Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ripple Series by Cidney Swanson

I got these two ebooks almost two months ago (I could make it sound longer by saying "last year"), but only started reading it about two or three days ago. And yet, I finished both books last night, that's how good they were. Currently, the Ripple Series consists of two books: Rippler and Chameleon. But for the sake of cohesiveness, I'm just going to talk about them as a whole.

The series revolves around Samantha, as she discovers that she can Ripple (i.e. turn invisible). And as she learns more about what's going on with her, she and Will (her friend that progresses to love interest) discover that they are being targetted (strictly speaking, Will already knew, Sam discovered).

First up: the universe creation. The Ripple series is in America, but since there is this whole mutation thing, it kind of throws stuff out of balance. But, the whole ability to Ripple, how it works, and why she only gains awareness now is very well down, without sounding like people spewing information for the sake of the reader. I thought that the release of information was well-timed, because I didn't feel like I was left out in the dark, yet each new revelation about the Ripple syndrome brought (mostly pleasant) surprises.

Another thing I really love are the characters. Mickie, Sam, Gwyn and Will (and later, Sir Walter), are all wonderfully written. The brother-sister dynamic between Mickie and Will was, I felt, really authentic. I have a little brother myself, and I can see echoes of how we intereact in the interactions between Mickie and Will. Sam and Gwyn's friendship was also realistic. They (small spoiler alert!) have a small falling out, but I understood Gwyn's reactions, and could empathise with both of their actions and reasonings.

But very importantly, Will is a very good male lead. I grow sick of reading books where the girl is fairly well-characterised but the guy is the male version of a Mary-Sue (i.e. he's too perfect). Funnily enough, the opposite is true for most shonen manga. Will is obviously kind and caring, but, I don't know exactly how to say it, but he felt authentic somehow. Well, I think the way he treats Sam was the main reason. The pace of the relationship between them was really great, there wasn't any of those "eyes-meet-and-wham!" kind of romances, which to be honest, is way too common nowadays. I like how they are first and foremost friends before actually entering a relationship. And this isn't the kind of plot where Sam has another boyfriend then they break-up and she finds Will type of plot (second-most common scenario). The simplicity (and naturalness) is so refreshing.

The pace of the book was good. The plot wasn't overly quick and I like how there was time for her to explore how to Ripple and get to know Will and Mickie better.

Basically, I have no problems with this series, and I'm really looking forward to the third book.

Disclaimer: I got these two books free from the librarything member giveaway. I was asked to write a review, but it didn't have to be positive/as positive as the one I just gave.

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