Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Strange Power - L.J. Smith

Kaitlyn is an artist, but not an ordinary one. She draws pictures of things that are going to happen in the future. Everything she draws comes true - but sometimes she can't figure out what she's drawn until it's too late. Kait is only too happy when Dr. Zetes, a scientist who is studying psychic abilities, invites her to come to California and join his school of similarly talented individuals. There Kaitlyn meets golden boy Rob, a healer, and the dark lone wolf Gabriel who apparently wants nothing to do with her. But with so much supernatural energy going around, it's hardly surprising that the psychics develop a telepathic link that can't be broken.

 I was given the Dark Visions series - The Strange Power, The Possessed, and The Passion - last year, but I hadn't read them yet. In part, this was because the cover of my collective edition looked like it was meant to appeal to Twilight fans, and I'm definitely not a Twilight fan. I've been trying to go through some books that have been sitting around for a while, though, so I picked it up.

Though The Strange Power was written in 1994, I would never have guessed had I not checked the front of the book. After all, it shares the traits of the most widely marketed teen fiction today. Paranormal? Check. Romance? Check. Not only that, the romance side of the story is very similarly constructed to that of Twilight. Dark, brooding, mysterious boy? Check. Warm, kind, (sort of) innocent boy? Check. Fortunately, Kaitlyn is not nearly as sappy and weak-willed as I found Bella to be. Also fortunately, romance is not - at least, not so far - the main element of the book. For the moment, the paranormal fantasy element is stronger than the romance, and I'm really (really) hoping it stays that way throughout the trilogy.

All that said, The Strange Power kept me reading. I wanted to know what happened next, and I wanted to find out more about the characters. The premise was interesting, and the plot developed in an interesting, though not always unexpected, way. Without this, I doubt the book would have held my attention. As it is, though, I would recommend The Strange Power particularly to fans of the paranormal romance genre, and I am eager to see what the next two books have in store.

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