Saturday, 8 November 2014

Aversion by Kenechi Udogu

A teen novel for fans of gentle paranormal fiction.

About Kenechi Udogu:

Kenechi lives in London and enjoys writing fantasy fiction and short stories (some of which she posts on her blog). She also hates the cold and hopes to one day figure out how to hibernate in winter.

About Aversion:

Gemma Green is a semi-normal fifteen year old making her way through high school, coping with her first crush and the lack of a female parent, and being raised by her father.

She is also an averter, which means that she was born with the ability to sense when an intervention is necessary and can step in to re-route a bad decision which will have a serious impact on an individual’s life. For example, the first aversion which Gemma is called to make is for a boy named Russ, who will drink and drive, killing his friends and injuring himself in the process. As a result of her intervention Russ chooses not to go to the party and … well, you know the rest.

The storyline is fairly predictable. Love follows (strike that - make it “forbidden love” since that is so much more exciting), along with the usual parental reluctance and withholding of some very useful information.

I may be an old cynic, but I found a lot of the story stale. There seems to be something missing - perhaps in character depth, or in structure. Whilst I found the story itself rather predictable, the characters did not always behave in predictable ways, their actions seeming forced or unrealistic. The writer also relies heavily on telling rather than showing, which came to be a little monotonous after a time. The wording was at times stilted and old-fashioned, and I struggled to hear a youthful, fifteen year old voice in its words, no-matter how mature Gemma thinks she is.

In its defence, I believe that young teens will really enjoy it.

The world which Kenechi has created, where teenagers move among us invisibly wielding great power and keeping everything on track, may be regurgitated, but it is also most certainly very popular. Show me a teen who doesn’t feel on the outer, different, socially awkward. Don’t they all dream of finding their power, learning to control it, and winding up in charge of the universe?

I’m not a huge fan of paranormal fiction, but as they go, this one has been very gentle on me. It hits the markers for an easy teenage read. Teen hottie: check. (“Cute” mentioned twenty times). Falls for the socially outcast protagonist: check. Overprotective parent: check. Knows something he’s not sharing: check. Strong female heroine: semi-check.

I won’t be rushing out to read the next one, but having said that, I will definitely be recommending this book to young teens. We all had to start somewhere.

Aversion is the first book in Udogu’s Mentalist Series. The second is Sentient, released in 2013, and for fans of the series, Udogu has also released a prequel called Broken Ties, which is currently available free from many online retailers.

You can find Kenechi Udogu online at Amazon:


And on her blog:

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