The Childe by C.A. Kunz was released in the U.S. on February 18, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and in paperback format at Barnes & Noble.
Self-published, the print edition is 410 pages.
The Childe is the first book in a series of the same name by the authors. The sequel, Dark Days will be available soon.
Cat Colvin started off her freshman year at Astoria High filled with excitement to finally be attending school with her lifelong friends and to no longer be forced into going to private school. But the thrill of starting over quickly fades.
Right from the start things go wrong.
Cat makes an enemy of the dangerous and hot-tempered Isaac, gets the attention of Kirsten, a girl looking only to befriend her to get closer to her brother, draws the animosity of Mr. Crawley, a math teacher with a chip on his shoulder, and ends up needing to be tutored by a boy who makes her pulse race.
All in all a less than stellar first year. And if that weren’t bad enough, she’s pretty sure she’ll have to add “going crazy” to the list, because seeing things and hearing voices can’t mean anything but that.
The Childe is the incredibly bewitching, exciting and original story of a girl with a dark past and uncertain future. A girl with unknown allies and enemies. A girl who knows nothing about who she is, where she comes from or what dangers await.
This twisty-turny, tension-filled story is a mystery that will keep readers guessing as to just what a Childe is and what it all means for the main character, Cat Colvin. While many questions are answered by the story’s end, not all mysteries are solved, leaving the door open for even more shocks and surprises in books to come.
Cat Colvin never thought of herself as different. Not too different, anyway. Aside from being taller than most girls her age, and paler, with a wild mane of red hair which earned her the nickname “Red Freak” by her brother Taylor and with eyes which once were the same color but now were mismatched. Aside from all that, she felt fairly normal.
Until she started having some pretty wild and unbelievably realistic dreams. Until she started seeing things. And reading minds. And fainting. Until then she had felt normal, at least, even if her outward appearance screamed otherwise.
But even if she didn’t feel normal, she didn’t need to let people in on her little secret. If she were going crazy, she’d much rather go crazy quietly.
Authors Carol and Adam Kunz have created a refreshingly different paranormal mystery with their debut novel, The Childe. Not your typical whodunit, the story these authors have written asks instead – who and what is a Childe? – and then proceeds to tease readers throughout with pieces to this puzzle that will be partially solved at the story’s end.
And The Childe is not your typical paranormal story either. The authors take a different approach by only giving short glimpses into the paranormal world they created throughout the book rather than having it be the focus of the story, making this as much a mystery as it is Cat’s story.
The authors have created a wonderfully diverse group of characters who each contribute something to the story and add yet another layer to the mystery.
The main character, Cat Colvin, is a fierce, brave and independent heroine. She is friendly and loyal and helpful, but is not so trusting as to be foolish. She is quick to stand up to a bully, but is not quite strong enough to reveal just what’s happening to her.
Her family is incredibly protective, including her brother Taylor. Her friends are clever and funny and supportive and understanding and even a little bit odd. And her enemies are wicked and cruel and pushy and obnoxious. And then there’s Ryan, who’s mysterious and handsome and just as fiercely independent as Cat.
The Childe is an enchanting first book in this series, told from multiple point’s of view – mainly Cat Colvin’s – that combines a mystery with the paranormal into story that will leave readers anxiously anticipating the sequel.
Reviewer gives this book…
On a personal note:
I didn’t know what to expect when I started to read The Childe. I didn’t know what it meant to be a Childe. All I knew was that the description piqued my curiosity and Cat Colvin was someone I wanted to meet.
A tall girl, with fiery red hair and mismatched eyes who was transforming into some kind of being called a Childe definitely made me want to know more. About her. About the mystery behind being a Childe. And just what the paranormal element in this story was. It sounded pretty awesome.
What I discovered was a wonderful and engaging story with hints – teases really – at the paranormal and quite the mystery that only begins to come to light at the story’s end. An ending that made me want to pick up the next book in the series immediately so that I could find out just what was going to happen next.
I spent much of the book trying to figure out what was happening with Cat, who she really was and just what secrets were being kept from her. Everyone seemed to be hiding something.
Everyone seemed to be a mystery. Cat’s parents, Cat’s brother, her friend Julie, her super cute tutor Ryan, her enemy Isaac and even the obnoxious and full of herself Kirsten are all keeping secrets.
While I was able to guess at a few of these secrets before they were revealed, I am still completely in the dark on so many others. Especially the ones that remain unanswered at the end of this book.
The authors did a great job of teasing the mystery in their story. And I found myself captivated by the glimpses into the past that they revealed in bits and pieces throughout. I would have loved to find out more in this installment in the series, and I’m hoping to learn more in book two.
But while I loved the mystery and the paranormal, what I loved most about this book were the characters. And not just the good ones. The not so nice characters were just as interesting and the authors made me want to know more about them too.
I loved Cat Colvin and her friends. They were an eclectic group, but seemed to complement each other well. And it was nice reading a story where the main character didn’t have just one or two friends who got shoved to the sidelines when the cute boy entered the picture. Cat stuck with her friends from beginning to end.
I also loved that the story was told from multiple perspectives. I liked being able to see not just what Cat was seeing, thinking and feeling, but what a number of different characters were doing when Cat wasn’t in the picture. It helped to fill in some of the missing pieces to the puzzle. Though at times it was used to create even more of a mystery.
While many of the changes in point’s of view were easily identifiable, or separated by the three cat illustration equivalent of asterisks used in this book, there were a few where it wasn’t immediately recognizable, where the perspective switched to another character and back fairly abruptly. And so at times I was pulled out of the story in order to re-read those passages. And there were also a few grammatical mistakes that yanked me out. But they were fairly infrequent.
What I did enjoy getting pulled out of the story for were the illustrations. I absolutely loved all the amazing illustrations at the beginning of the chapters. Where I typically don’t even notice chapter titles or changes, I did find myself captivated by many of these drawings, especially those of the house. They did pull me out of the story because I found myself studying them instead of reading on. But I was happy to be pulled out to look at them.
The pace had its ups and downs. There were parts to the story where the pace was lightning fast and others where it slowed down a bit. But once the disappearances start happening the pace picked up until the end, which I can definitely say feels very much like a cliffhanger.
I loved this story and these characters and am super thrilled that I have the next book to read. I want to know more about Cat, who she is, just what she’s capable of and just how dangerous things really are for her. I also really want to find out more about the history and how that factors in.
Oh, and of course I want to know just what happens with Cat and Ryan, if Kirsten gets her way, if Isaac becomes even more of a jerk, what exactly is going on with one of Cat’s friends and just what is a Childe. Fortunately I don’t have long to wait, since I have the next book in the series, Dark Days, sitting on my shelf.
This review is based on a finished copy of the book (2nd printing) provided by the authors in exchange for my honest review.