Wake by Amanda Hocking (Picked up ARC at BEA 2012)

Sixteen – year – old Gemma Fisher’s life revolves around one thing: swimming. For her, swimming is so much more than an emotional escape. It’s what hopefully will take Gemma away from the small fishing town in which she lives.

By day, Gemma practices and trains hard under the guidance of her high school swim coach at the local pool in the hopes of one day making the Olympic swimming team. By day, she floats peacefully in the silky smooth bay under the cover of stars.

As long as she stays focused, her dreams will one day become a reality. But Gemma can’t seem to focus. But how can she stay focused when Alex, the boy next door, is suddenly becoming something more than that. But even though he’s a distraction, he certainly is a welcomed one.

Unlink the sudden appearance of Penn, Thea, and Lexi. They’re a distraction that Gemma doesn’t welcome. They’re unlike any other visitors her seaside town has ever seen. Not only do these unnaturally beautiful strangers slink about town, but Gemma’s caught them on more than one occasion partying at the bay, often beckoning Gemma to join in.

There’s something fishy about Penn, Thea, and Lexi. Gemma can’t quite put her finger on it, but she’s positive there’s something unnatural about them. And she’s about to find out just how unnatural they are, personally.

Wake, by author Amanda Hocking, is a believable and enchanting start to a four book series – the Watersong Series.

Hocking, best known for her self-published work, has grown both as a writer and a storyteller. She’s taken a classic myth and made it her own. Beyond the impressive storyline, her writing is both solid and believable. Readers will whole heartedly believe what’s happening to Gemma, no matter how fantastical it is.

What made Wake such a great read isn’t only the writing. It’s the fact that bubbling under the guise of fantasy and myth, there’s an unexpected element of horror. Reader’s will be unnerved by the twists and turns. They too will suspect something unnatural hidden with Penn, Thea, and Lexi. Both old and new fans will appreciate the fact that Hocking has stuck to her paranormal roots.

Wake surprised me on so many levels. What surprised me most was the fact that it was told from the third person and I still managed to love it. I have a real issue with books told from third person. I find I can’t connect to the characters, the emotions, and the storyline. But that wasn’t the case for Hocking’s Wake. I felt connected to the storyline, to the characters, and to the emotion put forth in the book.

Wake is a fast paced read that will leave readers wanting more. And lucky for use there are three more on the way!

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