Chosen [The Chosen #1] by Denise Grover Swank

Publication Date: September 13th, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma’s never needed help before. And even though she’s learned to trust her son, it doesn’t mean she trusts Will. 

Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma’s freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake’s proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn’t know she has. Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will’s overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his paycheck and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it’s too late.

Emma has spent the last five years on the run; running from a dangerous unknown entity who seemed bent on tracking her son.  Jake seemed to have a preternatural ability to see the future, which is handy considering he only sees when the “bad men” are coming. On one close call, they run into a drifter who  was willing to help them run away. Untrusting Emma knew in her guts that she shouldn’t put their lives in the hands of a stranger. But when bullets started flying in their direction, she knew they no longer have a choice.

Will Davenport has his own agenda – to bring Emma Thompson, alive,  to those who hired him. But he never counted on a five-year old boy who seemed much wiser than his age and who’d been in way too many chases to last him a lifetime. Things got even weirder when the boy started talking about a prophecy which includes him as The Chosen, his mother as the queen, and the two sons who would eventually decide the fate of the world. Talk about pressure. It’s all good though, because it’s not like Will has a choice or a say in the matter. All he knew was the indomitable urge to protect Emma regardless of what he’d face when he failed to bring her to the people who wanted her. What was once a means to a pay check turned into something more – an emotional connection with a “job” that he’d never once allow himself to feel in a long time.

My second DGS book turned out to be a pleasant and an odd experience. The non-stop chase left me breathless in such a way that action movies tend to make my heart race until the hero gets his revenge. Eighty percent of the novel alludes to a prophecy unfulfilled or half-way fulfilled, depending on how much you’ve paid attention to the story line. But the end result will leave you feeling like you just didn’t have a full grasp of what you’ve read. This is pretty much how I’ve felt. That doesn’t mean, however, that I wasted my time reading this book. On the contrary, I can’t wait to read the next one. The ambiguous story arc will make you want to re-read it soon after you’ve reached the end of the line. Primarily for the need to sate the overwhelming urge to have a mild understanding of what it’s about.

You can attempt to classify this as paranormal but you’ll fail. Aside from the prophecy, there just wasn’t enough of it to consider it as one. It was heaped in action that you could say it’s a thriller and romance all rolled into one captivating package. I can’t remember ever reading something as unique and as riveting as this novel.

VERDICT: My one and only complaint is, ironically enough, the very thing that I liked about this novel: the cryptic paranormal plot element. And even now, as I’m writing this review, I can’t tell you what the hell this book was about. I think it’s brilliant, in such a way that it would leave readers chomping at the bits to read the next one. But it’s also frustrating; having to spend a day or two to read a novel, and not having a full understanding of what you’ve read. Regardless, I ordered my copies of the trilogy last week, and I just got a notification that all will be here by tomorrow. Go me.

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