Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: The Hidden by Jessica Verday

The Hidden by Jessica Verday

Pages: 400

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: September 6th, 2011
IBSN: 9781416978978

A love that knows no bounds.

Abbey knows that Caspian is her destiny. Theirs is a bond that transcends even death. But as Abbey finally learns the full truth about the dark fate that links her to Caspian and ties them both to the town of Sleepy Hollow, she suddenly has some very hard choices to make. Caspian may be the love of her life, but is that love worth dying for?

The Hidden is the final book in The Hollow trilogy, a series that I've had mixed feelings about but wanted to reach the end of.

The trilogy is basically about Abbey's relationship with Caspian, a ghost. The Hollow was about Abbey meeting Caspian and realising that he's a ghost. The Haunted was about Abbey trying to stay away from the ghost she loves because he's a scary ghost but ultimately failing. I happen to be an optimist, so I thought these two slowly-paced, 400-odd page books could lead to a dramatic and intense conclusion.

While the pace does pick up slightly in The Hidden, it's the result of a melodramatic villain with little motivation who'll make you roll your eyes every time he speaks. But just as things with him begin to get almost intriguing, some new friends of Abbey and Caspian are all too eager to protect them around the clock.

The dynamics between characters -- between Abbey and these new friends and Ben, Beth, and even Caspian -- feel hackneyed. Ben was the cliched jokester; Beth the perky, girly friend. Abbey and Caspian's relationship feels almost completely free of chemistry, they were heavily dependent on each other, and even during the entire chapter dedicated to them getting hot and heavy, I wasn't feeling the romance. The romance was the main plot, and it was lack-luster.

Abbey didn't prove to be an admirable, strong, or even at times likeable protagonist. Her voice wasn't distinct, but the tone of her narration was always gloomy. Her ugh, dress shopping and ugh, school dance attitude reminded me of one Bella Swan.

The twist at the ending felt like a too-convenient way to conclude the trilogy. It had little to do with the villain plot, and it didn't address Abbey's concerns about whether she really wanted to give up her life. A whole trilogy led up to this ending where 80% of what happened was irrelevant.

Overall, this book won't disappoint fans of the first two books, but the series isn't for you unless you don't mind taking a sieve the writing -- you'll need to filter out a lot of details pointless to the story.

I give The Hidden a 2 out of 5.