Three hearts, two worlds, one secret - that's the tagline for Marianne Curley's Hidden.
A novel about the eternal battle between good and evil, Curley's novel surprised me with how good it was.
Teenager Ebony has overprotective parents, and finds herself able to do things others can't. She's stronger, faster and has better hearing.
On a night out at an under 18s disco she bumps, literally, into Jordan, a boy who goes to her school and who has had a pretty rough life - dad in jail, mum dead, bounced from foster home to foster home, bad blood with a former friend. The connection between the two in instataneous - think sparks of light.
Jordan is stabbed with a bottle that night, and while on the verge of death in hospital is visited by two men in a dream. They save his life and one, Thane, later comes back to get Jordan's help for a mission. Thane is an angel, and he needs to find a female angel who was kidnapped by a dark angel and brought to earth when she was a baby.
Curley's writing style reminded me a bit of Maggie Stiefvater's in that both authors are really good at creating strong characters, and really good at conveying their emotions.
Hidden wasn't packed full of masses of action, but it was full of a myriad of relationships, all of which were fascinating to read - best friends, mentor and mentee, parents and child, brothers, and so on.
The romance element is very interesting, but more than that this is a book about identity and finding your place in the world, something Ebony struggles to do as she discovers the world is much bigger than she thinks. There are other characters who clearly struggle with their identity as well, although perhaps in different, more subtle ways - Thane, whose life has been defined by another person; Jordan, who lost his parents at a young age and so has had no adult influences for a long time; and Jezelle, the angel who doesn't quite seem to fit in with the others.
Hidden alternates chapters between Ebony and Jordan, which worked really well for me, since both characters had distinct voices, and very different lives up until the point they were thrown together.
Curley's novel is the first in a series, and its ending was certainly intriguing, and quite dark. Hidden is well worth a read, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Ebony and Jordan's journeys continue.