Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Empath by Becca Campbell

Empath by Becca Campbell
Release Date: August 2013
Publisher: Surreal Media Studio

Supernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her.  Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college—and the world—with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.  When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.   Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.  -  Goodreads.com

The idea behind Empath was an extremely unique one.  I've seen variations of this in other books, where a person can either read minds, pick up on other people's emotions, etc... but I've never seen this idea written in quite this way... where the character can't just sense the emotions but also feels them.  In Jade's case, she not only feels their emotions, but others' emotions overcome her own, replace them.  It isn't until she's alone that she is able to experience her own feelings.  What a neat concept!  But it also presents some challenges....

Jade has issues with being out in public where there are multiple people whose emotions could crowd in on her at once.  I know how difficult it is to handle my own emotions alone, so I can't imagine what it must be like to feel the emotions of everyone around me too, and all at one time.  Then, too, in Jade's case, it can be difficult to understand her own emotions in a boy-girl scenario, because all she can feel is what he feels.  This is the case with Cam.

I liked Jade as a character.  She was strong and brave, but also sweetly innocent too.  In fact, I liked most of the characters in the book, especially Logan due to the mystery surrounding him, and the fact that he is a little older than her.  I also thought the interactions between Jade, Cam, and his siblings was such a fun dynamic.  They kind of breathe fun into her life for the first time.

While Jade is not the only person with strange gifts in this story, it is not yet explained where they received these gifts or why.  I have to assume that, since this is a series, all will be revealed in time.  So I don't really have a problem with being patient and waiting to find out what's going to happen there.

Ethan was definitely a scary character.  I found it interesting that the author chose to give this character his own POV, where we are able to be inside his head and hear his creepy thoughts. 

I enjoyed the writing in this story, as it was simple, fast-paced, and had some moments of high emotion that invested you into the characters.  All in all, this was a really good start to a new series.  


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