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Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Hush Money (Talent Chronicles #1) by Susan Bischoff

My second book review as part of our Indie/Self-Published challenge.

Title: Hush Money
Author: Susan Bischoff
Pages: 192
Source: From author (Thanks Susan!)
Buy: Amazon | Smashwords


They call their abilities Talents, and that’s what they call themselves as well. Talents are people born with supernatural powers, feared by the population at large. Possession of an “unregistered ability” has become illegal, and those who are discovered are forcibly removed to government-run research facilities. For Talents, keeping their secret is the most important thing in their lives. For some, that need for secrecy begins to define who they are.

That’s how it is for Joss, a high school girl who does everything in her power to go unnoticed. She's incredibly bright, but strives to maintain grades that are good yet not too good. She doesn't participate in school activities, keeps quiet in class, eats by herself. Despite her longtime crush on Dylan, she wouldn't even think about trying to talk to him. Joss doesn't make friends of any kind, because friends can draw attention, friends can make you slip up, friends can make things complicated.

When new girl, Kat, steps in to rescue Joss from an uncomfortable situation with Marco, the class jerk, she doesn’t realize what she’s getting into, and it blows up in her face. Joss finds herself torn between a desire to do the right thing, to find some way to help a girl who was kind to her; and her need to mind her own business and fade into. For the first time, Joss begins to question the way she operates, and starts to long for connections with other people--especially a connection with Dylan, who's finally starting to talk to her.

But what's up with Dylan's sudden interest? As Marco’s best friend, can he be trusted at all?

It's bad enough when a girl's got to worry about friends, boys, over-protective dads, and shoes that pinch, but when you throw in blackmail, government agents with guns, and really annoying little sisters...that's just about too much to handle, even for a girl with an ass-kicking superpower.

I feel like I'm in high school all over again, except the kids have "Talents", powers that they possess which they try their best to hide them from the NIAC, an organization who takes away Talents to "train" them.

Told in Joss and Dylan's POV alternately, I was immediately drawn into Joss' life as a teenager who tries her best to remain "invisible". For Joss, being normal is best. It's the only way for her to live her life peacefully. She's awkward, and she tries her very best not to stand out, because attracting attention might mean the discovery of her Talent. She's clueless at times, and if people over think, Joss, however tend to downplay that to the point she becomes dense about obvious things.

Dylan, the male protagonist in the book and Joss' secret crush, is the school bad boy. Popular Dylan, who, actually likes Joss but hides it in fear of his best friend, Marco the bully, discovering. Dylan desperately tries to get out of Marco's grasp, but again, in fear for Joss, couldn't. Dylan has this moments that makes him look so cute and shy, like this:

It was cool to see Kat kind of—I don’t know—taking her under her wing or whatever.
If she started talking to Kat, maybe she’d start talking to me sometime.
Hey, it could happen.

Maybe it was kind of stupid of me to be wandering around thinking about whether or not Joss was
interested in me, or to be having all kinds of fantasies about how she would react when she somehow found out about my pact with Marco, and what I had been willing to do to protect her. This big my hero moment was building up in my head. Not like that’s why I was doing it. I just felt this need to look out for her, whether she ever knew it or not. But if she ever found out and felt the need to throw herself at me, I figured I’d catch her.

Dylan thinks he knows Joss better than to expect anything from her especially about his hidden feelings. He's the typical knight in shining armor, who will do anything to keep the love of his life safe, even going so far as to agree to do evil deeds for Marco just so Joss wouldn't need to provide the "Hush Money" that Marco demands.

Almost midway into the book, I was slowly not liking what happens to both Joss and Dylan. I know how hard it is to stand up for someone else, someone who's not even your friend, but telling someone its because she's not doing anything to save herself irked me. If you have the power to do it, why won't you? The same case is with Dylan. When you know its wrong, its time to stop. Friendships aside, if you know its bad for you, why are you still sticking with it?

These are some of the provoking thoughts Susan Bischoff's writing has drawn from me.

I got a definite X-Men vibe in the story. X-Men and TGIS. If you're not familiar with TGIS, its a youth-oriented program that aired in my country when I was still a kid. Hush Money is X-Men + TGIS all rolled into one!

Hush Money is a very unique and interesting story that will surely engross readers. Susan Bischoff's writing is very clear and to the point, allowing the characters and the story to develop smoothly without the need for using a lot of words.

The ending might seem a bit abrupt, but taking everything into consideration, its a great start for a series.

It's a very refreshing read that will surely entertain book lovers!

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:

I adore the cover! It's what immediately drew me to the book, I have to admit but as much as the cover is attractive, the story is really good too!

Yes - The Goddess Approves!

1 comment:

  1. I've seen the cover around the blogosphere but I think this is the first review I've seen of it - great to hear your thoughts! :)


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