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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2013
Having been a fan of Marianne Curley for a long time, I was very excited to receive a proof copy of her new YA novel, Hidden. She has the ability to make fantasy, which is a genre that can sound a bit far-fetched or even childish, feel completely real and normal, as well as being the most exciting adventure you've read in ages.

Hidden is the first in a trilogy (yay) about Ebony Hawkins, a sixteen-year-old girl with striking violet eyes and uncanny strength and hearing, who has spent most of her sheltered life safely tucked away on her parent's ranch in a small valley in Australia. She has no idea that this is because she is an angel, stolen from her real parents by the fallen angel or Dark Prince, Luca, and hidden on earth until she is old enough to rejoin him in his realm. Her quiet life quickly becomes strange and fraught when she bumps - literally - into a boy outside a nightclub. Jordan has a dark and troubled background, but after their first meeting and the dramatic events of that evening, they both know that their fates are somehow intertwined. Ebony is a great character, strong, down to earth and realistically - and refreshingly - skeptical of the concept of angels, despite the niggling feeling she's always had that she is somehow different. Jordan is a complicated mix of bravery and vulnerability, and the chemistry between the two is palpable.

This is a book brimming with passion and danger. Curley's interpretation of the angelic realms and law systems is thoughtful and fresh, and raises interesting questions about the forces of good and evil - and the appeals of both. What I found most intriguing was the emphasis on free will; an angel cannot intervene in a human's decisions, even if it is for the best, meaning that Ebony is truly an autonomous character unlike a few YA heroines I can think of. Even at the novel's end it is unknown what - and who - Ebony will choose, leaving it open for the next thrilling installment. I can't wait.

*This review is originally from my blog, becca-likes.books.tumblr.com
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on 7 March 2013
I received a copy of this in the post from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Actually receiving this was a surprise, but an awesome one. I loved reading her 'Guardians of Time' trilogy as a teenager and I still have them on my shelves, but she disappeared and I wondered why, then I got this book and I was really excited. There was an accompanying note explaining her absence for the last 7 years and reading her story made me admire her all the more.
Anyway, I knew I wanted to read this as soon as I could, I had a feeling I would really enjoy it but I was also a little bit nervous. I am older now (obviously) and my tastes have changed quite a bit, what if it wasn't as good as I remember her writing being? Nevertheless I got stuck in and I am happy to say my fears were unfounded, I found myself captivated by the story and wanting to know more. The characters and their world grabbed me quickly and pulled me in.
This book is told in first person but from two different people. Chapters alternate between them but they do feature in each others chapters which adds an extra dimension to it all. Ebony has always been sheltered - her parents not letting her do anything, no going out, having fun, they even homeschooled her for a while, but now she is sixteen and wants more from life. She is thankfully now at school, but still not allowed to do things 'normal' kids are doing, but it's all starting to change.
I quite liked Ebony as a character but I found her story fairly predictable, I could see how things were linked and layed out - however I think that was at least partly deliberate. I did still find myself liking her - she has a noble heart and tries to think of others before herself, she doesn't break down when things go wrong but tries to carry on.
Then we meet Jordan, his life is basically the exact opposite - a kid gone through the care system with some bad memories and things that still haunt him, His story makes your heart ache and you can't help but want him to find happiness. I think he is probably my favourite character in this book. Even after all the rubbish he's gone through he still tries to help Ebony and make things right in the world. He has a strong inner strength and I just felt drawn to him.
As the blurb says, this is a story about finding the stolen angel, I've seen a few books recently focusing on angels and I'm never sure what to make of them, some I've read and really enjoyed, others I haven't but this one was well set up, had great 'history' to the story and was actually very believable as a concept and storyline.
There are quite a few characters but they all bring something to the storyline and help speed the pace and plot. There is a real sense of mystery particularly on Jordan's past and then both of their futures, it makes you want to read more just so you can find out more.
I had to read this in bits due to work schedule etc, but I found myself itching to get back to it when I had to put it down. This book was actually quite addictive and I didn't want to leave it.
The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger- it's obviously set for a sequel and I really want to know what will happen. I need more.
All I can really say is: Welcome back Marianne Curley, you certainly haven't lost your touch, and I am so pleased to have you back, Better than ever!
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on 22 March 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and Netgalley.)
Ebony has always known that she was different, but her parents have never been open to talking about her and their family. When Ebony finally forces her parents to talk to her, they tell her something she wasn't expecting - she's not their biological daughter.

Jordan is a normal kid who has not had the best of starts in life. He's currently in foster care after his parents died, and has even spent time in a juvenile detention facility. When he meets Ebony he is intrigued by her violet eyes, but he has other problems when an old friend tries to kill him.

Ebony sets out with the intention of finding the man who gave her to her parents, even though they told her that they'll be in danger if anyone discovers that they have told her her true heritage, and then her parent's house explodes and burns to the ground.

Jordan survives his stabbing, and is then visited by an angel called Nathaneal, who tells him that it's now his job to help find a girl called Ebrielle who is really an angel, who was stolen at birth.
Is Ebony Ebrielle? What do the angels want with her? And what happened to Ebony's real parents?

I thought this book was okay in the beginning, but the further I got into it, the more unbelievable it became, and the more I felt like I was forcing myself to read on.

Ebony was an okay character, but she was a little stupid at times. She totally didn't take what her parents were telling her seriously, and the first chance she got she went against what they had told her, and not only that, but she led her best friend into danger as well.
When she was told that her parents are most likely dead, she just argued! I know denial is a stage of grief, but to point blank refuse to accept even the possibility that they are dead, when she knows that they were threatened should they ever tell her about her unusual heritage, their house exploded and burned to the ground, their car was in the garage, and there are no records of them travelling anywhere is a little unbelievable for me.

Jordan was another okay character, but he was pretty spineless. He didn't accept what he was told by the angels initially, but he didn't take much convincing. He was even pleased to go with Nathaneal when he realised he drove a Lamborghini! He didn't immediately think of Ebony and her violet eyes and her super strength when he was told he was looking for a missing angel named Ebrielle either which seemed a little dense.
I found it really difficult to connect with either Ebony or Jordan, they were both just dull, a little self-centred, and didn't make good decisions.

The storyline was okay, but I have to say that I was bored. Some parts were just unbelievable, other parts cliché, and the info dumps drove me crazy.
When Nathaneal started explaining exactly what was going on to Jordan I seriously considered not carrying on reading. It was such a massive info dump! The last book that was like this that I can remember was `Undeadly', and this was no different - it was like reading an encyclopaedia. I don't know about you, but I find encyclopaedias pretty dull unless it's a subject I'm really interested in, and I really wasn't interested enough in this book to appreciate this giant history lesson!
Jordan got quite a few sermons like this from Nathaneal, and they were all pretty bad. If I had been Jordan being told all this stuff I would probably have fallen asleep.

Then there's a blo*dy love triangle! I mean please?! First Ebony is instantly attracted to Jordan, and then Nathaneal makes some kind of move! As if this book wasn't bad enough already, the author throws in a love triangle! Worse, Nathaneal tells Jordan that he has a fiancée waiting for him back home, but then I was confused when he later spoke to Ebony as I wondered if he was actually hinting that she was his fiancée? Not sure. Ebony seemed to be instantly drawn to Nathaneal as well though, so I really don't know what will happen there! I know that some people hate insta-love though, and there was two cases of that in this story!

Overall; I thought that this book was dull, cliché, and probably more suitable for a younger mg/ya audience, as the story did seem quite childish. I'm sure there are people who will like this, but I personally can't recommend it.
4 out of 10.
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on 2 April 2013
Originally posted on Serendipity Reviews.
If I'm honest, I've really missed reading angel books. I haven't read one in ages so it was lovely to get my hands on this one. I know the book appears to be receiving a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I really enjoyed it. It wasn't perfect, but it was a very good read, with an excellent ending.

The story is told from alternating points of view between Ebony and Jordan. I felt the author really explored how the characters were feeling and we managed to get a good look inside their heads. I loved the way they met. I don't think I have come across that kind of meeting in any other book. The book sets off quickly at a fast pace and you find yourself running against time to get to safety.

The angel mythology created by the author was intriguing. I don't know enough about angel myths to be able to tell you how much of it is true, but I found the different levels of Heaven and Hell quite fascinating. I'm presuming more information will be revealed as the series progresses.

I enjoyed the characters within the story. Thane was rather swoonsome, almost Herculian in appearance; I'm looking forward to getting to know him better.. Jordan was quite sweet too, even though he had a bit of the bad boy vibe about him. I loved his wicked sense of humour, and enjoyed the back story that linked him to Adam. If there were any characters that perhaps I didn't gel with it, it would be Ebony. I desperately wanted to shake some sense into her so that she would take notice of what they were all telling her. She was completely blind to the danger she was in, and that became a little annoying. I really didn't mind the instant love scenario, because it was viewed as destiny. My romantic side took hold of that idea and run away with it

There is a rather obvious love triangle going on but I could see glimpses of other developments within the story which might make the dynamics of this change. A love/hate relationship appears to be developing between Jordan and another character and I'm intrigued as to where it will go.

The ending was dramatic and you are left toppling on the edge of that cliff again, but I look forward to finding out more in the following book.
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on 8 June 2013
I think I've had Hidden on my shelf for quite some time now, nearing probably 5/6 months now. But due to University I've only just gotten round to reading again, full stop. However as soon as I realised that Hidden was a book about angels (and it helps that it was the first review book I came across whilst figuring out what to read first!) I was excited to read it, and couldn't put it down!

Ebony is an interesting character but I loved her. She was a typical angsty teen who was annoyed at her parents for keeping her cooped up, so she snuck out. And by sneaking out she meets Jordan. Jordan has had a pretty rough life also, and it doesn't get any better from here on out. For example, he dies soon after the book begins - not to worry, it doesn't last long! But from the first chapter I was hooked on them. I loved them both, I loved them together and I loved them apart.

I thought both characters were well written, the story was well paced after the huge fight at the beginning - which could have been a downfall if it hadn't been paced properly. All in all, the book was very enjoyable and entertaining.

The angels in this novel were quite different to the angels I met in Lauren Kate's Fallen series and in Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series. But I still love them, and I love the way they were written and the way in which Gabriel (for example) speaks!

Similarly, the demon twist was great also. Prince Luca I am not a fan of, but then again he's a bit of a *insert bad word here*.

I was offered a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and I can honestly say I loved it. There isn't anything in this book I can fault, and I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel - anyone know when this is released?!
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on 31 January 2014
I really wanted to love this book. I’ve read all of Marianne Curley’s other work and really enjoyed them, but for me, this one fell short.

I liked the story, which follows a hidden angel living on earth, and relentlessly pursued by two different forces – light and dark. On one side is Nathaneal, an angel with whom Ebony shares a powerful and instant emotional connection. On the other is the alluring and manipulative Prince Luca, a dark angel determined to make Ebony his bride. Ebony has the power and free will to choose either one, but her upbringing creates conflict, as her instinct is to reject her destiny for her human life.

Jordan is a welcome human addition to the story. Following a near death experience, he is drawn into the circle and tasked with helping Ebony to accept the truth about who she is and where she belongs. He has his own issues, in particular his relationship with his childhood friend-turned-enemy, Adam Skinner. I’m sure we’ll hear more about him and that their story will merge with main events even more as this trilogy progresses.

However, Amber - Ebony’s best friend - feels flat as a character, as do her parents. I didn’t feel any emotional connection to them as characters and the circumstances of certain events felt a little contrived. I think the main reason for this is that the dialogue and descriptions sometimes feel slightly stilted and forced. There is a massive overuse of slang words like ‘man’ and ‘hun’, and for me this began to grate a little after the first few chapters.

The relationships between Ebony and the various guys that surround her are all a bit too predictable as well. I kept waiting for something else to be revealed that would upset the apple cart a bit, but nothing really did.

Out of loyalty, I’m withholding further judgement until I read the next instalment in this series.
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on 25 April 2013
I received a psychical ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ebony has always known she was different; she has violet coloured eyes, can run faster than any boy in her school and heals remarkably quickly. She's always thought the reason her parents have kept her sheltered from the world is because they didn't want her to draw attention - but she was wrong. Ebony is an Angel, stolen as an infant, concealed on earth and raised by her adoptive parents. Ebony soon realises she can't stay hidden forever, and now the heavens have found her - and they want her back.

I enjoyed reading this book, I really did - It had its good points; but unfortunately the bad ones outweighed the good. Whilst reading the first half of `Hidden', I was sure I was going to be rating it a 4/5 star book. However, as the action started and the book progressed further into the story, I was quite disappointed with lots of different things that played out. This has nothing to do with Marianne's writing; I just don't think `Hidden' was structured very well at all.

`Hidden' switches between two of the main characters perspectives; Ebony and Jordan. As I've mentioned many times before in my reviews, I love reading multiple perspective books, they're incredibly interesting and I love knowing what the other characters are actually feeling, rather than what they say they're feeling. This was no exception and I thought the chapters were cleverly divided between the two characters perspectives.

Ebony is our female protagonist. She's sixteen years old and has led a very sheltered life by her parents, growing up in the small valley of a town. I know the author has written Ebony's character to be very relatable and interesting, but, personally; I didn't like her that much at all. It's a bit of a rare occasion for me to find a main, female character that I don't like. Usually, in the novels I've read, the female lead has at least two or three characteristics that will warm me to them. Ebony, however, only has one - and that is her violet coloured eyes. What I wouldn't do to have eyes like that! Her character isn't a very strong-willed person, nor is she particularly funny, kind or interesting in any way I had hoped. This is not to say that I hated her character, I just thought she was very bland and unexceptional.

Moving onto Jordan's character - what can I say? I loved him - it's as simple as that. He's lived in the system for most of his life since his mother died and left him orphaned, and has been bounced around in foster homes ever since. Jordan is the stark opposite of Ebony; he's funny, snarky, sarcastic, strong-willed, sweet and kind. His character was just so full of life and seemed the most realistic and interesting of the three main characters. Jordan's character proves that Marianne can create a relatable and great character - even if I didn't like her other characters.

Lastly, onto Thane's character - I really didn't like him at all. Thane reminded me of the beach hotties you see on TV, with everything down there and nothing in his head. His character was such a typical cliché; strong, muscular, handsome - someone all the girls fall head over hills for. The romance between Thane and Ebony is insta-love, and I hated it. I'm not usually a fan of insta-love, but there are some exceptions - and this was NOT it. Thane and Ebony's relationship was way over the top, `I've just met you and this is crazy, but I can't live without you - so call me baby'. I really disliked how Ebony suddenly disregarded what kindling feelings of romance she had towards Jordan when she met Thane. I understand that they have a `connection' but it was just too much, too soon in my opinion.

Overall, I liked reading this book, but I doubt I'd read it again. Two of the three main characters were flat and disappointing, but I do believe the plotline had great potential if only the characters and world building was developed more. I felt like it was rushed in many places, where I thought more time should have been spent on. It was also very confusing at times, and I found myself lost and wondering what was happening in the story. I'd recommend `Hidden' to any readers who are fans of Angels; but I'd warn them not to go in with high hopes - it was a pretty good novel - but I doubt it would stand out in a crowd. I will, however, try and read more from Marianne Curley in the future.
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on 22 April 2013
Ebony and Jordan are sixteen and attend the same high school in a beautiful valley in Australia. Born at the same time, they share a special link. They meet quite by accident - literally, and unbeknown to them the heavens light up when they touch, alerting the angels, both good and dark to their position, triggering a series of events that make this book change from a mystery and a romance to an exciting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Enter Nathaneal, a gorgeous angel who takes Jordan in and trains him to handle what lies ahead. They become close with the mutual respect of brothers, but like real families, things don't always go smoothly.

The plot unfolded brilliantly, letting me know what I needed about the different characters while at the same time keeping a mystery about them. It's the first in a series, so there are lots of unanswered questions, like why Ebony has so much trouble accepting she's an angel, and why Jordan feels so intensely in love with Ebony when he's around her, in a way he can't explain, (he has subtle feelings for Sophie too when he's with her) and the big question yet to learn is why Nathaneal is so deeply in love with this girl he's hardly met, hardly knows.

There is a lot left to learn and I can't wait for the next book in this series.

Hidden is told through both Ebony and Jordan's POV, which gave me insight into what both these characters were feeling and how they interpreted events from their different perspectives. It helped reveal the growing relationship between Jordan and Nathaneal, which has a sense of becoming very special as the story unfolds with the sequel and so forth.

Hidden is not your typical paranormal romance. It kept me turning the pages even while I wanted to read it more slowly so I could savour the moments as long as I could. It's a cut above the rest.
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on 24 April 2013
While I've been feeling quite fed up with angel books lately, when I was offered this one for review, my interest was piqued. It's a different take on angel lore. There's no God or Devil, or Heaven or hell. But a King of Angels and a Dark Prince who reside in different realms. The concept of how the Dark Prince came to be is pretty similar, with the Dark Prince creating an army and waging war against The Angel King. There's a realm where the angels reside, a realm where mortal souls go after they die and The Dark Prince's realm. But the treaty that ended the war, allows the Dark Prince to wander the earth and collect souls.

Ebony knows she's different. She's faster, stronger and has better senses than any of her friends. She's never sick and when she gets hurt, she heals really quickly. She's had an extremely sheltered upbringing, even having never left the valley where she was born. At age 16, she's really had enough of this, which causes a lot of arguments between herself and her mother. One night, after she's sneaked out to a club, events occur which cause her to confront her parents once and for all when she gets home to find them waiting for her.

I found this book to be well written with really enjoyable characters. It's written from the POV of Ebony and Jordan, and I instantly liked them both. They are both really different people, with very different upbringings but they are brought together by events that are unbelievable to both of them.

Thane and the angels were great secondary characters. While we spend very little time with some of them, I still found it easy to like and build interest in them. There isn't much romantic interlude here, but what little there is, I did enjoy. And there's an action packed battle that had my heart pounding in my chest.

In my opinion, Hidden was a fast paced page turner that I didn't want to put down.
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on 18 April 2013
I really wanted to like Hidden as I have been a fan of this author in the past but unfortunately there were a few to many issues with this book and I just couldn't get into it at all. Hidden is not necessarily a `bad' book, it is written well and has a good pace and structure but that isn't enough to make a book entertaining.

The big problem with Hidden is that it feels terribly dated. I have been reading YA for ages now and in the last few years have loved seeing how it has evolved and developed, it is a lot smarter now, a lot braver then it was and has more serious storylines and relationships. It has come a long way but Hidden just is not with the rest of the pack. It reminded me of YA pre Twilight in its simplicity and language.

On top of that the plot and characters are clichéd. You have a perfect girl who has no idea how special she is and you have two boys vying for her attention. One is perfect and enthralling the other is troubled but adorable. I cannot count how many times I have come across this and to be honest it has gotten old. I am officially done with Mary Sues and love triangles. What doesn't help is that it is really unbelievable. I know that books about angels are not exactly a magnet for normal everyday storylines but I at least expect characters to behave in a normal and understandable way to what is going on around them. And then to add insult to injury there was a case of the dreaded insta-love.

Marianne Curley has and always will have my utter respect. I admire her bravery and applaud her for getting back into writing after being ill. Hidden is not a bad book to come back with and I think many readers, especially readers in their early teens will really like it, but it was unfortunately not for me.
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