Friday 2 November 2012

Review: Anomaly

Title:  Anomaly (The New Haven Project #1)
Author: Jessica Marie Gilliland
Publisher: Self-published
Released: 7th July 2012
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I was sorely tempted to give this five stars, but after finishing it and then sleeping on it, I figure (reluctantly) four stars is probably more fair.  It wasn’t perfect, but who needs perfection?  You read this and you are in for a ride. (Ugh, you know what, forget it.  I’m switching this to a 4.5.) 

It’s been five years since Caitlin Tierney was kidnapped from New Haven, a secret institute for children with superhuman abilities.  Her kidnappers?  The Anomaly Control Team, or ACT.  Viewing the children there as a threat, they implanted tacking devices that would both allow the ACT to keep an eye on them and neutralise their powers.  Now, Caity is still trying to fit in with normal life, and it’s (sort of) going OK…until she receives a mysterious letter.  Tracing it back, it’s not long before she’s face to face with Chase, the guy she’s still in love with after all these years, and who she never thought she’d see again.  But with Chase comes the new New Haven, and it doesn’t seem to have changed at all. 

So much happens in this book, it’s unbelievable.  That description I just wrote?  That’s just half the book.  But the amazing thing is that so much happens…and it never gets boring.  I mean, OK, the beginning was a little slow, but after that it picks up and then you’re just zipping along.  I had every scene in my head, I was feeling everything that was going on, whether it was physical or emotional, and by the time I reached 80%, was I going to go to bed at a reasonable time just to get a good night’s sleep?  Of course not.  Half-terms exist for a reason, that reason being lie-ins. (Any teachers reading this might just want to…um…ignore that.)  But anyway, at no point did I start to lose interest and by the end I had my face just inches away from my Kindle. 

Caity, my dear…can we be friends?  No?  Why not?  Oh…yes.  Well, if you were real, I can assure you we’d be besties.  Sorry, Lexie. *turns attention back to reader* Ahem.  Anyway.  Caity was a fantastic protag.  This girl was badass.  This girl was strong.  This girl was smart.  Admittedly, her decision to jump on a plane as soon as she got that letter informing her she had a sister was somewhat questionable.  No-one does that that quickly, no-one feels a sudden protective streak as soon as they get that kind of news.  But apart from that, she was quite a believable character.  Fine, apart from that and her powers, she was quite a believable character.  Caity can both feel the emotions of other people and also move things with her mind, making her pretty unique.  Seriously, you do not want to mess with her when she gets angry.  Ask Bethany Stone, evil leader of New Haven.  I also think she was quite smart when it came to Chase. 

Chase is…adorable.  At first.  The thing is, he’s changed a lot since they got separated five years ago.   He goes from adorable when we meet him to delusional and it was quite a sad thing to see.  Sad for Caity especially, not to mention painful.  I couldn’t believe what he was allowing to happen, what he had volunteered to be put through; quite honestly, he was turning increasingly crazy.  Now, you know how there are some female protags who refuse to see what’s right in front of them and carry on mooning idiotically over the love of their life?  Caity’s not one of them.  There was a point in a key scene that I thought, ‘Uh-oh.  Please don’t tell me she’s about to make that mistake.’  Thankfully, she didn’t, and she left.  (That’s the other half of the book.  She leaves and Stuff Happens.)   That, in my book, made her quite sensible.

OK, so…I’m going to tell you something and you have to promise not to do anything drastic.  Don’t now slam a wall between yourself and this book, don’t just say, ‘Forget it.’  Promise?  Pinky swear?  You as well, do you promise?  OK.  Good.  So…there is a love triangle BUT. 

But.  This takes place after Caity leaves New Haven and stumbles across a makeshift family, of whom Kismet is the leader.  Kiz for short.  There is no insta-love.  Kiz is honestly a really sweet guy.  He’s very quiet.  He has a power that would make any other guy arrogant and someone you’d want to slap, but he in contrast dislikes it because of how it makes people treat him.  What is it, you ask?  Well, go read it.  But seriously, the love triangle in this case makes perfect sense; it is well-written.  And you know what, for me, it ends perfectly.  Gilliland isn’t afraid to do what needs to be done, and if it had ended in any other way, I would have been outraged.  But I was saved from that annoyance, and instead I got to carry on reading in satisfaction. 

Aware as I am of how long this review is turning out to be, I’m going to stop here.  There’s just too much to talk about.  I will just quickly mention that I did have an issue with the tracking devices, it seemed that they were removed too late and so the ACT should have been down on everyone like a ton of bricks and yet they weren’t until a certain point.  But other than that, this book was fabulous.  Every character had their own unique power, their own individual personality; Benji (otherwise known as Headset) was adorable and 4 year old Izzy stunned me.  So:  a diverse set of characters, a highly compelling plotline, a great romance…why aren’t you reading this yet?

A big big thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I think you know I'm not a fan of love triangles - BUT I can accept when one love interest is changed for another, as long as it makes sense and the main character isn't torn between the two. The premise for this is very interesting. Maybe interesting enough for me to forgive anything else. :) Great review, Aa'Ishah! You've had good luck with self-published books recently.

    1. It makes perfect sense. And I think you might like how it ends. ;D Hehe. I know, I'm glad about that. I just need to get through a few more self-pub'd ones and then I can move on to all the other big ones I have waiting. :D

  2. Hmm.. I guess this one sounds okay for my taste. Great job on the review!! You built a scene in my head :) *muses*

    Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  3. Fantastic review, A! I agree with everything Sam said. What I just didn't like about love triangles is when the girl gets torn and indecisive (with the exception of Tessa and Alex). I'm glad to hear that the love triangle was written with perfect sense here. This sounds really great. I'll have to check this out soon. :)

  4. Good to hear this was a great read for you, Aa'Ishah! :D I like the idea of a delusional love interest for once. I don't know, maybe I am just masochistic when it comes to these things he. But for once, the love interest isn't a knight in shining armor! Love it. :D

    Wonderful and entertaining review, Aa'Ishah!

  5. Hi Aa'Ishah,

    Great review, and awesome blog! I've just followed you :)

    J.H. Myn

  6. This sounds fantastic! I like that Caity is a sensible and strong character. Does little Izzy have superpower too? I guess I'll have to read it to find out :)

    Thanks for introducing me to a great story, Aa'Ishah!

  7. Eee, Caity sound awesome. Why have I not come across this book before?! -adds to GR- You have sold me, I need to get my hands on this book. Great review, Aa'Ishah. ^^

  8. It's really hard to write a review for a book you love but has so much going on. Good to see that this was not a love triangle that bugged you. Lovely review Aa'Ishah. :)

  9. Ahh, this sounds like such a cool book! I totally need to find it somewhere :) Awesome, awesome review!! :D


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