Friday, 26 April 2013

Review: Revival (The Variants series #1) by Jena Leigh

Revival (The Variant Series, #1)REVIVAL by Jena Leigh

Author: Jena Leigh
Series: The Variant Series
Pages: 282 eBook
Publisher: Self
Amazon: Revival
Release Date: 14th November 2012

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life.

If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is.

After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be... and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe.

Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real.

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

Revival is Jena Leigh’s debut novel and is a wonderful start to the Variant’s series.

Our main protagonist is sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker who is at the bottom of the social ladder after catching her boyfriend in the arms of another girl and reacted in a way not of the norm – she somehow managed to fry everything in the room. Finding out the reasoning behind her unusual reaction was quite interesting because prior to this she had no idea at all she was a Variant, someone with special abilities.

I really liked Alex, she was a thinker who didn’t rush into things which I appreciated, she was loyal and caring and despite her predicament and what she had been through didn’t seem to dwell on it all too much. 

With a mysterious and action-packed plot, the pacing flowed well and kept me entertained and flicking through the pages. The genetic experimentation and the different abilities had me curious and kept me wanting to learn more and seeing Alex learn the truth of her past and what she is was both scary and fascinating, also not knowing who to trust whilst running from a hit man with a creepy ability and a government agency kept up the intrigue.

With an interesting cast of characters you can’t help but be drawn into the lives and emotions of each of them. I especially liked moody and complex Declan, a Jumper (able to teleport from one location to another) who was smexy, sarcastic and at times infuriating, Kenzie (telepath) & Cassie were wonderful friends and Nate (telekinetic) and Brian were sweethearts. Each of the variants were likeable and the villain a surprise.

The romance was there but definitely not a focal point, both Declan and Nate liked Alex but didn’t really act on anything and Alex seemed to still hold feelings for her ex-boyfriend so I am keen to see further progression in the next book; I did like the chemistry and banter between Declan and Alex more than Nate and ex Connor.

Despite my enjoyment, I did have a few minor gripes; the first being the lack of sensory details when it came to the characters reactions – I wanted to feel more emotion from them, the easy resolutions and lack of sensation I felt was missing eg. When Alex was rescued by Declan and moved into the Grayson’s house, she barely blinked an eye and just adapted, each of the characters despite their predicaments didn’t seem to respond as they should – cry, scream, get mad; everything just came too easily, I can get past it because I didn’t mind the way it all transpired but it was missing for me none the less. Also, the story is told from multiple POV's, I don’t mind a hand full of characters but we get more or less all of the characters viewpoints which I felt was too much and too confusing.

Overall, Revival is written very well and is a great start to The Variant series, with an interesting cast of characters and exciting storyline, I am eager to get hold of the next installment. 

Thank-you kindly to author, Jena Leigh for providing me with a copy of Revival.


Jena Leigh
About Jena Leigh: 

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Jena Leigh spent ten years in the mountains of North Carolina before returning home to the lightning capital of North America. A shameless geek, she loves bad sci-fi movies, Skittles, writing cracktastic e-mails to friends and taking shenanigan-filled road trips to faraway concerts. She has a degree in English from Appalachian State University. REVIVAL is her first novel.


  1. This sounds like something I'd love! For the most part, I like these books about kids/adults/whatever that all have different paranormal abilities. The only thing I don't know about is one of those things that bothered you - all those multiple POVs. That gets a little crazy.

    I don't think I heard of this one when it came out - you sold me! Terrific review, I'm off to buy it. :)

    1. Thanks Barbara, it was a nice easy read which I needed after sooo many angsty, drama-filled NA's ;)

      I am easily irritated when it comes to multiple POV's, if the characters name is alongside the chapter number I don't mind so much (this rarely happens though) but when I have to work out who it is, I get a tad annoyed.

      I really hope you enjoy it.

  2. Great review. I have had this sitting on my Kindle for a while for review also. Hopefully, I'll get to it pretty soon.

    1. Thanks Ellen, I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

  3. Sounds like something kinda different than is out there flooding the YA scene these days. I hadn't heard of it! The characters seem cool, but I think them not reacting as *I*/many others would is something that would annoy me, as well. Great review, Sharon!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

    1. Thanks Molli! There were a few YA cliches but nothing I found annoying or over the top; I would have loved more reaction and feeling from the characters and this was my biggest gripe but I did enjoy it overall :)

  4. This sounds interesting, I am kind of bummed that there wasn't enough of a connection, and emotional pull. Lovely review and I think her eyes on the cover are so cool.

  5. I've never heard of this series before but Alex's character sounds like my kind of character. I love an MC who thinks before making a decision. It's too bad that you couldn't feel more from the characters though. I need to feel some kind of emotional connection with my characters too.
    Lovely review, Sharon!

  6. Fantastic review, Sharon! I'm sorry that you didn't feel an emotional connection with the characters, but I'm glad that you still enjoyed this book overall. Alex sounds like a really well-developed character, and I love when two characters can banter back and forth like Declan and Alex must have. Glad you enjoyed this book! You review has me intrigued :)


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