- Paperback: 376 pages
- Publisher: Month 9 Books (13 Oct. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0988340925
- ISBN-13: 978-0988340923
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,271,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Scion of the Sun: 1 (Solar Snatchers) Paperback – 13 Oct 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed Scion of the Sun, not least because Holly was by far one of the better teenage main characters I've read in a while. She was funny, sarcastic and not willing to put up with any rubbish but still finding it difficult to believe that she was actually worth other people's time and attention. Going from no friends to finding both Quinn and Raven at C.U.L.T. and then the people she meets in Eiros (members of the Sorority of the Sun), including Joss, a warrior sworn to protect her she suddenly finds herself surrounded by an amazing array of supporting characters.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Holly starts having "freaky" visions and promptly gets shipped off to a boarding school for <s>freaks like her</s>, ahem, gifted teens like her. I liked that people were split at this school. There were a lot of students there that didn't actually have any gifts or powers, but who were interested in learning about the new age subjects offered there. I think they just wanted to be able to learn to do something like the truly gifted. What was funny was that the people with the real gifts didn't always want them. People always want what they don't have, don't they? Holly wants to learn how to control her visions so she can stop having them and hopefully be out the school by summer.
But just on her first day, school gets even weirder for her. As soon as she visited the innerworld unintentionally, I knew I was going to love this book. It took an already interesting idea and then stepped it up a notch. And that was how the whole story was for me. It just kept getting more and more interesting. We are always finding out something new about the scion or the sorority, and then on top of it all Holly is so sarcastic. She really does not even know how to hold her tongue. I thought it would get her in more trouble when she first got to the school, but people seems almost impressed with her because of it. I liked that.
This is just the first book in the series, so I am not sure if there is going to be a love triangle or not. I love Joss, the connection that he had with Holly was great. I think it even surprised him at the beginning. Scion of the Sun is great. I kind of saw the ending coming, but that wasn't a bad thing at all. I am so anxious for the next book. Nicola Marsh's writing is so descriptive and she makes a story that is addictive to read. I couldn't put it down.
*disclaimer- I got a copy of the book for free in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts.
Scion of the Sun by Nicola Marsh
Book One of the Solar Snatchers series
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
When she least expects it, sixteen-year-old Holly Burton's unremarkable life is shaken to the core. A vision of the mother Holly never knew leaves her questioning everything she believes.
Eager for answers, Holly enrolls at a boarding school for highly gifted students in Wolfebane, New Hampshire. But Holly's complicated life worsens when she accidentally transports to a parallel existence where she's confronted by a dark and ancient evil.
With the help of Joss, a sexy alpha warrior sworn to protect her, and her new BFF, the equally swoon-worthy Quinn, Holly faces her fears and an unlikely adversary in a showdown that is worse than anything she could've possibly imagined ...
What I Liked:
I can't say I've read too many books based on druid mythology... or any, honestly. I'm drawing a blank, if I have. I love all things mythology, and books that are retellings, or based on a myth, are books that I am more than willing to read. Whether I'll like them or not is obviously a different thing. But I feel like there aren't enough stories based on mythology that isn't Greek or Roman, or even Egyptian.
But anyway. I really liked this book! I had a feeling that I would, judging by the premise, and of course, the lovely cover. I was totally sucked into Holly's world, her story, her problems, her situation. Holly is a character that I connected with, and I enjoyed watching her grow. It didn't hurt that the idea behind this book was very unique! Druid mythology isn't so common in YA literature, after all.
Holly is a student at the school for freak - ahem, I mean, the school for gifted students - gifted in the realm of parapsychology. Holly herself has the gift of precognition - she has visions. Other students in this school have gifts such as telekinesis, psychokinesis, clairvoyance, etc. Not every student has a gift, but all students believe in the idea of supernatural abilities.
Holly discovers that she has abilities beyond those at C.U.L.T. (the school). She's the Scion of the Sun - the one who is decided from a deity, who will find Arwen (it's a thing that could bring about immortality or something), and defeat Cadifor (bad guy). All she has to do is learn about this mysterious Innerworld, hone her abilities, start life in her new boarding school, keep her new friends at bay, figure out her feelings for one hot warrior who is bonded to her... sounds easy, right?
Well, it wasn't. Holly handles what is given to her with flying colors. No, she isn't the perfect heroine, but she never gives up. She accepts reality - her situation - and throws herself into preparing to save the world. Holly constantly provides snark and humor to the story. She always has a witty or sarcastic remark - which I love, because I am totally the same way (in my natural state of being, that is). I really liked Holly, which is important, because she is the protagonist and heroine of the story.
The book is based on druid mythology, so there is a ton of new information that must be brought out and explained to readers (and Holly, of course). In all honesty, most of the information went right over my head, but Marsh brings about the information in a way that it's there, but most of it isn't entirely necessary to know. Like, I went through the book, and I still don't retain most of the terms, but as I was reading, things made sense (despite me not remembering some of the druid terms).
The plot is definitely engaging. There is constant action, or slight plot twists, or something that keep readers guessing, or at least interested. I didn't have a problem reading or finishing this book. Marsh knows her audience well - the teenage voice is prevalent and authentic.
In terms of romance... oh gosh. There is Joss, the sinfully yummy warrior bonded to Holly. He is brooding and overprotective - a total alpha male teenager. I like him a lot - I think he is very grounded, and has seen the worst and best of the world. But then there is Quinn, who lives with Holly in the school. He has no abilities, and he doesn't know about the Innerworld or the Scion or Cadifor, etc. I didn't like him as much. There isn't anything wrong with him - I just see him as a friend to Holly.
This book reaches its crux with the final showdown between Holly and Cadifor. Will Holly reach her mom in time? Will Nan make it out of this alive? Who is the girl with the strange eyes? Why does Keenan want to help Holly's mom? Will Holly find Arwen? So many questions must be (and are) answered by the end of the book. And what an ending it was! I'll be sticking around for book two!
What I Did Not Like:
I really only had problems with remembering all of the druid-related terminology. I can't remember most of it - only the relevant terms. And even the relevant terms - like Beltane, or Arwen - I don't really know what they are. I know Beltane is like an initiation celebration for Holly. But Arwen... I have no idea what that is. I don't really know why it is so important (something about immortality?), or why Holly is the only one that can find it, or even what the role of the Scion is.
I'm hoping my question will be answered in the subsequent novels, because I feel like they are very necessary to understanding the series.
Would I Recommend It:
I would! It's a unique novel in YA literature, and I hope it won't be under-appreciated! An excellent start to a new mythology-based series, this is! Even if you're not a fan of druid mythology, or you don't know much about it, fear not! Marsh did her research (really well) for this book. And don't worry about the romance (I hinted at a love triangle). Just trust me! Or read the book. Or both.
4 stars. I will definitely be reading the next book! I hope it is as awesome as this book (or more)!
Holly Burton has been the loner queen of the nerds for all sixteen years of her life. She hadn’t really cared much about standing out. She simply wanted to be a good girl with good grades to please her Nan. But when she gets a vision concerning her mother who abandoned her and a monster, her Nan gets a stroke and goes into a coma. And Holly must enroll in a boarding school, C.U.L.T., to find guidance from Brigit, the principal and Nan’s friend, and have her questions answered.
But by coincidence, Holly gets transported into Eiros, a parallel domain, where the Sun or Belenus worshippers reside. She meets Joss, the warrior who has sworn to protect her and help her, as she finds out that she is the Scion of the Sun who is responsible for saving the world. She must singlehandedly accomplish tasks in order to achieve the final goal. As a big responsibility is thrust upon her, she must learn how to step out of her comfort zone and embrace her duty, and hone abilities that are supposedly innate in her – teleportation, precognition, etc.
Holly has always felt insecure about herself. Students at her previous high school were mean to her and called her names. She never felt like she could stand out in a good way. But transferring to a new school offered her a new start, and there are some who would consider her as a friend. And she will also be somewhat welcomed in Eiros. She allowed herself to open up a little, and she had this snarky attitude in her that makes people laugh. She found that she could actually make friends. What was difficult for her though was having to deal with her obligation.
I saw myself connecting with Holly even though I didn’t really personally relate to her. I could feel her confusion at the start of the book where she’s just starting to find out about things. I felt her fear, and there were even some chilling parts for me that really didn’t sit well with me. I felt her attraction toward Joss and her attempts at rationalizing things. I understood how she couldn’t easily trust the people around her.
Joss was a very confusing guy, but he was definitely attractive. Even when there was another guy in the picture, Holly still chose Joss. There’s just a certain connection between the two of them. I’m not really sure what to feel about Quinn though. Quinn was a great friend to Holly, and he’s making it evident how attracted he is to Holly. But I can’t seem to fully trust him or like him. Maybe it’s because he’s related to Brigit who seems kooky, but Quinn doesn’t seem to be a consistent character. I feel like he has a lot of secrets or something. Maybe I will feel better about him once I read the sequel?
There’s a lot of detail that went into this book that would be best read from the book itself. There were a lot of descriptions about the C.U.L.T. and Eiros as well as different symbols and paraphernalia for the rituals, psychic stuff, and others. There was also a lot of explanations on the history and culture of the Sun worshippers. I think that Nicola Marsh was able to write a unique and elaborate world. I also like how she referred to a lot of other popular young adult books.
OVERALL, Scion of the Sun was definitely an engrossing and interesting read on a fantasy world where certain people have special abilities and some even live in a parallel world. Learning about the Sun worshippers was definitely fascinating. And Holly was definitely compelling me to know more about her and see where everything is going. I think the ending was satisfying, yet leaves more to look forward to in the sequel. I personally like the mystery, the fantasy, the humor, the world-building, and a lot of things that went into this book.
The author's description says she writes "fun and flirty" romance novels for adults as well. I totally can see this.
It's a fun and flirty YA book with your average paranormal-trope heroine who goes to boarding school and discovers she has secret powers.
No vampires or werewolves here. Instead Holly Burton is the youngest female descendant (Scion) of a Celtic Sun God (he whom Beltane is named after).
She goes to a normal boarding school and makes friends with a hot guy...and no...wait...that's part of what was fuzzy for me. The school has classes in crystal-gazing and telekinesis, and at one point the principal is mentioned as having a motivation to help Holly so she can prove once and for all that biokinesis exists...but when Holly tells one of her classmates she can teleport he acts like she's a crazy head.
So how much magic is accepted by the "normal" kids was a bit hard to get a handle on. Meanwhile, Holly's teleporting back and forth between the fuzzy-normal boarding school and another world where her bonded warrior, (boy two in the YA love-triangle) waits for her in order to train her to find the mysterious Arwen and face down evil big baddie Cadifor.
Coolness on the mythology. Not so cool on the training scenes. Firstly, instead of finding aforementioned mysterious Arwen (which Holly reminds herself she has to do at the end of like every chapter) her new scooby gang (Sun Sorority) makes Holly answer questions like "what is our culture" and "explain the significance of Beltane." Don't even get me started on the crystal class back at the boarding school where we learn about different stones and their effects on the psyche.
The whole bonded warrior thing was fun as a love-tension thing, and even though the warrior can read Holly's mind and knows she likes him, he's all like "no, we must concentrate on getting the Arwen and beating Cadifor--no time for love." This kind of blatant faux-impediment usually ticks me off, but warrior-boy is so broody and moody and has a twist in his backstory that causes real troubles with Holly, so I forgave him.
There were also a few places in the prose where I had to stop and reread a few sentences because words were used in a way that didn't quite make sense to me. Wait, don't hate me for being a grammar Nazi. I'm not, usually, but there were a couple places the word choice just didn't quite make sense to me in the way I think the author wanted it to.
The scooby gang is explaining a whole bunch of confusing stuff to Holly and one of them says they "bamboozled" her (which I thought meant "to con")? And then there's the whole "Cadifor's consort" sprinkled throughout the book sometimes referring to Holly's estranged mother and sometimes to Cadifor's evil, male servant. I didn't get the feeling from the rest of the book that Cadifor was bisexual, but maybe I'm reading too much into it.
The romance includes kissing and some hand-skimming of midriff, so elementary school safe.
One of the most fun things is the meta-references to other popular series that various characters make. Harry Potter gets at least two shout outs, Vampire Academy, and even RPatz (read the book to find out who that is if you don't know, you are obviously no lover of vampires if you don't know). And Holly's voice is quite fun when she gets a bit snarky ("The thing I like less than the Lord of Darkness? Blood")
So for a fun and flirty YA boarding-school of special powers with heroine torn between two hot guys flavored with Celtic mythology, this is your book. As long as you don't mind being bamboozled by some of the world building.
This Book's Snack Rating: Sour Cream and Onion Lay's for the cheesy romance with the bite of Celtic mythology in a snackable, but not sturdily built YA paranormal
Holly takes it well, considering that she had only just learned a short time before that people could have 'gifts' and that things exist that she had only read about in books. She jumps right in and tries to learn everything that she needs to learn before she has to save the world
You can see that this is an interesting book just from what I've told you about it, and I have barely scratched the surface! The characters are wonderfully developed and full of personality. The descriptions of the places in the book makes you feel like you are standing there, looking around and taking it all in. The writing draws you in and keeps you hooked, eagerly reading to find out what is going to happen next. The romance is well paced, keeping you breathlessly waiting for that first kiss, that next touch, the heated glances that makes you remember your first love.
Did I mention the Druids? Yes, this story is full of Celtic mythology. It is a nice change for me to read a YA book that has such a foundation in Druid mythology. It really makes for a fun way to learn a little of it, while it enhances the story, making it feel more real somehow. The only very small problem I had with the book is not knowing what Arwen is and why Holly is the only one that can find and use it. I am hoping this is explained in the next book, which I eagerly await.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good story with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting but not too confusing. It isn't very actiony for the most part, I kind of wish there were more danger, but the writing is good enough that it keeps you entertained.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy for review. Regardless, all opinions are my own. I was not required to leave a positive review.