Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review: Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

Title: Harbinger
Author: Sara Wilson Etienne
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Putnam
ARC, 308 pages
Date Published: February 2, 2012
Source: Author/Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn't expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she's going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she's come home. She's even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she's the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can't trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her - and the rest of the world too.

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller.
Words cannot adequately describe Harbinger because the book is an explosion of misleading statements and confusing events. The entire time I was reading it, I was attempting to sort out one clue from the next, constantly wavering between fiction and reality.

Sara Wilson Etienne has crafted an incredible, phenomenal, and radically unique debut that will mess with your mind and open your eyes. It’s part disturbing – it takes place in some future world where cities are full of savagery and scarcity runs rampant – part sexy – Kel is mysterious and dangerous, but definitely has a side of yummy to him – and all-absorbing. Etienne’s storytelling has fast-paced moments, character depth, and a history that is as unpredictable as it is complex.

From the very first page, readers will be taken by Faye, curious about Holbrook, and fearful of what the future holds. The creepy undertones, the nightmares, and looming unknown add this tension to the book that made me furiously turn the pages, desperate for more. The mystery behind Faye and her new Family’s blood-stained hands is ever evolving. One answer only leads to more questions and I was eager to know more.

Harbinger is a bold debut from a hugely talented author. Each and every character has a purpose in the story and wow, is it quite the story! The twists are unexpected and the mystery ever-evolving. Readers will eat it up.

Opening line: My nose prickled with the stench of dead flowers and mildew. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: She locked me in the dark and I said thank you. ~ pg. 52
 And a less creeptastic one:
I wanted the hot breath of night against my skin. I wanted to be touched, but not eclipsed. ~ pg. 146  

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
First favorite of the year!
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 
 
Find Sara Wilson Etienne online:

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9 comments:

Tiffany said...

Harbinger sounds so good and kind of creepy. I've been hearing nothing but amazing things about this one though and I think I'll definitely have to pick up a copy soon. Great review :)

Elodie said...

I'm really glad you enjoyed this one that much Nikki .. WOW, first favorite of the year ? It must be great !! I can't wait to read this one .. Thanks for the fabulous review :)

BookLuvr Mindy said...

I've read mixed reviews about this one. My most recent review I read completely turned me off of this one. But reading your review has me curious again. I'll keep a look out for this one.


Magical Urban Fantasy Reads
bookluvrmindy

SarahS. said...

This book sounds good, great review, also I picked you'r blog for an award! Here it is:
http://wondrousreadings.blogspot.com/2012/02/stylish-blogger-award.html

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Oh, it definitely has a good amount of creepy to it and I loved how original it was. The moment I finished it, I wanted to start again. I plan on rereading my finished copy sometime and I have a feeling I'll discover all sorts of little tidbits I missed the first time around.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I've read some good books, but this one was by far my first favorite of the year!! I loved that it was a standalone too.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I've been a bit out of the loop reading other reviews, so I went into this one pretty blind. But I really loved it. It was way different than I expected, but the writing and the plot is perfect...at least I thought it was. If you have a chance, you should give it a shot.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

The book is fantastic!! And thanks for thinking of me with the award. I don't accept them, as I don't have the time to rightfully make the thank you posts and pass them along, but I appreciate your kindness.

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I absolutely loved this one! I'm so glad to see you did, too. I love it when a book lives up to the eerie premise, and this one totally did. Fab thoughts :)

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