Empath (Flawed Book One)
Supernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her.
Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college—and the world—with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.
When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her, unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.
Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.
I have to admit, the blurb and cover hooked me with the premise, and made me eager to read it. When I cracked the cover, I was surprised. It somehow was NOT was I anticipated. Not in a bad way, that sounds more negative than I intend... it's well written just... let me try and explain all this in a moment. Overall rating I decided upon was 4♥'s, and it was not an easy rating to pin down.
I can't say enough how eye-catching the premise was. The only empath character I can think of off the top of my head (that I was familiar with) is Deanna Troy from Star Trek the Next Generation. Empath is not a sci-fi story by any means, but Jade is nowhere near able to 'function' at the level Deanna was. The simple act of trying to attend a class was nearly debilitating at the beginning of the book; Jade was an absolute mess. But then, she was able to function shortly later, and I didn't 'get' how that happened. I guess, I wanted more... just more everything except being overwhelmed from Jade. I wanted more sass, more empowerment, more assertive 'ownership' of your life and gift/curse; more of a feeling she was steering the ship in her life rather than being drug by the current.
*Sigh* The serial killer, Ethan. I think this actually is a personal preference thing. I've read books with killers before; after all, I do have a horror background initially. But I've never been overly fond of being inside the serial killer's head. At all. I have never read a Dexter book, or even anything about Hannibal Lector and such. I can only think of one book where I saw into a killer's sadistic head that I loved. I didn't quite realize there are sections actually told from Ethan's perspective, and I was just horrified by him and his cruelty. This was all made worse because of his own abilities used (along with a disability) to lure in more victims. *Shudder* It's just not my bag, baby. And *big* issues for me. Spiders. Freaking spiders. Well written enough to leave me cringing and flipping out, damn spiders.
The menagerie of characters and abilities and uniqueness was good. There were some I liked more than others, and I wish the readers learned much more from certain ones. They did all work in concert to resolve the plot, but I just felt it was... I don't know, like too many people won some sort of genetic lottery of something. It seemed like the kismet of lives crossing all with their own little 'special' was just outside of the line of really likely, or possible .
There are 'mystical', like kind of greater power (God) touches in the book, but it doesn't brow beat. However, just as with Jade seeming more a spectator rather than master of her fate, I didn't feel like the characters were driving the plot. But I cannot deny that this is well written. It made me squirm, but wasn't gory by any means. *damn spiders* I was really leaning at 3½♥'s by the end, but in my wisdom decided upon only full hearts on my blog. Silly me. So I was debating back and forth on to slide up or down. Ultimately, for those that do enjoy a more thriller aspect, getting into the twisted head of killers as well as others, and don't mind a paranormal 'slant' to the story, I think this would be right up their alley.
I received an eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Empath Purchase Links
During the Empath Blog Tour (September 16th - October 20th), the first book in the Flawed series will be on sale for a discounted price of $0.99. Grab it for cheap while you can!Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo
Becca J. Campbell is the author of the New Adult Romantic Science Fiction novels Foreign Identity and Gateway to Reality, New Adult Romantic Paranormal Thriller Empath (The Flawed Series #1), and Sub-Normal, a series of Science Fiction short stories.
An avid lover of stories that tiptoe the line between fantasy and reality (even when they plunge off one side or the other), Becca looks for new angles on bridging the gap between the two. She holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity. You can find her on her Author Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon.