“Mum has gone out to the barn to get wood. She’s cross because the roof is leaking and our firewood keeps getting wet. Most days since we came to live here I sit in the wheelbarrow and go with Mum, but today I was making my tower and I said no.
So now I’m on my own. It’s Uncle Miles’s house, but we never see him. Dad says he’s like a ghost. Lissy doesn’t count because she’s a baby. A few weeks ago, she wasn’t even here at all. She was just nobody.
The scream comes blasting out of nowhere.”
Fourteen years ago Lissy was taken from her cot whilst she was sleeping. Her mother made a pact with The One who took her, and she was returned. However the pact has damning circumstances and when Lissy meets a mysterious boy on her way back to Hopesay Edge, she is deeply unsettled by his appearance. Larkspur is a member of The Hidden, an elven race who stole Lissy so many years ago. The Hidden have many secrets, many of them buried under Hopesay Reach and before long Lissy and her brother Rafe know many of these secrets, and must try and find a way to break the unbreakable bond their mother made with The Hidden all those years ago.
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of YA fae books. I usually cannot deal with them and give up on them, so when I received Hidden Among Us as an unsolicited proof I thought that I should probably give it the chance it deserves, but expected to give up very early in. When I started reading recently though, I soon discovered that maybe, just maybe, my lack of enthusiasm for the genre was because I hadn’t found the right YA fae book for me. Now, I think I have.
The story is magical and terrifying. It is built up slowly, but its full of suspence right from the start, so whilst the pace is slow in terms of number of pages, the reading is oh so quick. I raced through the first 100 pages and found it hard to stop and go to bed. I wanted to know more, I wanted answers and I wanted to piece together the clues! When I next picked up the book I was so frustrated that I was at work on my lunch break and had to put it down, so much so that I waited until I knew I had enough time to finish it, before carrying on with my reading of it! The story grips you and doesn’t let you go, its beautiful and full of twists and turns which keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through and I really couldn’t get enough of it.
The characters are interesting, they aren’t really anything special but I still liked them. I love the way the book is told from a split perspective so you get to know Lissy, Rafe, Joe and even Miriam, really well. The narrative voices were similar but different enough not to become confused as to who is meant to be talking, and I really, really liked Joe’s voice.
I think one of the refreshing things about Hidden Among Us is the lack of romance. I am not a huge romance fan, I enjoy it as a genre and will happily read contemporary romances, but in other genres as a sub-plot its a bit too over done, it’s like we need romance to carry a story along sometimes. However Hidden Among Us doesn’t contain that aspect really. There is a small bit of romance, and not between the people I had assumed it would be between, but it is built up towards the very end of the book and nothing really comes to head with it. I am really hoping Hidden Among Us has a sequel in the works because if there is I do think romance will be a factor in that, but it won’t be a problem because the natural progression of the makes that understandable.
I really would recommend this book if you are a fan of folklore, elven tales or the fae. Even if you are not and enjoy a good adventure story you will enjoy this book, with its beautiful writing and addictive storyline, I really do think its a keeper.
Hidden Among Us was published on March 7th by Walker Books. My copy was sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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