past three yearsa real suck fest for Lukebut Mia got off on being in charge after their parents died. The private mental hospital had ties to Mia's employerthe Church of Spiritual Freedom.
I never should have let her take you, Luke.
Losing her baby brother to guys in white coats had broken something in Rayne. Even though Lucas needed serious help, Mia's rushed decision to commit him had shattered what remained of their family, and Rayne had never seen her sister's betrayal coming. She felt stupid. And worse, she'd let her brother down in a way she could never make up for, not when Mia had restricted her visits to him. In his condition, she never could explain, either.
That had been the last straw before she'd moved out. Rayne couldn't fake being okay with her sister using Lucas as a pawn between them. He became the main reason Rayne had put everything on hold. How could she get on with her life when his was in the crapper? Luke didn't have anyone else who really cared about him. He couldn't even look after himself.
She was the only one who loved him the way he turned out.
"Will you call me when they find him?" Rayne grimaced, hardly believing she actually had to ask. Instead of answering her question, Mia had one of her own.
"Will you let me know if he contacts you?" When Rayne didn't say anything, her sister sighed. "Yeah, didn't think so."
She tightened her jaw when the silence between them got too loud.
"Mia, he's my brother, too. Please." This time, her sister had something to say. "If you get arrested for drinking, don't call me to bail you out."
After the line went dead, Rayne resisted the urge to hit something. Nice, real nice. No chance in hell her only call from the gray-bar hotel would be to Sister Buzzkill. Even though Mia knew how to flip her switch, anger wouldn't help Luke.
She stashed her cell in her jacket pocket and headed out the storeroom door. She had to go home in case he called, but if he didn't, then what?
Oh, God. Would he even know how to reach me? Did he keep my number?
Imagining Lucas on the streets of L.A., messed up and alone, made her sick. In her mind he was still a kidand in serious trouble. With everything piled against him, she had no idea how he'd left Haven Hills in his condition, but a worse question screwed with her head.
Where the hell would he go?
When Lucas saw his reflection in a restaurant window, the face of a stranger stared back. Hunger had drawn him to the smell of hamburgers and fries, but once he got a look in the glass, he stopped dead. With bruised smudges under his gray eyes and his tangled hair, he didn't recognize his own face, but he saw something more in his reflection. He'd soon be drug-free for the first time in years, and the electric blue shimmer that radiated off his body had returnedfortified by something new.
Something more powerful.
You're the one, aren't you? A girl's voice came from nowhere.
The sound of her jacked with the hair on his neck and sent a slither of cold down his arms. The way she whisperedfrom inside his earmade him look around, expecting to see her. Her whisper lingered like soft breath on his skinsomething intimate and purebut no one stood next to him.
The one? What are you talking about?
He concentrated hard, listening for her, but nothing came. Hearing her, he felt even stronger, connected to something bigger. The muffled voices reminded him of an orchestra tuning its instruments, but her voice rose stronger above the din like a haunting violin solo. He sensed her in his head. In his body. In every strand of his hair.
Why can't you hear me? With his mind reaching out to her, he pleaded for an answer, but when all the voices stopped, he felt sure that she'd punished him.
Don't stop. I'm listening. You can talk to me, he told her.
The comforting murmurs returned, but the girl stayed silent, even though he still felt her with him. Lucas turned back toward the glass window. He didn't need to see his own reflection to know what had happened.
He felt it.
Brilliant spears of white shot through cobalt-blue and magnified the energy inside him. In blinding glimmers of pearl, the pulsing light made him want to smile, but he didn't. The colors that grew stronger were nothing more than a ticking time bomb that had been masked by the drugs he'd been given to control him.
A countdown had startedand the girl had sensed it, too.
Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.
"What am I exactly?" He said the words aloud, not to her this time.
It wouldn't take the Believers long to realize he was missing. Once they found out, they'd track him. If they caught him, they'd never let him get away a second time. What he'd done to escape them felt like a stupid accident. Hours earlier, he opened his eyes to see he'd hidden in a delivery truck leaving the hospital. Because of the drugs, he didn't remember actually doing it. He'd left the facility without much of a plan, dressed only in slippers and hospital-issued stuff. When the truck stopped at a streetlight, he got out and never looked back.
After his head cleared enough for him to figure things out, he knew he had to find something different to wear. When a drunk, homeless guy took his eyes off his stash, Lucas stole spare clothes and grabbed a handful of coins the man had panhandled and kept in a lidded cup. Now everything Lucas wore stank. He hated it, but he fit the part of the invisibles that haunted the streets of L.A.
Lucas knew his escape had been nothing more than dumb luck, or a cosmic shift of the planets, or some other freak anomaly. To stay free wouldn't be easy. The Believers had money. Lots of it.
Don't trust anyone. No cops. The girl's voice mirrored what he'd been thinking, except for one thing.
Lucas needed to find a phone.
Outside a 7-Eleven, he found what he'd been looking for. He fumbled through his pockets for spare change and the crumpled piece of paper that he'd brought with him from Haven Hillsthe one his sister Rayne had given him with her phone number on it. When he heard the ring, he shut his eyes to picture her face. He wanted to imagine her happy, but that was too hard.
Come on, Rayne. Pick up.
As the phone rang, he tried to remember if the number she gave him had been her cell or where she lived. Soon it would kick into voice mail. A message. He'd have to talk for real and say something. With things screwed up, what the hell would he tell her? Damn.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
'Indigo Awakening' is a truly enthralling first book in a new YA paranormal series by bestselling author Jordan Dane. It follows a group of teens known as "Indigo" kids. They are different from other people - they have special gifts and are the next step in human evolution. Although these Indigo kids just want their freedom and the right to live among everyone else, a group of religious fanatics are determined to catch them and rid the world of their existence. Enter in Lucas Darby - a unique Indigo known as a Crystal - and things go seriously wrong. Will Lucas's sister Rayne, along with her mysterious and gifted new Indigo ally Gabriel, be able to find Lucas in time?
This was a seriously cool book. The description had me interested from the beginning and once I started reading, I was immediately hooked from the first paragraph. The premise and concept behind the book was very unique and intriguing. I loved the history and the story behind the Indigo kids. It was really detailed and I think the level of description really added a lot of depth to the storyline. The characters were all interesting and had their own personalities. I really liked all the main characters - Lucas, Gabriel, Rayne, Rafe, Kendra, Benny - they all added their own touch to the story that made them special to the book.
The plot was very well written and used a lot of cultural references and slang, which made it feel realistic instead of forced - especially with the dialogue of the characters. The writing itself was awesome and the book flowed really well and was definitely fast-paced. It kept me eagerly flipping pages to see what would happen next. Also, the story keeps moving from character to character - for example, one chapter would hop between Rayne, Lucas, and Rafe - so we could see into the minds of all the various characters and their views on what was happening. It gives the reader a bit of inside access to the story that you wouldn't normally get with just one defined narrator POV. Overall, this was a really enchanting and thrilling first book in a series that will have readers begging for more. I'm already eagerly awaiting the next book to see where things will pick up and what will happen next. Highly recommended!!
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
This book has been on my wishlist ever since I first heard about it and so when I was asked to review it, by the fabulous author Jordan Dane herself, well to say I was excited was an understatement!
I loved the whole concept and world-building, it was an original story to add to the paranormal genre.
Most of the characters were so likeable in this book, I say most but really the ones I don't like are the 'baddies' because let's face it, that's why they're not particularly likeable anyway.
The main thing I loved about this story was the different feelings I felt throughout while reading it and the biggest one was this big sense of dread, I had throughout the book, I just had a feeling it wasn't going to end well at all for someone and I was right, and I cried it was just so heartbreakingly sad, and I can see why it happened but it was upsetting anyway.
Rayne gets a phone call from her sister one night to say that their brother Lucas has escaped from the 'mental hospital' he's been kept at, on the run he manages to leave a message from Rayne to tell her not to look for him, but being the sister that she is she does anyway and while on her travels to find him she meets a boy Gabriel 'Gabe' whom has some kind of special powers as does Lucas unbeknown to Rayne, Lucas manages to find shelter with a bunch of kids as special as he is, they are called Indigo's, all gifted with different powers and the saviors if you will of mankind, the hospital Lucas was admitted to was a cover for a church organization called the Believers that want to rid the world of these children but not before experimenting on them first.
So the aim for these Indigo kids is to stay off the radar and away from the believers, and with Lucas and Gabe being recognised as Crystal kids (a higher form of Indigo's) they need to group together if they have any chance of escaping with their lives.
And of course what's a book in a series without a killer ending, I sort of had an inkling towards the end of the book, but I was still shocked to have it confirmed either way, and it's cruel because now it's the sitting and waiting for the next book that's going to try my patience.
I loved this book and I highly recommend it.
I realized I wrote a really, really long review... again. Here's a shorter version, in list form! In basic form,
What I liked:
- The idea of Indigo children & the portrayal of their abilities at the end - lots of action!
- The plot was still quick-paced and full of action!
- Rafe's POV was great - his relationship with Kendra, his thoughts, Benny - great!
And not so much...
- Insta-love between Rayne & Gabriel
- SO many POVs to keep track of, and some felt unnecessary
- Sometimes her language was awkward or confusing...
Longer Book Review:
I'm not exactly sure why, but Indigo Awakening just wasn't for me. Theoretically, I should have fell in love with the book - there was an awesome concept, the plot was quick-moving, and there was a lot of action. Still, probably because of the romance between Rayne & Gabriel, I found it hard to finish and enjoy the book, especially at the beginning.
The most glaring issue, for me, was Rayne & Gabriel's initial relationship. It might have been just me, but am I the only one who thinks these quotes just reek of insta-love? If not, they still had me rolling my eyes...*
"Rayne still felt under the influence of her hyped adrenaline, and getting saved had made her plenty grateful, but one thought took root when she looked at him again. He looked... beautiful. Seeing him in the shadows, looking up at her, did a number on her heart - a reaction she fought against."
"Gabriel touching her face felt like the most natural thing. Rayne had a connection to him that she couldn't explain."
"Epic cuteness. Rayne smiled. She felt closer to Gabriel than she ever had before." (This was about 1/3 into the book, and they had met about 15% through, and there were other POVs introduced. My main question was if they were really that close before? Maybe I'm just being picky.)
And this one might not totally be insta-love, but I was still doing eye-rolls afterwards...
"Her eyes triggered something in him - a need. The years of him running hiding, not trusting anyone - they had come at a price that she made him feel".
* I am quoting from the eARC I received through NetGalley.
Apart from that, I found that Dane's writing style was a bit... irkish for me, I suppose. There are some awkward transitions between the text, as well as some misused words here and there. Sometimes Rayne also refers to Gabriel (or vice versa) in strange ways. For example: (and again, I'm quoting from the eARC I received on NetGalley, so this might have been corrected)
"Her bike carried good memories and she needed the positive karma." (Karma is good fate you get for doing good things, not for good memories)
"When Rayne shook her head, the guy named for an angel hit her with a slow smile, another weapon in his arsenal." (For me, the language "named for an angel" and "another weapon in his arsenal" was just awkward :/)
"The whole scene looked like a disaster flick in a cheesy movie." (So it looked like a disaster movie... in a cheesy movie?)
"With tears stinging her eyes, she winced at the kinetic energy that jolted through her body." (Considering the actual physics definition, the use of "kinetic energy was a bit strange.)
Again, these language issues might just be me, and they might have been corrected in the final draft of the book, but this was based on my experience of reading the eARC I received.
There were also a lot of POVs to keep track of, three of them belonging to the villains of the story. I didn't really feel the need to go into the minds of that many villains, and some of the transitions (again, maybe because of the formatting of the eARC) were awkward. I did enjoy Rafe's POV though - the small sneak peak of the next book was actually written mostly in his POV, and I was definitely intrigued!
Despite it all, the plot was still filled with action and was quick-paced (well, when Rayne and Gabriel weren't gazing into each other's amber & grey eyes). Rafe & Benny were also adorable characters, and I loved their clever voices and banter. The last 10 or 15 percent or so of the book was also probably my favorite part - there was a lot of action, at a non-stop pace, and the Indigos' abilities were well portrayed and intriguing, although I wish some of the backstory was delved into.
*Thank you to NetGalley & Harlequin Teen for a review copy of the novel*
The meds have finally left his body so that Lucas can hear the voices and the music that was muted too long. He vanishes into the Sunset Boulevard area after cautioning Rayne not to look for him as she would place herself in danger from the Believers who hunt the "Indigo" teens like Lucas. Rayne rejects her troubled brother's warning as she searches for him on the mean streets of the city. There she meets mysterious loner Gabriel Stewart, who she feels compelled to protect though he frightens her; she scares him with her belief that deep down he cares and worse how much he wants to protect her. Reluctantly Gabe assists Rayne in her quest while the Believers stalk them.
The first Hunted young adult romantic fantasy is a great thriller as Jordan Dane makes her world of special power teens and a Church hunting them down seem believable in an X-Men way. The lead characters and Lucas seem genuine, but it is the fanatics (though somewhat stereotyped) like Mia who make the tale work as they recognize what the Indigo mean to the present dominant species.
In Indigo Awakening, the first book in the Hunted series, Lucas Darby has escaped from Haven Hills, the local mental hospital where his older sister, Mia, has been keeping him locked up, supposedly for his own good. Lucas is an Indigo child, an individual born with psychic abilities. After their parents died, Mia put Lucas in the psychiatric hospital, unsure of what else to do with him.
Lucas’s other older sister, Rayne, has emancipated herself from her sister, unhappy with the way Mia began to treat herself and Lucas after their parents died. Hearing that Lucas has escaped from Haven Hills, Rayne takes it upon herself to search for her missing little brother and protect him from their older sister. Along the way she meets Gabriel, another Indigo child who has visions which he promptly draws. He offers to help Rayne on her search.
Meanwhile, Lucas meets another group of Indigos: Kendra, Rafe, and a bunch of younger children that have been hiding out in the tunnels under the city. The group is hiding from the Believers, a group of adults who are trying to hunt and capture the Indigo children.
This first book was pretty enjoyable, I liked the concept of Indigo children and how they all banded together to help one another out. The novel is multiperspectival so you get to follow the story through a bunch of characters. While this worked pretty well, there are about eight characters or so that you follow, so it was difficult for me to get attached to any one character for too long. Also because of all of the different perspectives, not a lot of time actually passes through the book, which isn’t bad it’s really just up to your preference.
Probably my biggest problem with this book is the relationship between Rayne and Gabe. When Rayne first meets Gabe, she quickly realizes that he could be the one chance she has at locating her brother, and that gives her hope. That’s fine. What gets me is how quickly she decides she has fallen in love with him. Like I mentioned, not a lot of time passes within the novel, and I want to say she’s only known Gabe for a day or so before she decides she’s in love with Gabe. It just seemed to me like she was taking the hope that he gave her for finding her brother and calling it love when that isn’t really what it is. Just my opinion, other readers might not see it that way.
Gabe was probably one of my favorite characters. He has his own issues to deal with, such as living on his own in an abandoned zoo, on top of being an Indigo child and not being able to control his visions. But the fact that he really does want to help Rayne is very sweet, and he takes a lot of risk to himself by helping her locate her brother.
All in all, I’m giving Indigo Awakening 3 out of 5 controllers. It was a pretty amusing read, but it just didn’t grab me. Rayne’s feelings for Gabe really got on my nerves, and it was hard to really get attached to any specific character because of how often the perspectives changed.
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 3 out of 5 Controllers