“The moment I saw Ryland’s silhouette in the window of our old tree house, I knew something was wrong.
Ry was – as he liked to put it – the world’s best hider. This was due mostly to the fact that he was a skinny kid and could fold himself down to practically nothing. A talent he exploited when it came time to do chores, or when anything green appeared on mom’s dinner menu. The tree house had at one time been his favourite place to hole up, but he never went up there any more.”
When two men come to offer Ryland a place at a school in Ireland, Becca is immediate suspicious. Her and her mother have had many visits over the years from people trying to convince them to lock Ryland up, that he needs special care and attention that he wasn’t getting with them. All because he was different. Becca has fought against many of the people who want to take Ryland away because they believe the voices in his head are unnatural.
However these two men seem to understand more about Ryland than anyone else and when they agree that Becca can accompany them to Ireland she reluctantly agrees that this option may actually be good for Ryland. What the pair find out when they reach St Brigid’s is more than Becca could have ever imagined, for Ryland is a Holder, the voices are his power and he is part of a legend which has shaped the holder race for centuries.
I didn’t really know what to expect from The Holders, I thought it would be quite fantasy based and very entwined into a fantasy world. However what I got was a perfect blend of contemporary and fantasy, with a romantic element thrown in and whilst I had my reservations about some parts of the story I really would recommend it!
The story was really great, with a good background into Ryland at the beginning of the book we were pretty much thrown in to the idea of him having these powers, however he couldn’t control them and thats what St Brigid’s offered, the ability to learn control. The idea of the school was given to the reader over a fair few chapters and I liked learning about it from a character who I instantly felt at ease with. Alex was a great character and although I didn’t really enjoy the romance aspect of the book, which I am hoping will be a bit more developed later in the series, I did really like him. Becca herself was pretty kick ass and I really liked her attitude and the way she looked out for her family. She was a smart girl and that showed through most of the book. I really liked Ryland too but he featured a lot less in the book than I expected him to actually and think by the end of the book he was almost forgotten!
The writing was quite fast paced and even the lengthy dialogue was handled well. I thought the background was a bit information heavy in a couple of places but I enjoyed the way it allowed us to be introduced to the other characters. Chloe was a great secondary character but her role in the story was very limited and in places it felt like she was there just to be a female best friend to Becca. I really liked Min and Mr Anderson though and especially liked Mr Anderson and Mr Reid’s afternoon games… however I wasn’t that impressed by the way they were always called by their surnames in the text whereas most of the others, including the headmaster, were called by their first names, that seemed to jar with me a little.
Overall I really did enjoy The Holders, it was a little lacking in something though but I have a feeling its that feeling of unresolved issues which come with the first book in a series sometimes. I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series when it becomes available though and I am hoping my little niggles will be ironed out in the books to come.
The Holders will be released on March 7th by Strange Chemistry. My copy was sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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