Review of Concealed Power by KJ Colt
From the start this book introduces us to the main protagonist, Adenine, and her mystery affliction. This of course catches your attention as a reader and has you reading the next page and the next and the next in the hopes you’ll soon learn what keeps this young girl’s parents from letting her outside at all. Written in first person we see this new world from the eyes of a young girl desperately afraid that she will pass her fatal illness on to others. I found it immediately appealing that the author began this book with a great mystery surrounding the main character because any progress towards finding out the truth, for the reader, makes for an active story even when the scenes themselves are not necessarily active. I like a book that is moving forward more than it’s standing still and found this to be the case with Concealed Power because in addition to the mystery affliction, Adenine’s merchant parents are leaving for an extended time to travel to distant markets to gather goods for their store. Adenine is to be cared for by her fun-loving Uncle who, as relatives go, seems to spoil her a bit when her parents are away. If you read like I do then your mind starts to wander, wondering what kind of trouble Adenine will get into. But what can she really do as a girl who could pass a potentially fatal contagious disease? You’re then drawn into the story even more.
This author’s style and talent of writing did not hold me back as a reader. The writing and perspective is realistic for a young girl of 10 years old. And the characters of her parents and uncle can be felt and believed even within the first chapter. Adenine’s disease coupled with her uncle’s very apparent sickness adds even more drama to the story and more depth to the characters. While at times I felt the descriptive nature of this story is a bit drawn out for my taste it doesn’t necessarily take away from the story nor did it keep me from pressing on. The drama in this book then spikes very quickly with a unforeseen twist that gripped and held my attention. The actions of the characters during this twist are fast-paced and believable, and this all from the perspective of a 10 year old girl.
K.J. Colt did a great job, in my opinion, capturing the attention of her reader and carrying it through to the end. You can feel the emotion of Adenine as she deals with this betrayal and the troubles that follow. You feel for her and her family. Three-quarters of the way through the book it started to drag a bit for me, I thought some of the details could be condensed and there are a few typos and/or awkward, inconsistent phrases but again they don’t in any way take away from the story or the book as a whole. They’re merely minor glitches when the rest of the book works.
I really appreciate the variety of characters we meet in this book, like Klawdia the warrior woman from a different country, Adenine’s mother and their “maid”/friend of Adenine’s. The dialogue is believable and the characters offer the reader a real sense of self, so-to-speak. Their personalities are distinct and show that in life our stories are made richer by the people around us. Even the less than savory characters have their place. However, with respect to her encounter with the king, it didn’t feel as believable to me and the overall scene fell a bit short. Actually, everyone’s encounter with the king was a bit off for me. As I said the last quarter of the book has more hits & misses than the majority of the story and sort of slows the pace of reading as it’s not as interesting because it seemed to change the “feel” of the story. Then again, I think this is to be expected in fantasies especially those that are series and follow the life of a young person growing up. I also think that this author’s ability to write makes this more acceptable. If anything these awkward scenes for me could have just been more developed, they almost feel sort of rushed.
All in all, the story as a whole is well-developed as are the characters. They embody real personality in a fantasy world, but fantasy that’s not so far fetched you can easily take yourself there as it is easy to follow. The nature of the girl Adenine and her…ailment are a bit strange but keep you reading. How does one come to terms with such a reality? With everyone getting wrapped up in the drama, the trouble, you’re left wanting to know what happens all together not just with Adenine. Which brings me to the fact that the author also has a series that revolves around Klawdia. This is a nice treat if you are interested in learning more about this unique woman as her background is shown to be a bit complicated, could be a good spin-off indeed. I will say I didn’t really like the list of characters in the beginning of the book, it seems more appropriate for the end.
This is a good story. It’s dramatic enough without being absurdly graphic (as I think the nature of this tale could be in the wrong hands 😉 ). I will be reading the next installment and look forward to learning more about Adenine and friends, as well as how the next stage of this story works out. I think that this story progresses at a nice pace for the most part, is well-written and easy to follow. The story has dimension, the character’s have depth and the trajectory of this series holds promise. People who like fantasy, coming of age tales, and heroic, strong, and courageous women will fully appreciate what this book has to offer.
Cheers & Happy Reading!
To know more about KJ Colt and her work visit her website. Click on the thumbnail of the cover at the top of the page if you’d like to pick up a copy. Oh and don’t hesitate to mention how you found out about her and her books. 😀