Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.
As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family.
To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human.
Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.
Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.
Becoming is book one of the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy. This book centers around Amber, the oldest daughter of Saraqael, a non-human being from the Estilorian plane. Being semi-Estilorian and semi-human, Amber has inexplicable power that no one can truly understand. Because of her unique semi-human condition, she is being sent to live among humans on the Earth plane.
Amber wants to live a normal, stable life. Unfortunately, unexplainable disastrous incidents kinda keep happening and she has been requested to move from one foster home to another every few years. Since twelve, she has been living with her fellow foster, Gabriel, under the care of Mrs. B. Although an unexplainable incident happened to her at age fifteen, Gabriel was by her side and he helped her live through the incident. She and Gabriel become best friends. To Amber, Gabriel is her anchor, her source of strength. To Gabriel, Amber is not only his best friend, but also the only person that he truly loves and cares deeply. As Amber gradually uncovers her origin, she realizes that she and Gabriel must make a choice of no-return… but can they live through the consequences together?
I really appreciate Thomas’s imagination in the world building of the Estilorian plane. The Estilorian world is similar to Earth but more archaic. There is no electricity, no movies, no television, no ipod, no internet. The Estilorians have detached themselves from most emotions and to them, love is a vague concept, something absurd and incomprehensible. Due to their lack of emotional expressions, the Estilorians often state things in a very factual manner and I find it interesting and sometimes hilarious to read the dialogue between the daughters of Saraqael and their non-sarcastic Estilorian friends.
There are three daughters of Saraqael: Amber the oldest, Olivia the second-born, and Skye the youngest. They are triplets. They look almost identical in appearance but they have very distinctive personalities. If you ask me which daughter I like the most, I’d say it’s really hard for me to choose because I am fascinated by all three of them. I am fascinated by their personalities. I am fascinated by their vivacity. I am fascinated by their expressive interactions. Even when they have not been growing up together, I like that they quickly warm up to being family and they are not afraid to step into the unknown together.
Personally, I do not find any dull moment while reading this story. I’m actually quite amazed by the ambitious setting, the lively characters and the dynamic plot. I particularly enjoy the conflicting circumstances that are being revealed when a class of Estilorians introduces chaos and harm into the relatively peaceful life on the Estilorian plane. I also like the unexpected twist of events when jealousy causes sentient beings to unleash malice and bring out the worst behaviors of all time.
Although there is no breakneck chase or action, Becoming offers a beautiful introduction to the adventurous world of the Estilorians. I had a wonderful time reading this story and I look forward to getting my hands on the rest of the series.