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Radiant Shadows

Revival (The Variant Series, #1)

Revival - Jena Leigh Going into Revival quite blind, not having bothered to re-read the blurb to trigger my memory for what to expect, meant I was not expecting a fast-paced, smile-inducing, heart-warming thriller that kept me glued to its pages. With a full cast of loveable characters, an interesting mythology involving a genetic mutation and a secret government agency, and the suspense of an increasingly dangerous threat, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Revival!I’m going to be completely honest. I could have disliked a lot of things about Revival - the plot, the world-building, the mythology – and still loved it because of its characters! Alex is the type of heroine I absolutely love to read about! She’s witty and sassy, vulnerable and curious, but she also has a backbone when it matters the most. And she’s a lover of books!Now words, on the other hand…Those she understood.The countless stacks of books piled high in every corner of her bedroom attested to that, as did the half a dozen leather-bound journals she’d filled to the brim with her thoughts and stories.Her best friend Cassie is a pitbull and loyal to a fault – she committed social suicide by sticking by Alex after the whole fried electrical equipment fiasco, and she makes a point to remind Alex that it’s their ex-friends who are missing out. She is also present for most of the plot! Can I get an amen for a best friend who, you know, is actually with the heroine for the dangerous stuff, being best friend-ly? Declan has a tortured, bad-boy exterior, but his insides are all warm and fuzzy – his smug grin never failed to put a smile on my face, especially when Alex wiped it off his face with a show of her growing powers.Alex wasn’t sure what it was about this guy. Declan seemed to be bringing out a side of her that, before tonight, she hadn’t even known existed.It was as though he’d somehow managed to light a fire inside of her. A fire that was now slowly starting to consume her, transforming her as the blaze grew brighter, searching for new ways to shine through.Sure, he was driving her half-crazy in the process with his obnoxious attitude and that damned cheeky grin…But Alex’s growing desire to prove herself to him was forcing her to be far more brazen than she would have, normally.And the rest of Revival’s misfit group – Nate, Kenzie, Brian and even Aiden – all added to the family dynamic that had me falling in love with them all individually, but even more-so as a whole.Fortunately, Revival didn’t need to rely on its awesome characters, because almost everything else was awesome too! Surprisingly, considering they’re on the run from a Variant with some murderous tendencies for most of the book, Revival was really funny! I had so many laugh-out-loud moments, that I had to stop jotting them down or my whole book would have been highlighted!Declan, meanwhile, just stood there, a statue amidst the chaos, staring into the open refrigerator Judging from the intensity of his gaze, the secrets of the universe were hiding somewhere behind the orange juice and would be revealed to hum if he simply glared at the container for long enough.She was also quick to note that the man staring down at her was built like a god, with wavy, dirty-blond hair that came to his shoulders and eyes the color of jade.Cassie was starting to wonder if all the guys in this new world of Alex’s were destined to be so ridiculously attractive.The mythology surrounding the Variants was fleshed out enough to satisfy my curiosity, but left enough holes to keep me in anticipation for the sequel. I loved learning about the history of everyones’ parents, and their work with a secret government agency to combat threats as only they could – with their special powers of teleportation, telekinesis, element manipulation and mimicry (among other things).Declan risked another glance toward their assailants and raised his eyebrows in surprise. Nate had created a barricade out of the parked cars, piling them on top of each other until the wall of automobiles stretched from one side of the garage to the other.Sometimes, the things Nate proved to be capable of scared the hell out of him. Flinging two-ton cars around like they were bath toys happened to be one of those things.While I would have liked to learn more about Alex’s abilities, why she was a “freak amongst freaks,” and what had happened during the year Nate spent in Seattle, the information I did get gave me a certain understanding that has since fuelled my desire to learn even more about thier history!The only issue I had with Revival, and the only reason it’s getting four-stars instead of five, was because I found the ending to be slightly anti-climatic. Finally face-to-face with the man who held her friends hostage, threatened the life of her aunt, and who had been working tirelessly at kidnapping her (for reasons unknown), and he lets her walk away. Umm…what?! And the big showdown between Alex and the agency? Also disappointing in its lacklustre.Regardless, I still loved Revival. I’m quite sad to say goodbye to these characters, but I look forward to the day we can meet again!