Splashy One to Watch: WAKE by Amanda Hocking

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Today is in a Flash Review style because the book doesn't come out until next month and I'd like to Spotlight it now for Splash rather than do a full review!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

EVEN OVER THE SEA, THEA COULD SMELL THE BLOOD ON HER.  When she breathed in, it filled her with a familiar hunger that haunted her dreams.  Except now it disgusted her, leaving a horrible taste in her mouth, because she knew where it came from.

(Page 1, US ARC Edition, out Aug. 7, 2012;
Changes may occur before final printing)

WAKE is the first novel by self-publishing millionaire Amanda Hocking to be traditionally published and released in hardcover.  St. Martin's Griffin also re-packaged her self-published bestselling TRYLLE TRILOGY earlier this year in paperback. I'm glad to see Hocking with a traditional publisher because the ARC is full of errors that will surely be cleaned up and polished before the final book hits shelves next month.

Hocking goes back to an older definition of sirens than what many visualize today, causing surprise revelations I didn't see coming right away.  She also creates a creepy group of girls who are model-beautiful, yet "off."  They arrive in town as a string of murders begin occurring, and a lot of people think they're strange, but they're so beautiful that no one suspects them of any wrong-doing.  One of the girls disappears, leaving the quartet a trio, and the girls begin expressing interest in a local named Gemma.  They lure her to them one night and Gemma awakes remembering nothing, but knowing that something in her life has fundamentally changed.

While Hocking's characters aren't multi-faceted in WAKE, they weren't when I reviewed the TRYLLE TRILOGY either.  The characters wound up growing and evolving as fleshed out beings as the story progressed, so I'm hoping to see that happen this time around as well.  I did love the strong familial relationship between Gemma and her older sister Harper, who has acted more as a mother than a sister ever since a tragic accident.  A lot of readers who have been in this situation (either as the older sibling acting as a parent or the younger one being parented) will emphasize with this situation.  Harper was actually my favorite sister to read about, though the story is mostly Gemma's due to her unfortunate evolution due to her involvement with the sirens.  The book is told in third person and alternates between the lives of both girls.  There are love interests for both girls as well.  Gemma's revolves around Alex, the older boy next door, her sister's best friend, which was really sweet, but also had an "expected" air to it.  I was more drawn to the budding relationship between Harper and Daniel, a guy she doesn't necessarily trust, despite the fact that he so obviously likes her and has been nothing but kind to her.  Harper likes to be in control and knows where she wants to go in life.  She's so busy being responsible that she doesn't open herself up when opportunity knocks.  The scenes between Harper and Daniel were some of my favorites and it will be interesting to see their story arc progress.

A sneak peek at the mermaids in WAKE:


But she could feel her tail below her, swishing through the water.  It felt powerful and fast, and it was almost itching to swim.

At least she knew part of the truth now.  She knew what they were, and they weren't going anywhere.  Without saying anything more, Gemma dove under the water.

It was better than anything she'd ever imagined.  She moved faster than she ever thought possible.  She darted around the ocean floor and chased fish simply because she could..  Outrunning a shark would be a cinch, and she almost hoped she found one so she could try it out.

It was the most amazing, exhilarating feeling she'd ever had.  Her skin felt alive in ways she'd never known was possible.  Every move, every tremble, every change in the current rippled through her.

(Page 161, US ARC Edition, out Aug. 7, 2012;
Changes may occur before final printing)

Put this one on your TBR list for next month!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  WAKE
Author: Amanda Hocking
Release Date: Out Aug. 7, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Received: ARC for review


Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets


  1. I can't wait for this one! I'm bummed to hear that the characters are a bi flat (like the trylle characters). I still love a good mermaid story though!

    1. Agreed. Not perfect, but not bad, either! I like it better than Trylle so far.

  2. This one sounds interesting! I haven't rad the Trylle trilogy yet (but really need to :P), but this mermaid story sounds good. Thanks for the great review!

    Confessions of a Readaholic

    1. I think I prefer this to Trylle, so if you have to choose one...!

      Then again, mermaids! LOL


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