*I received a free copy of Hidden Powers from Dreamspinner Press via ARC Publisher. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Hidden Powers by Tara Lain
Series: Superordinary Society #1
Published by Dreamspinner Press on March 12, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, LGBT, New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Source: ARC Publisher
Jazz Vanessen is weird—and not just because he’s a werewolf. For most of his life, he’s felt different from his alpha male brothers and friends. Since he’s adopted, he can’t even blame it on family.
Now eighteen, Jazz meets his idol, the social activist Lysandra Mason, and her breathtaking nephew, Dash Mercury. When Dash is around, even stranger things start to happen, including Jazz falling hopelessly in lust. Not only is Jazz having visions, making people disappear, and somehow turning invisible, but somebody’s following him and threatening to reveal his pack’s secrets to the world.
Together with Dash and Jazz’s equally amazing friends—Carla, BeBop, Khadija, and Fatima—they discover the danger is even more lethal than they thought, and Jazz’s weirdness may save all their lives.
Hidden Powers wasn’t exactly was I was expecting since I didn’t realize it was YA/NA, but TLain exceeded any other expectations I had by taking on another facet of PNR – younger characters. The result was exciting, entertaining, and suspenseful!
I didn’t realize that either, but I really loved that it was! Plus, it was nice to see some familiar characters from the Harker pack!
First things first, wifey… This is the start of a new series yet it’s a spinoff of TLain’s Harker series. I haven’t read that series and while I did realize these characters had already been introduced but I never felt lost. And it certainly didn’t take away from my enjoyment of Hidden Powers. I believe you’ve read the earlier series. Did you think that gave you a better understanding of what was going on? Did it make for a richer experience? I just want to let our readers know whether or not it’d be better to have read Harker.
Oh you haven’t read that? You would love that series so much. It’s really well done, and rather sexy and mysterious at times. There is a little bit of suspense in that one, too. And the characters are awesome! I loved seeing them again, and to me, the whole pack dynamics, and the problems they had with other packs were things I already knew.
TLain excels at creating a secondary cast that gives the MC’s and the story texture and dimension. Hidden Powers proved that once again. Not only did we meet and get acquainted with the Superordinary Society – the compassion, support, dynamics between them all – but we also got to meet (or once again spend time with) the incredible family Jazz was adopted into. They’re unique for sure, but he couldn’t have asked for a better family. What did you think of the supporting cast?
I agree! I loved BeBop, Carla, Dij and Dash. Plus of course, the older wolves who live with Jazz. The whole cast of characters was very well done, and all the characters were multi dimensional, so that made for a fantastic story in my opinion.
To explore that topic a bit more, let’s chat about all the members of the Superordinary Society. I really admire them all. They’re all misfits in some way, right? And yet they fit together perfectly. Carla with her tenacity and strong will, Dij with her loyalty and secrets, BeBop with his snazzy way of dressing and speaking, and super intelligence and humor, Dash with his good will, good deeds, and secrets, and finally, Jazz in all his lanky, knobby, “weird” glory. Oh he had hidden powers and secrets galore. He’s a gay werewolf, for goodness sake! I think in some way, each of them felt “alone”, a common trait among teens. I admired how Dash put things in perspective when they were choosing a name for their group:
“Yes, it means exactly what the name implies. Outside or beyond ordinary.” He held up a finger. “That’s even better than beyond the natural, don’t you think?”
And I appreciated how TLain brought these five together so they could use their strengths for a common goal. How did you see this group of superordinary individuals?
I loved that they were more than ordinary, but not outside of what is natural or normal! Because so many people feel like they’re on the outside looking in – they just don’t realize they’re not the only ones feeling that way. I found their little group to be truly awesome! They were very diverse, but they still clicked from the first time they met. And their loyalty made me really happy, of course.
The supernatural and suspense elements were well done. It was interesting how the supes came together and why. I enjoyed how TLain conveyed the powers of these supes, how they were revealed, and the number of different supernatural elements there were in this world. I also liked how TLain built suspense around the main plot in Hidden Powers, used a fair amount of action to do it, and answered some questions in this first book. But she also built more suspense via an overarching plot. I mean, I know I’m going to read the next installment because I *need* answers to my questions. What did you think about these elements?
I loved how many different supes she included too, and how they all had specific parts to play in a way. The suspense was so well done – because every little thing was revealed in its own time. I think that Jazz not fully knowing who or what he was made that even better. Of course, coming to terms with everything wasn’t easy – but he had his whole family at his back. Cheering him on and always loving and supporting him.
TLain seems to be adept at weaving in messages of sorts in her stories. Whether or not that’s intentional, I don’t know. But I always find hidden meaning. In Hidden Powers, she touched on teen emotions of loneliness. She also touched on prejudices against sexual orientation. And she hinted at feelings and emotions surrounding adoption – that feeling of “not belonging”. I admired that she also incorporated “finding oneself” as well. Did you find these messages powerful? Did you see other hidden messages?
I couldn’t agree more! She always finds a way to bring more to the story than ‘just’ the storyline and the plot. I think those feelings of being utterly alone are very important to think about. Teenage years are kind of weird that way. So many changes in our lives, and our bodies. And somehow, it felt like everything that happened only happened to me. The way all these characters felt like outsiders, but still managed to be there for each other made it even more powerful to read about.
Overall, I felt Hidden Powers had a strong and well developed cast of characters and storyline. I’m eager for more from Jazz and his gang of misfits. How about you, wifey?
I hope the next book will be released before too long! I loved Jazz, and I really want to know more about him. I’m also very, very curious about both Dij and Carla. I think there’s more to Carla than what meets the eye, if you know what I mean 😉
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: