Friday, December 26, 2014

Hidden Illusions by Amanda Shofner


Title: Hidden Illusions
Author: Amanda Shofner
My Rating: A


Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Hunted Book #2
Main Characters: Janey and Will
Release Date: December 2014
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:

She's driven by one purpose

Janey Jones may have escaped the Hunters, but the scars they inflicted still mark her, inside and out. One goal keeps her moving forward: kill Captain Reed, the man who tortured her, destroyed her Gift, and murdered her mother. She’ll do anything to succeed.

He's seen what blind ambition can do

Will Brown protects people. First his family, now the people he leads in the Gifted army. He knows what needs to be done to keep everyone safe: destroy the Hunters for good. And that’s exactly what he plans to do. The right way.

But one secret binds them, and its ramifications are explosive

When Will and Janey are thrown together, they’re forced to put aside their differences for a greater purpose: find a way to stay alive—and salvage the mission to cut the Hunters down, once and for all.

What they uncover will change their lives forever


My Review:
Janey...wow. I knew this book was going to be hers and although she was a great character in the first book, I wasn't sure how she'd be carrying the whole story. She was amazing!

This book takes place four years after the first book and Janey, who is now hiding in plain sight as Jane, has somewhat settled into her place as a soldier in the uprising against the Hunters. I say somewhat because Jane has a REAL issue with following the rules. She thinks that if the end result works, then it truly doesn't matter how she got there...not the greatest ideology within a military force and Sam and Coop are having a hard time controlling her. 

A major thorn in her side is Will. This black and white, play by the rules guy who always seems to be there when Jane takes a "different" avenue than maybe she should. As a result, these two are always at each other's throat. 

Jane wants nothing more than revenge against Reed, who's the Hunter responsible for her years of captivity, experimentation, and torture that left her without access to her Gift...something that is soul-destroying in that a significant part of her is missing...a void. While Will wants the Hunters taken down too, he has no real clue into Jane's past or why she's so completely driven. He doesn't know that she's really Janey, the only Gifted who ever escaped the Hunter's.

Jane could easily be one of those characters that as a reader you find hard to love. She's driven; She's hard; She plays by her own rules without real regard to the consequences or her own safety. But Amanda Shofner did an amazing job showing Janey's pain and motivation. This girl was systematically tortured as a child...as a result, she never shows weakness, although it's there in so many little ways. I loved her for her strength, but also because she truly is so broken.

And then when Will began to truly understand why she was that way, I wanted to jump up and down because I wanted him to understand her too. These two have an amazing connection and if they could just get over their dislike of one another... As the reader I could see just how amazing they were going to be. I love the anticipation build-up like that. Will is actually aware of their connection earlier than Janey because he still has access to his Gift and knows something is different when she's near him. He can feel her presence. 

And I know that this probably all sounds complicated with Gifts and Hunters, but really the world isn't that complex. Amanda Shofner introduces the elements in the middle of the action so you don't even notice the world-building. It's an alternative universe/world, but the she built it so it didn't ever feel confusing or foreign. I like it when author's manage to create alternative worlds within those parameters.  

I challenge you to check the book out with the free snippet you can read or by checking the excerpt on Amanda Shofner's blog ( http://amandashofner.com/ ). I think you will find yourself quickly captivated by this world...and especially by Janey and Will. *sigh* I do love them together. Shh, don't tell Amanda, but I think I like them even better than Sam and Coop. 

This is the second book in the series, but I think it would work fine as a stand-alone. Although I do recommend both books and the novella, because the entire series is good. I'm sad to see it end, but look forward to the new projects Amanda Shofner hinted at in her Letter to the Reader.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

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