After watching a young boy die, college freshman Atancia Clark begins to have panic attacks. Her heart flutters, her breath catches and she can’t control her emotions the way she always has. She wants to be strong, but lately she just hasn’t been living up to her own expectations. When she meets Ben Althaus, her breath starts catching for entirely different reasons. He helps Atancia discover the cause for her odd emotional reactions and the history she thought was lost when her mother left her. Atancia has power beyond that of an average girl, and Ben is by no means ordinary. He wants to help her hone her talents, but her focus is threatened by life-altering events. Thrust into a world where existence has a new meaning, Atancia’s lack of clarity could lead her down a destructive path.
Atancia is a paranormal romance novel for young adults. It is the first book of The Durand Duology.
One thing I really want to highlight is the importance of a good cover. Unfortunately I don't love this cover and I think it really takes away from the story. A frequent saying is 'don't judge a book by its cover' and while that does hold true, there are so many books in the world, one of the factors inevitably becomes how good it looks from the outside. This cover feels haphazardly put together, and I feel like there are so many more ideas for it. For example, something having to do with energy could be on the cover, anything but this.
Going into the plot and story line of the book, I thought this book closely resembled Twilight. I liked the entire premise of the book, including the whole species of Durand and the way they function. I just wish the world had been more developed and more happened within the book, because I felt like throughout the whole five hundred page book, the pace of the book is fairly slow and slightly boring. I thought the plot was picking up when Atty started to look for her mother, but as soon as Ben came into the picture she basically stopped looking and just followed him around. I understand that a lot of this book was going into training Atty and introducing this world, but I feel like too much of the book was spent describing her everyday life and not enough of it went into the seemingly dangerous plot. Several subplots were mentioned within the book but never fully explored, I'm hoping they're mentioned later in the series because otherwise they seemed out of place.
Honestly, the characters were just meh. I didn't feel myself relating too closely or getting too attached to any of them. Atty reminded me a bit too much like Bella, too dependent and needy. Ben creeped me out a bit, as did the rest of his family. All except for maybe Matt, he seemed relatively normal. Looking back on it, there weren't all that many characters in the book, since we spent so much of the time focused on Atty and her daily routine, I feel as though we missed some foundation to this new species.
Another thing I realized I didn't like because of this book. Older men with younger women. It happened in Carrie Lofty's Blue Notes and also in this one. Something about a an older man with a college student really makes me feel creeped out, which is probably why for most of the book I shipped Matt and Atty together instead of Ben and Atty.
As much as I wish that there was more in this book, I do like where this book ended because it really makes me want to read the second book and learn where all of this is going. I think if you like Twilight, this is definitely a book you may like, it's a fairly slow read, but I'm hoping that it picks up in the next book.
If you've read this book and want to discuss certain parts of it, let me know in the comments below!