Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn
*Beware of spoilers*
17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother – from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland’s “problem” and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.
She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together information about their family’s heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they’ve been waiting for–but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.
I might be on a roll this year. I’ve rated more books 5 stars than in any past years. I’m excited to rate books 5 stars because it means they’re authors to keep on your watch list. I will definitely be keeping up with Julianna Scott. I love her writing style. I was into the story within the first 10 pages. Most often, I’m trudging through useless information. It’s rare for me the be gripped from page 1 and compelled to continue reading the story.
Becca, the lead female character, is a 17 year old physically but she is well past her years emotionally. Her mother fell apart when her father left and since then Becca has kept them safe and together. Becca is intelligent, practical, and she will stand up to anyone if she doesn’t agree with them. She’s got a lot of spunk and fight in her. Empowered lead characters are wonderful and Becca fits the bill.
Ryland is tormented by his power until visitors show up and invite him to attend a school for others like him. Others have tried to commit him and Becca has fought to keep him at home.
Becca is very much a mother to Ryland and she insists on going with him. She was willing to sacrifice her time and possibly her future to make sure Ryland is well cared for. We live in a world of such selfishness; it’s refreshing to find a character who will fight for what she believes in.
At the school, everyone has some type of power. I enjoyed Scott’s lore related to the powers and how they came to be. They range from sorcerer, mind reader, healer, alchemist, etc….and they are taught how to control and use their personal power. Ryland finally has some peace and normality in his life. He loves the school; he fits in well.
Becca has some daddy issues. We get to see her grow and evolve and finally confront the situation. I was so proud of her; it takes a lot of gumption to risk your feelings by letting it all hang out.
I could tell what the plot twist would be but it did not ruin the story for me because I enjoyed the journey with Becca. I was pleased that Chloe and Becca became such good friends. Becca deserves some good things in her life.
Alex works for the school and helps bring in recruits. He and Becca become close. At one point Becca has a conversation with herself, talking her way out of having a crush on Alex.
But she cannot intellectualize her feelings although she tries. Alex is a great guy. I very much appreciated the time they took to get to know one another.
I’m being vague on the plot because I don’t want to ruin the story. The Holders is worth reading!
The character development was perfect. I felt like I knew the characters intimately. It’s a well written book with a solid plot. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.
I recommend the book to young adults and women. There is no sex, just a great story and well-developed characters.