Hello, everyone! Do you recognize the first book up there in that banner? No? That's okay, it was almost a year ago that Hidden was at Marked By Books. Its first stop here was in a promo post, and then a little over a month after that, I read and reviewed the first book. And I loved it! So when I saw that Hidden was going on tour again, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.
This is my first post on the tour, and it will be followed by one more on June 9th. Both stops will have a review, this one of the second book, Lost, and the next of the third, Shattered. And just so you really notice this next part, I'm going to try to make it very obvious:
HIDDEN (BOOK #1) IS STILL COMPLETELY FREE!!!!
I'm serious! I've yet to find any eBook store that does not list its price at $0.00! So PLEASE go and get your own copy of it because this book really isn't something you're going to want to miss!
Hidden by M. Lathan
Sixteen-year-old Leah Grant has given up on being normal. She’d settle for stopping the voices in her head, intrusive visions of the future, and better odds of making it to her seventeenth birthday.
That’s the thing about pretending to be human in a world where magic used to exist – at any moment, her cover could be blown and she’ll be burned to death like the rest of the witches.
Everything changes when she loses control of her powers and flees the orphanage she grew up in. She desperately wants to be invisible but finds her face plastered on every news channel as humans panic over the possible resurgence of her kind. And now the hunters won’t give up until they find her.
Making friends for the first time in her life and falling in love with one of them drives her to discover why she is unlike any being she’s ever met – human or otherwise. The dangerous powers inside of her that would repel Nathan, her new, handsome reason for living, are priceless to some. The locked up forever kind of priceless. And to others, they are too dangerous to allow her to live.
Let’s hope she can stay hidden.
Lost by M. Lathan
Three months ago, Christine Grant found herself, love, and impossible friends, while losing the memories of the biggest piece of her past.
Now, her powers are spinning out of control and must be tamed by the woman who saved the world, the same woman Christine is predicted to kill in less than a month.
Wanting to punish catty orphans was just the beginning. It’s only a matter of time before she discovers that the world is not as safe from her as she hoped it was.
M. Lathan lives in San Antonio with her husband and mini-schnauzer. She enjoys writing and has a B.S. in Psych and a Masters in Counseling. Her passion is a blend of her two interests – creating new worlds and stocking them with crazy people. She enjoys reading anything with interesting characters and writing in front of a window while asking rhetorical questions … like her idol Carrie Bradshaw.
I’d give anything to know what he was up to, pull him out of the shadows and into the light. Was he getting close? Did he know who and what I was?
I welcomed the energy that rushed over my skin, and his name echoed in my head.
He was in New Orleans. I knew it for a fact.
I faintly heard when Nate turned off the TV. I didn’t open my eyes, too wrapped up in the buzzing, in the power I pretended I didn’t have.
Behind my eyelids, I saw a blurry picture of my New Orleans backyard.
Kamon chuckled, circling Lydia Shaw near the pool. “Where is she?” he asked.
“That’s not your business, and stay away from this house.”
“She is very much so my business. A girl with her potential does not come along every day. I noticed it the first time I saw her. I knew then.”
Lydia laughed and stepped closer to his face. “I can’t wait for this to be over,” she said.
My muscles quivered. Lydia and Kamon shook with me.
“Me either. I have big plans. I’ve been working on my new title. What do you think of Emperor Kamon? Too much?” He laughed. “There’s finally a date after your dash. I guess I’m lucky Leah’s so unstable. I know you’re terrified. It’s getting so close. July 4th.”
I shook even harder and heard a far away scream.
Lydia spun around, and Remi wiggled her fingers at her, a taunting wave. Her jet-black hair dangled to her waist now. My Master, My Lord, in a fancy, ancient script, was permanently inked on her stomach, right above her low-cutting leather pants.
“Remi is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Her first offering brought my nemesis barging through the doors. In time, she’ll bring me Leah. I’ve seen July 4th, Lydia. It is your pet’s destiny, and I’m going to help her fulfill it.”
My backyard trembled like an earthquake was ravishing New Orleans, and someone screamed, “Emma, hold her head!”
“Wake up, Chris,” Emma said.
I opened my eyes. Nate and Em were shaking me and swatting at my cheeks. Blood was everywhere – on Nate’s hands, his chest, my pillow.
I’d had another fit. Correction. I was still having a fit, shaking and bleeding and buzzing. Em’s thoughts were frantic and in fluent French. But understandable. I had a feeling she could speak Chinese, and I would understand it right now.
She snapped and disappeared, leaving me alone with Nate. His face vibrated as I shook, and he braced me against his chest.
After a moment, his body tensed against mine, and he drew his arms away, no longer holding me. My nails were in his sides, and they didn’t want to let go.
Embers blew around us, and found their way to his head, circling and sparkling, crowning him with fire. I coughed from the smoke tickling my throat. He didn’t seem to see them at all.
A deep voice I’d never heard screamed, “Dali!” It echoed several times after. With each repeat, Nate clutched his head tighter, in pain.
All day I had been questioning where I belonged. Now I knew. I belonged in a cage, not allowed to roam freely around my enemies.
I didn’t want to hurt him. Or myself. I needed to listen to my body. Someone had told me that. Someone …
A flash of light blinded me, and Sophia and Emma appeared when it cleared.
Sophia pried my clenched jaw open. Something warm filled my mouth and slithered down my throat.
Then there was nothing but darkness.
I'm really struggling to choose a favorite character, but it feels nearly impossible for me to do that right now because I have so many! I felt so bad for Lydia, knowing what happened at the end of Hidden, which Christine doesn't know for most of this book, but she is far from perfect. I go from sympathizing the heck out of her, to being overjoyed that she's happy again, to feeling a little disappointed in her, to wanting to beat the sense back into her, especially once we meet a certain somebody for the first time (which I'm really glad happened, by the way!), and then finally to completely understanding why she did what she did and knowing that she made the right choice. All in the span of a few hundred pages.
And of course there's Sophia, who is just one big bundle of overprotective sweetness. She loves Chris SO much, and everything she does for her continues to amaze me. Sophia really is the perfect "grandmother type" character: such an angel to the kids, yet still pretty kick-butt on her own. I mean, she really is the only reason why things turned out fairly well at the end of this book.
But then there's Nathan who, let's face it, is nearly impossible not to love. Even when everything goes completely wrong towards the end, he STILL manages to be nothing short of perfect, and I don't even get how that's possible. I'm not trying to say that he seems too good to be true, therefore his character isn't real enough for me. No, what I'm saying is that I don't see how he could have been written so perfectly, even after everything that happened. Other than his slight lean towards the melodramatic about certain things (and even that is still pretty sweet), I literally have zero complaints when it comes to him.
And here's a fun surprise for other fans of Nathan: he gets to tell the epilogue! At first, I was a little unsure of whether or not that was a good idea, mostly because it just seemed a little out of the blue, but I knew I was hooked on the idea as soon as he described the first time he met Christine. And I fell even more in love with the dog version of his thoughts, even though they came about for a very upsetting reason.
That's another thing - M. Lathan's ability to mesh together a person's thoughts from either two different viewpoints, or two whole different memories, like with Christine, is extremely impressive. Not once did I think anything she wrote in any of those instances sounded odd or forced, which is something I usually have a huge problem with when other authors attempt it. I can honestly say that Lathan's handling of the issue is the best I've ever seen of it, so amazing job to her there!
And now for my criticisms. Don't worry, there aren't too many. Actually, they can probably be boiled down to one really vague one, and that is that sometimes the story seemed to be moving a little too quickly. Like I said before, I have always loved these characters, so I was a little disappointed that there wasn't as much time spent with them as there was in the first book. Paul and Em are phenomenal characters, and it kind of seemed like they were shorted. I did really love their one moment together, but that still didn't feel like enough. Paul's crazy fashion sense only got mentioned once, and that was at the very end!
I even wish that some of the newer characters had been explored further. I'm happy with the time spent on the big new addition (whom I can't exactly name for fear of revealing too much but is the same one I mentioned when talking about Lydia), but some of the new minor characters could have been pushed more. I adored Annabelle from the moment Chris met her, and I'm sure I would be able to say the same thing about Shane, but the sad thing is, neither one of them got a whole lot of page time in this book.
There isn't a whole lot more I can talk about without spoiling the entire book for you, but a few other things needed more explaining too. Like I said in my review of Hidden, Christine is a very smart girl (it's about time these female protagonists started to be!) and she figures things out very quickly, but sometimes that leads to a lack of explanation on her part. I can usually figure out what's going on too (like the reason behind her lack of abilities after the big incident in the pool), but my ideas are never really confirmed or denied, so I don't know what to believe. I think that maybe if her thought process was laid out a little more, that would help. I really don't want her to draw out and explain every little revelation (because that's not how actual thoughts work), but I just think there could be a little more of a balance in that area.
I really don't want you to think that I didn't like this book since I just spent all of this time criticizing it because that's not true at all! I loved Lost very much, and I'm extremely glad that I got to read it. Overall, however, I'd still chose Hidden over it without much contest, but seeing how I gave that book five amazing stars, I'd say coming in second isn't too shabby after all!
P.S. And if you have read my review of Hidden and are wondering whether or not I forgive Nathan now, I'd have to give that one a very strong yes!