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Holders (Strange Chemistry)

The Holders - Julianna Scott Read the full review on Tales Between the Pages

The only reason why I read “The Holders” was because NetGalley gave me early access to “The Seers” and I didn’t realize it was the second book in a series until I got about five pages in. Oops. Let me tell you though, that was a happy accident. “The Holders” is an addictive read that left me wanting to know more about Becca and all of the secrets and mysteries she encounters.

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The only thing I didn’t like was that female Holders are generally inferior and not as powerful as the men. I get that Scott threw that in there to make a big deal out of Becca’s powers, but it just didn’t set well with me. I’m really interested in the way popular culture portrays women and I find that additions like this one, where women are expected to be inferior in a supernatural world, end up setting us back a little … even if it’s used to show how powerful a female character really is. For me, the good intentions are inevitably ruined.

One of the more interesting bits of information that we learn is that Holders have weaknesses. Alex’s weakness is particularly endearing. When not wearing his sciath (usually a gem that keeps their powers and weaknesses in check), you can see every emotion that he feels. I got to thinking about that. How embarrassing would that be? Could you imagine trying to start a new relationship with all of your emotions on your sleeve? Horrifying.

Alex and Becca’s relationship felt sincere. They honestly care about each other. And, on the plus side, we know that they’re unlikely to break up. That’s a plus. But, I found Becca’s jump-t0-conclusions-anger-issues quite annoying. She’s protective, yes. But I think that her protective nature was written completely over the top. There’s a way to make a character protective without making your audience roll their eyes. But, I do think this is one of the hazards of writing a first-person narrative. Alex is a good foil for her because he’s so calm and collected.

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Overall, I couldn’t stop reading this book. Though some of the book’s elements are familiar, Scott combines them with very unique elements that make for a fantastic read. Alex and Becca have a unique love story. “The Holders” left this girl totally satisfied and excited to start the next book.