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Jera's Jamboree

I’m an avid reader, loving nothing more than expanding my microcosmic world. I enjoy escaping into all sorts of worlds through reading and also love to challenge my opinions and thoughts.

Hidden - Shalini Boland I really enjoy reading a story that encompasses two different timelines. To me, this makes it much more interesting. We know there is a connection and the intrigue is in trying to work out how they connect. Hidden is no exception. I loved reading about Paris in 1881 and the two families journey to Turkey. Alongside that, I also loved reading about Maddie in the present day. Each timeline has its crisis point until the timelines merge.

The characters are brilliantly portrayed. The leads, Maddie and Alexandre just took up residence in my life and I couldn’t stop thinking about them, even when I wasn’t reading about them. Maddie is so down to earth and caring despite the trauma of her father leaving during her mum’s pregnancy with Ben … and then her mum’s death when she was eight after which she spent so many years in care homes and foster care. She still has a fear about the world she lives in but it doesn’t paralyse her – she is a very strong character. Alexandre is HOT. Scorching hot! Besides his physique, there is a lot to endear him to the reader. Boland lets the reader right into his psyche and it’s interesting to watch his arrogance in 1881 and then his vulnerability in the present day. The characters on the periphery are all solid. I didn’t like solicitor Vasey-Smith from the very first moment he entered the story and even though he did everything right for Maddie I sensed something underlying in his character. He was way too smooth…

Alexandre and Maddie’s love is very refreshing. Maddie’s feelings begin with awe, change into anger and hatred and finally develop into something stomach churning and bone melting (in a good way!) Despite the depth of her feelings there is also an innocence about it all. Their relationship doesn’t get started till quite a way through the story and I’m so looking forward to seeing how this develops in the second book.

The environment is very apt for a paranormal read. The estate in Tetbury is isolated with only the Morris’ as caretakers for Maddie and Ben. In Turkey, the exploration and then discovery of the underground city is full of tension. Quite a lot of activity takes place in ‘basements’ without light but with shadows. Even when the timelines merge, at crisis points outside of Marchwood, they are full of tension. It’s not all ‘dark’ though as this is balanced by the romance!

Hidden is not your average vampire story. The vampires themselves are not your usual run-of-the-mill type. It’s hard to say why they are different as its all a part of the weave and weft in the tale but it does cause an anomaly, which is quite central to the final crisis. This crisis is very dramatic and nail biting which I loved! The tension, fear, relief, then tension, fear and hope repeated is a double whammy.

Boland’s writing carried me along and allowed me to experience many emotions in this world she has created.

I would definitely recommend Hidden if you like YA, paranormal romance or vampires. Even if this isn’t your usual genre, I think you may well be surprised. At only £1.99 on Kindle (Amazon) at the time of my review, my recommendation is to buy a copy for yourself.