Starting out with an audiobook because of course I did. ^_^
You can also see this review on The Weatherwax Report
When the horrific death of her father leaves Jenna Banks an orphan just before her sixteenth birthday, she is plunged into the world of Hilltop Academy – a world where machine gun-toting Agents protect her from unseen forces and tracking down monsters is the norm. Yet even in this mysterious otherworld, Jenna discovers she has abilities above and beyond those of her fellow Hilltop students.
Unfortunately for her, she’s not the only one to make this discovery.
Another tragedy sees Jenna and her new friends transferred from England to the vast Academy base in Colorado. Watched constantly and unable to trust anyone but her closest friends, Jenna has to think on her feet, calling on all her natural cunning simply to survive.
Then the surprise to end all surprises completely blows her world apart.
Fade is the story of Jenna, who is a fairly normal teenager whose entire world changes in the space of a day when she finds out that she’s got some burgeoning powers to see… something. Then her only surviving parent dies in a horrible explosion and Jenna finds herself orphaned and then working out her grief and her new powers in a special academy for kids just like her.
Jenna can see creatures that are known as Faders, as they can turn invisible and fade through solid surfaces. People like Jenna are known as Trackers, and are trained to spot these Faders in public for a special branch of the military.
When one Fader in particular keeps hunting Jenna, she is transferred from England to the United States and from there, begins to find out just how strange her new powers are.
I quite liked Fade. I listened to the audiobook as it is much easier for me to take in large quantities of books at work. In this case, I listened to it in one sitting, both because it was quite enjoyable, and because it is only about seven hours long. ^_^
The book was a fairly standard YA Urban Fantasy. At least, it felt so to me. YA featuring a teenage character who finds out they have special powers and is then sent to a special academy to learn to use those special powers is hardly a new idea. This book even references its similarity to both Harry Potter and X-Men. It knows what it is. That said, I did find the idea of the Faders quite interesting and unique. I thought it was described in enough detail to really make it easy to imagine.
Jenna is a pretty easy character to root for. She’s witty at times, and her banter with her other friends brought a grin to my face a couple of times. Like a lot of YA, this one doesn’t feature a ton of sex or swearing, but nor does it noticeably hold those things back. Things that are rather gruesome do happen at times. The blurb eludes to a great surprise, and I’ll admit that the surprise that it appears to elude to was not at all surprising to me, but was still brought on in an interesting way.
And hey, in the end, it surprised me after all. So, that was neat.
The narrator, Georgie Leonard did a great job here. This book has quite a lot of accents, spanning from many parts of the UK and into America, and she managed to make most of them sound really convincing, which made the whole book a good experience. I can say with near certainty that the narration made this book more entertaining than I would have found it had I read it instead.
So, all told, I thought that Fade was an interesting and engaging book with an interesting set of characters. I may yet investigate further into the series. Because I do not have enough audiobooks, obviously. ^_^ 7.5/10 stars!~