Author: Natasha Larry
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 8, 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads: Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts! Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything. As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of... Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!
You know a great book when you can easily be captivated by the characters and setting alone and fall in love with it before the plot even really kicks in, and Darwin's Children is definitely that book. Super powers and super humans done in an incredibly different way, Natasha Larry combines the best of all the paranormal and supernatural world coupling it with a characters whose stories will pull at your heart strings, Darwin's Children is a book that I know will be stuck on my mind for a very long time.
In my opinion, I know a series is going to keep on getting better and better when the first book in the series can easily stand great as a stand alone title. And Darwin's Children is definitely one of those books. Jaycie Lerger was an interesting character from the start. I mean really, there are so many dishonorable and some might say sinister things a person could do if they had the power read and "alter" people's thoughts, but does Jaycie do any of these things, of course not. She has other intentions for her abilities, and I must say, though she may seem like she is holding back at times, she definitely knows how to bring it when the time is right.
Not just Jaycie, but the whole Lerner family was so captivating to read about. The background of Jaycie's trainer/substitute mother and her superhuman abilities was so fascinating. As well as that of Jaycie's father and godfather, who couldn't be more annoyingly cryptic all the time.
The plot of this book hit me more emotionally than I anticipated it would. Jaycie and her friend Haylee go through a rough roller coaster throughout their friendship and at times the book became hard for me to read just because of the raw and horrific emotions that emanated from both Jaycie and Haylee at different times of the book. This part of the book in my opinion, though heart wrenching, was written beautifully.
Darwin's Children has many layers to it, and they all lead up to a huge turning point in Jaycie's life. All throughout the book their is a foreshadowing to something big happening to Jaycie. And along this cryptic ride so much is revealed about the "super human" world that Jaycie and her family are a part of. The different abilities of each character are each so unique and interesting to read when they finally play out. The story as a whole unfolds perfectly. Everything seems is interwoven into a great plot that I can't wait to read more of!
I can already tell this series is going to be a favorite of mine. I'm ecstatic to know the journey of the Lerner family does not end here, and I am eager to read what direction the books will go hereafter.
Recommendations: Series lovers and stand-alone advocates alike will thoroughly enjoy this unique and, at times, heart wrenching supernatural novel!
Writing Style: 5/5
If you like this book, check out the Asleep series by. Wendy Raven McNair.