Chosen by Denise Grover Swank
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Full (366 pgs)
Rating: 5 Stars
Review by Poppy
Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma's never needed help before. And even though she's learned to trust her son, it doesn't mean she trusts Will.
Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma's freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake's proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn't know she has.
Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will's overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his paycheck and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it's too late.
Are you an adrenaline junkie? Then you need to read this book! It hits the floor running, and never really stops. I wasn't sure what to expect when I got this book for review. The author calls it urban fantasy, but it really isn't (I looked up the definition of UF ... yeah, I'm a geek). It's really a paranormal action/thriller that I couldn't stand to put down.
Emma has had a rough few years, hiding out from the bad men who seem to want her son. Thankfully, Jake has an early warning system, but it's starting to get a bit defective: where he was able to sense them with plenty of time to spare, now it's declining ... a few hours... even a few minutes.
We see them for the first time packing to run. And they're too late -- the bad guys are already there. They meet Will, who's not what he seems, and he helps them get away. Sort of.
Emma is a great mom who will do anything, sacrifice anything (and really, she has) for her son, Jake, who's special. He can sense things and see the future. Emma doesn't know why the men are after them, but it doesn't matter. She has a gun and knows how to use it. She's taken defensive driving lessons. She's as prepared as she can be for confrontation.
Will is, at heart, a good man. That shows from the start, no matter what he thinks he is. And Jake trusts him, so Emma allows him along, reluctantly.
This is a book where few things are as they seem, where no place is safe and there's nowhere to run. The author doesn't give you more than a few paragraphs to catch your breath in between the craziness of the pursuit, and she's brutally honest about the way her characters feel. I liked her writing style and her voice. The characters were all well drawn, completely three dimensional and believable. The editing was wonderful and I never got tossed from the story for a glich or typo. Sometimes, I worry when a book is self-published, but that's not the case here at all.
Five year-old Jake is old beyond his years, but I didn't have a problem with him not acting his age. I was a bit taken aback when he ordered his mom around, but that was the parent in me rebelling more than it being unbelievable.
Will needs to sort himself out, and seems to do so on their insanely dangerous trip across the midwest. The reason for things is slowly revealed, a prophecy is shared, the playing field is set. A word of warning: this book's ending is really more of a beginning. While it does close the door on this particular plotline (running from the bad guys), it begins the more serious story of prophecy fulfillment.
The first thing I did upon finishing this book was go out and buy the next two in the series. I'm hooked. Bet you will be, too.