Friday, 24 January 2014

Review of Sentient by Kenechi Udogu

Aversion (Book One of the Mentalist Series) was one of the very first books I reviewed on this blog so of course this series holds a special place in my heart. Finally (after too long) I sat down to read book two: Sentient by Kenechi Udogu.

Mastering her Progressive Empath abilities isn’t going as well as Gemma hoped. In fact, months after finding out what she really is, she still has no clue what this truly means. All she can do is wait to see if any new abilities will eventually manifest. Things aren’t going great with Russ either. Unsure of how to handle her Sentient Link with him, she tries to integrate herself in his busy social life but struggles to adjust to her new circumstances.

When she is plagued by recurring nightmares, Gemma realises things are changing and knows she has to do something, fast. The arrival of two sets of strangers in town, both offering the much needed assistance she needs to unearth her powers, escalates the situation even further. Gemma attempts to decipher whose intentions are genuine, but does she have enough time to figure out who has her best interest at heart?


First of all, this series is not aimed at my demographic (I’m a little – not a lot – older than our main character) which means I was sometimes yelling out our main characters for being, well, teenagers. In truth, I think that this author has captured the “teenage” voice very well. She’s created a character who is in a very unique situation and has given her very relatable qualities: she’s a girl trying to fit in, with a crush, and bullies, and an unstable home life. She gets lonely, and frustrated, and sometimes she just wants her dad which is awesome for her character but if I’m honest, her “not technically but let’s be honest he is” boyfriend: Russ, is my favourite. Sometimes you just have to accept the situation even if you don’t completely understand it. That’s our Russ. He challenges Gemma to rise above the angst and the conflict while still being adorably ignorant – he is a teenage boy after all.

Now the adult/adult-figures in this story are the ones that kind of bug me. Not the adult villains, mind you – they’re in a category all their own – but specifically Laura and Gemma’s dad. Scratch that: just Gemma’s dad. I loved Laura. She was untrusting but spunky and definitely had a nice attitude towards Gemma and Russ. She was a “big sister” character which is someone Gemma desperately needed. Now, Gemma’s dad. Paul was not my favourite person. I honestly don’t remember if he was this bad in the first book but was not acting like a responsible single dad – like a responsible adult. I understand that a dad is going to have problems raising a teenage daughter on his own but a lot of the little decisions he made throughout the story really bugged me. He’s practically a disaster magnet.

And speaking of disaster magnets: the villains in this book were bigger and bader than the first book which is what you want in a sequel but sometimes I felt like they were almost too big. There was a lot going on in those 165 pages and most of it was explained but there was a big open door for the next book which, of course, I’m going to read.

And while we wait for that, here are my Random Notes While Reading:

  • And we're recapping the whole first book
  • With a seamless transition into the present
  • I'm glad to see her slip into her new role so well
  • *sing song* I think somebody's jealous
  • Aw Peter you're being selfishly sweet
  • She's being so mean to Russ and all he wants to do is make out with her
  • Ha! She admitted he was pretty
  • Finally someone admits that magical teens still have non-magical homework
  • He, he, tingles
  • I'd watch that fight
  • Couples giving themselves couple names is silly and adorable. I approve
  • Votes for Progressive Empaths!
  • I'm getting tired of Gemma's repetitive nature: "I want my daddy." I understand it but it doesn't bear repeating so often
  • Do you hear the people sing?
  • Golf totally trumps parental responsibility
  • Despite the angst I think Russ is really good for Gemma
  • That is an effective and delicious way to shut someone up. If he did that every time I feel like she wouldn't complain
  • Oooh... Laura. You saucy thing, you
  • There's a blatant gender-war metaphor going on that I didn't notice in the first book. Interesting. Not sure what I think of it (After Note: I think it has loads of potential. We’ll see where it goes)
  • Something about her relationship with her dad really bugs me
  • It doesn't make sense to me
  • Did they all just forget that the climax was introduced?
  • Yes they did. Good girl, Gemma
  • Laura you're so zazzy. You take none of that teenage bullcrap
  • Okay that's a lot of new information to digest at once
  • No way!
  • Okay good, there's no way
  • Be a man!!
  • Oh sweetie
  • Wait, that's it? That felt like a very "not the end" sort of ending

Conclusion: I love this as a teenage fantasy story with a strong romantic plot (my favourite) and if you can put up with the lack of adult supervision, I definitely recommend you read this YA series.
You can buy the book on Amazon here

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