Title: Darwin’s Children
Author: Natasha Larry
Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
I think as teenagers we all think our parents have some sort of mysterious mind-reading powers at some point, otherwise how can we explain how they knew when we were planning to sneak out, even though we were very quiet in making out plans. Thankfully, my mom’s skills got rusty by the time I was 15, otherwise I would have been grounded a lot more often than I was. Yes, I was one of THOSE teenagers, the kind I would never let Jake hang around with now that I’m a parent. While my mom may have occasionally been able to predict my moves, Jaycee’s father in Darwin’s Children can quite literally read her mind anytime he wants to. Her superhuman “nanny” can also eavesdrop from several rooms away, and her godfather can basically make anyone do anything with a single thought. Jaycee herself has quite a few tricks up her sleeve, and may very well be on her way to becoming one of the most powerful superhumans on Earth. Thank goodness they all use their powers for good!
In Darwin’s Children, 17 year old Jaycee is struggling to learn how to control her ever-strengthening powers by training with her superhuman nanny, Allison. She’s also learning how to deal with her new-found romantic feelings for her lifelong best friend, Matt, who doesn’t know that she’s a little different than other girls. On top of that, a mysterious Guardian drops in on her one day and urges her to get a job at a Christian book store and make friends with the girl that works there, Haylee. While Jaycee’s had a pretty good life so far, Haylee’s has been wrought with devastating trauma, and she definitely could use a break in her life. As the bond between the two grows stronger, Jaycee learns exactly what kind of trauma her new friend has been through, and jut how far she’ll go to protect her friend.
I really enjoyed this Darwin’s Children. It was tightly written with authentic dialogue and loads of personality. The characters of Jaycee, Haylee, Mason (Jaycee’s father), Allison, and John (Jaycee’s godfather) were developed flawlessly so that I felt I understood each one pretty well by the end of the book. The relationship between Jaycee and Matt progressed logically, and didn’t steal the focus from the true plot of the book- Jaycee’s journey of self-discover and friendship with Haylee. My only complaint is that the last part of the book, after the resolution of the major conflict, seemed to go a little fast. I understand the reasoning behind it, as it seems to be setting up what I hope will become a series, but I did feel it would have been a little better if parts of the ending were saved and fleshed out a bit for the next story. Other than that, I was completely pulled into the story and thought it was really well-written and intriguing, especially the mythology behind the different superpowers and supernatural creatures. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series (I am assuming there will be one based on the ending, if not, I hope the author will strongly consider it).