Tuesday, 5 February 2013

ARC Review: The Holders (Holders #1) by Julianna Scott

The Holders (Holders, #1)Author: Julianna Scott
Series: Holders
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Amazon Pre-order: The Holders
Release Date: 5th March 2013


17-year-old Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The abandonment of their father, the so called 'experts' who insist that voices in his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland's perceived problem, Becca doesn't buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland's family, that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what's best for Ryland.

What they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family's heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for. However, they are all--especially Becca--in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some reason, Becca and Ryland. There's an attraction between Becca and Alex that can't be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However, certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them to be.

Becca is lost, but found at the same time. Can she bring herself to leave Ryland now that he's settled and can clearly see his future? Will she be able to put the the feelings she has for Alex aside and head back to the US? And can Becca and Ryland ever forgive their father for what he's done?

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

The Holders was kindly provided to me by Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot in exchange for my honest review.

17 year old Becca Ingle cares deeply for her 10 year old brother Ryland, who hears voices; she has always protected him from anyone who has wanted to test or institutionalise him, until two men arrive on their doorstep with an explanation for what is happening to Ryland and provide an opportunity for him to attend an academy based in Ireland where he will learn to control what they say is a special ability, for he is what is known as a Holder and is actually hearing people's thoughts.

Becca sees the opportunity provided but only agrees Ry can go if she can accompany him despite knowing she will be in the close vicinity of her estranged father who abandoned them as children and now runs the school.

Each Holder has a special ability - telepathy, telekinesis, alchemy etc. and teaching Becca about the school and each power is Alex Bray who has the ability to project images on reality, he is also the main love interest.

I enjoyed each of the main characters, Becca was full of snark and tended to react before thinking but she was also caring and protective. Alex was a sweetheart but probably too perfect, this guy was ideal - so calm and loveable and complimented Becca well, his past was really quite sad.

I initially thought the romance was too insta-love but there was a reason for it which was revealed as the story progressed and made the connection between Alex & Becca all the more believable but in the initial stages I thought it was too much too soon.

We get some great secondary characters, some of the Holders such as Mr. Anderson and Mr. Reid provide some welcomed comic relief, Min was a sweet motherly figure and Chloe is a wonderful new best friend to Becca. We learn a bit about the bad guys but don’t really get to see the main villain act out so I’m curious to learn more about him/them in the next installment – Ms. Scott has set the story up nicely and given us enough background information for the next book.

My main complaint with The Holders is the predictability, I was able to guess what was going to happen early on in the book, it was just a matter of reading along to see it all play out - it may also have been because a lot is revealed about the book in the synopsis which doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination.

The pacing flowed well and Ms. Scott's writing was crisp and enjoyable. With a threat looming, I am intrigued to see what is to come of Becca now certain things have been revealed and with a powerful Holder out to control the human race things are looking to get quite interesting.

Overall, a promising start to this new series.

Thank-you to Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot for providing me with copy of The Holders to read and review.


  1. Despite the predictably this sounds like it was a good read. Strange Chemistry offers some unique books.

  2. I love to hear that the characters are well build. To me that is very important. I have to say that even though you say the plot is predictable I am very much interested in checking out The Holders.

    dwayne of Box-n-Go


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