Cover Image: Anomaly


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ANOMALY by K.A. Emmons is the prequel to THE BLOOD RACE series, it's a relatively short book, but it does pack a punch. The main character is well crafted and likeable so much so it's extremely easy to become very attached to them and invested in the emotional turmoil they go through as the story progresses. This a great read which is perfect for fans of The Blood Race Series but also easily equally as thrilling for those who may have not yet read the series.

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ANOMALY by K.A. Emmons is the prequel to THE BLOOD RACE series. It is also my first book by this author. It has a fantasy / paranormal aspect to it and could be targeted to teens and the young adult market, but older readers will get a lot out of this prequel.

Ion Jacobs is a 14-year-old boy living with a new foster family for about three months. He feels like he doesn’t fit in and then one day odd things begin to happen starting with a pencil he drops that floats rather than dropping to the floor. As tensions rise within his foster home, Ion finds he has other powers. How can he keep them a secret? Who can he talk to about his situations? Besides the paranormal aspect of this story, there are several themes that run through this prequel including dynamics with a foster family, feelings of isolation, how different family members treat a foster child differently, false accusations and the harm they can do, bullying, and much more.

Ion was a compelling character and someone you could root for. His distinct voice, situation, bewilderment and feeling of isolation drew me into the story and kept me engaged throughout the story. The secondary characters seemed believable and provided the appropriate emotions. The internal and external conflicts were well defined and believable arising out of characterization and circumstance. The scenes progressed in a realistic and compelling manner and had effective transitions.

The prose was well-written, absorbing, compelling and compulsively readable. The plot was engrossing, heartfelt, moving, thought-provoking, enlightening. The ending was heart-wrenching, but is a great set-up for the first novel in the series.

Overall, this was a book that made me pause, reflect and contemplate Ion’s situation. I definitely recommend that others check out this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thanks to K.A. Emmons for a complimentary ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

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Ion is a struggling foster kid just trying to get along with some family members who do not want him there. On top of that, changes start happening. His pencils begin to levitate, his backpack flies up to the ceiling, and he discovers healing powers.

Ion meets an old man on the beach who he can talk to as things start unraveling in his foster home. With the man’s guidance, Ion begins to face the facts that he has no idea who he is or why he can do the things he can do.

This short story is a prequel to the Blood Race series. I had never read the series before, but I immediately purchased the first book., The Blood Race. This prequel is actually a really good place to start the series as it begins when Ion is 14 and just discovering his powers..

K. A. Emmons’ writing is superb and conveys powerful emotion. You can feel the hurt of a foster kid who just wants a family, as well as the bewilderment anyone would feel when discovering supernatural powers.

If you enjoy books about the supernatural or just want to read a damn fine story, this book is for you.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

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A fast paced, intriguing beginning (prequel) for the Blood Race Series by K.A. Emmons. Not having read that series yet I found the main character and his emotional turmoil believable and gripping. This prequel definitely grabbed my attention and held it through this relatively short book. I will be going on to read the series after devouring this little gem!

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“You don’t have to be defined by what’s happened.”

Ion Jacobs has spent his entire life bouncing from one foster home to the next. He doesn’t know who his family are and what he does know of his history only confirms his belief that he’s a nobody.

Now fourteen, Ion has been living with the Reeves for three months. Mike and Ava have a seven year old daughter, Rachel. Mike’s son, Michael, who is in Ion’s class, also lives with them. Rounding out the family is Rachel’s terrier, Gabe.

Ion has always been different but having had to move around so frequently from home to home and school to school could easily explain that. Until now. Things are changing for Ion in ways that he doesn’t understand. Strange things have begun to happen around him, unexplainable things like objects floating in the air and increased strength.

“But I’d just been so afraid that he would just push me away too if he knew the truth about me.”

Perhaps it was more noticeable because it was a quick read but there seemed to be too much of a reliance on similes and repetition. Most of the conversations flowed well but every so often Ion didn’t sound like he was fourteen; the one that stood out the most to me was when he answered “Incrementally …” when he was asked if he was feeling better.

Although the blurb was what initially piqued my interest in this book I wish (in retrospect) that it hadn’t given away so much of the story. I reread the blurb when I was two thirds of the way through the book and realised it was very close to being a summary of what had happened in the book until then.

“Ion, there’s something so different about you.” Her voice came out soft and a little sad. “Don’t ever lose that - don’t ever be like the rest of us.”

This story is a prequel to an already existing trilogy and among the early reviewers it appears I’m one of the outliers, as this is my first read by this author. It has set the scene and raised a number of unanswered questions. I enjoyed this book, even though I found it fairly predictable, and am interested in reading the first book of the trilogy.

Content warnings include abandonment, alcoholism, bullying, domestic violence, foster care, suicidal ideation and suicide attempt.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read this book.

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As a prequel, I felt like this does its job quite well, it introduced characters and their backstories.

However, I did feel as though the descriptions of events and dialouge were mighty wordy at times, which made me skim at times. Despite this, it was a rather fast-paced read, and I enjoyed it for the most part.

I did also appreciate how the characters were written, and it made it a lot easier to connect with them.

Rating: 3/5

(This review will feature on my blog on 24th March)

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Loved this prequal! Makes me really want to dive into the trilogy! Such great character development! Amazing writing! So many great quotes that touched my heart!
Looking forward to reading more of her work!

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This book really is a prequel. I didnt read any other book in the series before this one and it felt like something is missing. It appears to be structurally built as a standalone, but if that is the case, the main theme feels unfinished. I can see a sketch of a theme that I would expect to culminate in a twist or payoff, but then it just ends. Hopefully the rest is explored further in other books of the series.
It is a very pleasant smooth read, though sometimes the amount of vivid descriptions of feelings, smells, sounds etc feels unnecessary.. Very character heavy, with plot only supporting the internal struggle of the protagonist. It was a series of carefully planned and well executed mini setups and payoffs, where every time something key is mentioned, it's easily predictable but still satisfying to see it unfold. You know this little detail will likely cause a problem later, but it is hard to say when and how exactly. More then once did I think "No way... OMG this is actually happening right now." There is no real twist, or rather I saw it coming the second it was set up, but I still kept turning pages and finding excuses to read throughout the day to know happens next.

Long story short, Anomaly is a quick and satisfying book, well written, but without a real ending. It clearly relies on the rest of the series to support it.

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5 STARS – this book deserves more than that! ANOMALY is the prequel to The Blood Race trilogy, and it is the perfect introduction to K.A. Emmons' imaginative world of suspense, adventure, and supernatural truths.

Ion Jacobs is a young teen struggling for normalcy in his life. He's tossed back and forth between foster homes and just wants to feel like he belongs somewhere. Then one day, he makes a shocking discovery: he possesses supernatural powers beyond his control. The rest of the story takes you on a gripping and emotional journey with Ion as he grapples with his mysterious new identity and tries to make sense of the unseen forces inside him – and all around him.

Even if you don't usually read sci-fi/paranormal, I guarantee you that ANOMALY will have you on the edge of your seat! This is a short but powerful read, filled with lifelike characters, deep themes, and tons of internal conflict that will leave you wanting more. (...At which point you should REALLY go and devour the rest of the series, because IT IS AMAZING!)

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Worthy of 5 stars. Wow! This story immediately starts off great so I was hooked from the beginning. The author does a fantastic job of giving just the right amount of details so you have a clear understanding of scenery, action, and Ion's internal thoughts without being overly wordy. It was interesting to see his character development. I was truly left wondering what is going to happen and can't wait to read more.

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I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Ion is a foster child living in a household with an abusive and drunk husband and his son who is a bully. Strange things happen to Ion, things that scare and confuse him. He befriends a homeless man who just might have the answers to Ion's questions. Definitely for the young adult reader. I didn't realize this was a prequel to a series. Now I'm interested in reading the series to see how everything plays out.

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This start to the series is so good! I read it in an afternoon. It has really peaked my interest to read the rest of the series. I really liked the interesting storyline and Ion's character. I felt bad for everything that he went through in trying to figure out who he is. It is a mystical book which makes you keep guessing. I'm on to the next in the series!

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Whether or not I was supposed to read The Blood Race Triology before this, its the very beginning of how it started. I really liked the paranormal aspect of this, the relationship between Ion and the man were my favorite parts. Conversations about the truth of ourselves and about our thoughts, the defining of us and it was just very in depth that I highlighted quite abit 😁 I do have to say the beginning was abit slow for me but it was a quick read where I kept wanting to know more about his abilities and about this mysterious stranger that seems to be the only one that wants Ion around. I did cry abit, I wouldnt say there are any trigger warnings but reading this broke my heart abit to what Ion has to go through. I will likely to read the triology now that I have read this and want to know more! I'm glad I found out about this

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The is a perfect prequel. I was sad when the series ended to say goodbye to characters that I love but this this was fantastic. First there is so much truth spoken in the book it's more then just getting to know the main character of the series better she writes about something we all struggle with and that's having things spoken over us that we let define us and how to combat those spoken lies. She also writes about our thoughts and how they can shape how we see ourselves and conduct ourselves. Again as I've said in my reviews for the other books the way she writes makes me think of my own faith and strengthens it I loved this book well done

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Being a fast read is probably the best thing it has going for it. Anomaly is the prequel to The Blood Race series.

Ion is a foster child living in a less than stable household. Mr. Reeves is a jobless alcoholic, Ava is his preferred victim aside from Ion and his son Michael is picking up all his father’s abusive ways. The youngest child Rachel is the only happy person in the book.

Ion discovers he has strange powers thanks to a pencil that starts to float. The events are his powers steadily growing and his desperate attempts to keep them under control while confiding in a strange homeless man he meets at the beach around the lake.

One of the biggest turn-offs for me as just how wordy the descriptions are. Ion is an angsty teen in a rough situation but whenever he has a thought or a question there are several paragraphs of description that feel so unnecessary they start to take the reader out of the story.

It was a solid book but it wasn’t anything great. The author has a nice writing style. But the book is a bit heavy on the description.

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Anomaly is the prequel of the Blood Race Trilogy. The main character, Ion is a teenager trying to adjust to his foster home while desperately trying to figure out his strange powers that continue to cause friction between him and his foster brother and father. Fearing his secret powers will hurt or kill others, Ion seeks comfort in the companionship of a random man he met on the beach who may know more about Ion then he's letting on.

I thought the book was interesting, but the concept was nothing new so it was rather predictable. Ion is a well written character. The reader can sympathize with his inner struggles of being abnormal and wanting to stay in his foster home, though it may not have been the ideal situation. There are mentions of suicidal thoughts and abusive behavior, if those are triggering to you. I'm on the fence if I'd continue on with the series. I'm curious to see how the main character ends up, but the execution of this book hasn't completely sold me on how interesting the rest of the series will be.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This is a short and sweet prequel to the amazing The Blood Race trilogy. While I didn't find this book to be incredibly necessary to the series as a whole, I enjoyed being back in this world. This book gives more depth to Ion's character. Ion was the perspective I connected with the least, so having a prequel focused on him made me feel like I got to understand him as a character more. If you've read The Blood Race trilogy and want more I highly recommend!

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Three and ½ stars really. It's not that it's bad it's just wordy. A character will ask a question/says something and then the reader is faced with a page or two of internal angst, scattered thoughts descriptions of the room, the smells, the sounds and finally there'll be a response of some sort.
Ion. . . Who lets a child enter the foster care system with a name like Ion? That's like painting a target on his back. But anyway, Ion is an angsty foster in of course the home where the father is a drunken bully, his son is a bully with psychotic tendencies and the wife is a loving punching bag. I know this fuels the story but wow, can't we just once have a protagonist in a loving family environment? Ion is starting to manifest odd, paranormal powers, things happen around him to people and things. He freaks out, he's going crazy thinking he's a monster. Except I'm more inclined to believe a fourteen year old manifesting telekinesis, healing and super strength wouldn't whine and moan about it he'd be thinking. . . "I've got SUPER POWERS!" and start slapping bullies against the ceiling. But. . . dialog is decently done most of the characters have some depth. As mentioned the author does tend to get a little heavy on the internal dialog and descriptions but it isn't a complete deal breaker. I actually didn't know this was a prequel to a series (it wasn't mentioned in the short description) but it was intriguing enough I'll likely continue reading.

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Okay, so we all know how I am with The Blood Race trilogy. Basically, I'm obsessed with this entire freaking series and y'all are probably annoyed by how much I talk about it.

Do I care? Not really. 😛

I can't help it! This book, this series is my favorite series ever and I just want everyone to read it.

Okay, let's focus on Anomaly before I slip too deep into fangirl mode for coherent sentences and thoughts.

Anomaly takes place when Ion/Icarus is fourteen. He's so precious. HE'S A CINNAMON ROLL IN NEED OF PROTECTION AND I WILL PROTECT HIM AT ALL COSTS!!!!!

I love reading about his struggles and his past. It really helped me to understand how he started running away from his problems and his struggle with everything.

I loved the cameo Sensi and Hawk make.

(There was no Fin present but that's okay, I'm okay, IT'S ALL OKAY BECAUSE THIS BOOK IS AMAZING.)

I love, love, LOVE this look into Ion's past and how he came to be.

Now that the series is officially over (unless Kate wants to make a sequel series... I mean... I'm totally okay with that. MORE FIN!!!!) I'm grieving slightly. But I know this is far from the last things we'll see from Kate and I can't wait to see what's next!


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I received this book as an ARC from the author. I have not read the series that this is the prequel to. However, I definitely will know. Knowing a little bit about Ion and what happens to him before the series starts will give me a little bit more insight into the character that he becomes. It’s oblivious that he has a rough beginning, and mysterious circumstances that surround his appearing. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the series.

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