Rae of Hope by W.J. May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌎🌏🌍🌎🌍
Character development: 🧑🏻🎤👨🏻🎤🦸🏻🦸🏼♂🦹🏻♀
The heroine: Rae Kerrigan – Rae gets a surprise scholarship to a private boarding school in England called Guilder. Rae doesn’t realize until she arrives that the school is for special students with superpowers. On their birthday at age 16, a Tatù (like a tattoo) appears which marks them as having inherited the gift from one of their parents. The Tatù is a representation of the gift/ability they have gotten. Rae turns 16 in November, so has a bit to wait.
The Hero(es): Devon – He has a fox Tatù which comes with abilities like super speed and extra strength. He has a girlfriend named Beth that goes to a school close by. He is tasked with tutoring Rae since most kids start at the school three years prior to getting their Tatù and Rae just began with no knowledge of their world.
The Story: Rae lost her parents at a young age and grew up with her uncle Argyle. His sister (Rae’s mother) got the Tatù in their family instead of Argyle and he never told her anything about her parents or their world. So when Rae came to Guilder, she knew nothing of the abilities or the Tatùs.
Rae finds out the rest of the student body seem to know more about her family than she did. It seems that marriages between two gifted people were forbidden and her father was not a good person (he is the Voldemort of this story). Some of the faculty and students expect Rae to be a chip off the old block apparently.
I have seen some reviews that hit on the fact that it is similar to Harry Potter, and others that say it is similar to Twilight because the Hero saves the heroine from a falling object similar to how Edward saves Bella from the careening van in that book/movie. Though I don’t really see the comparison there. I do see it as a similar genre or trope as Harry Potter, not really a rip off of it. I think you could take any romance and call it a rip off of another more popular book due to them being in the same trope but to me that is all it is. I like the trope of supernatural beings at a boarding school. X-men is similar in that way as well, but you would never call X-men or Harry Potter rip offs of each other because they are both uber popular.
The narration was pretty great. The story is all told in Rae’s POV so there was just one narrator, Sarah Anne Masse, and she was perfect for this book. She did different voices for all the characters and there are quite a few. Many have English and Scottish accents so it is pretty cool that she can do them all so well. Some are a bit over the top and even sound a little like some of the Characters in Harry Potter, but that is probably to be expected when one person is doing different voices for so many characters.
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