3 out of 4 stars
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Opaque by Cālix Leigh-Reign is a young adult fantasy novel set in contemporary California. Over the course of twenty-five chapters, readers are taken into the world of Adam Caspian and Carly Wit. As the book progresses, we learn that both Adam and Carly are descendants of a biologically evolved group of humans who possess powers beyond the imagination. As the narrative progresses, we witness how Adam and Carly harness their superhuman abilities in an attempt to save their bloodlines from extinction at the hands of unscrupulous scientists. This is a compelling tale of the struggle between darkness and light, teenage romance, supernatural discovery and familial adventure.
What I like most about Opaque is the portrayal of the development of the character of Adam. Even though I find Adam’s dark character to be disagreeable at the start, the growth and transformation he experiences as the narrative progresses is heart-warming. I particularly like the character of Carly, whose healing powers play a key role in the development of the plot. Leigh-Reign’s depiction of the love between Adam and Carly becomes enthralling to read. ‘It’s as if he’s walked under her umbrella of sunshine because his darkness retreats, time pauses, and ears go deaf to all other sound but the beating of her heart.’ The author’s apt use of metaphor creates a beautifully powerful image which reveals the profundity of connection between the characters.
Despite the fact that Opaque is ultimately a story of triumphing over darkness through light, this novel does contain a lot of violence. This is the aspect of the novel I dislike most. Towards the end of the book there is a scene where Adam battles the evil scientists, and the lucid description of how ‘flesh slowly oozes from their bones’ is graphic and distressing to imagine.
Overall, I rate Opaque 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the message of hope at the conclusion of the novel, the narrative’s many twists and turns make use of the themes of revenge, deception and greed to drive the plot forward. This book is very well-written with an overarching idea of harnessing our powers to use goodness to destroy evil. There were only a few errors in the text, which indicates the novel has been edited fairly well.
I would definitely recommend Opaque to enthusiasts of the fantasy genre, and also to anyone who is looking for a touching teenage love story. The book does contain violence and there is mention of rape, so I would hesitate to recommend it to those who may be offended by such content.
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