09 June, 2014

Review: Chameleon by Kelly Oram

Title: Chameleon
Author: Kelly Oram
Publisher: Bluefields
Published: June 25, 2013

For small-town rebel Dani Webber magic and monsters are no more real than the Easter Bunny… until the day she accidentally stops time. Dani quickly discovers that not only do supernaturals exist, but she herself is one of them. This is great news for her life-long best friend Russ, who can finally come clean about his own supernatural status and his undying love for her. Before the two can start to enjoy the long overdue relationship, Dani is taken by a powerful council of supernaturals who believe she is the Chosen One destined to save them from extinction. 

As if being kidnapped and expected to save the world isn’t bad enough, an ancient prophecy warns of the Chosen One’s dark nature: “Only the truest love will keep her an agent for good.” The council believes they know who this “true love” is and, unfortunately, that person isn’t Russ. The mysterious, powerful and devastatingly handsome Seer is the last person Dani wants in her life, but when she starts having visions of a horrific future, she has no one else to turn to for help. 

Soon Dani finds herself torn between two very different boys with two very different opinions of whom she can trust. With the visions getting worse and time running out, Dani is forced to put aside her feelings and work with both the Seer and Russ before an ancient evil is unleashed upon the earth. 
Series: Supernaturals Book 1

I quite enjoy and find intriguing the prophecy deciding destiny tropes in books, so when Kelly Oram’s, Chameleon, proved to be little less mesmerizing and a lot more frustrating, I was not a satisfied reader, to say the least. 

The backdrop of Chameleon – full of supernaturals of every race; warlocks, witches, vampires, werewolves, seers and demons – is much the same as any other paranormal read. And yet, there is a unique charm to its familiarity that I enjoyed very much. The beginning starts off promising enough, with Dani, our heroine, turning sixteen and finding out that not only is her best friend, Russ, a warlock but she is a supernatural as well, with her own special ability. This, coupled with the straight-forward, not overly complicated romance between Dani and Russ set-up the perfect, entertaining storyline. Initially, this is the sort of book that is easy to get absorbed in, however, it is the latter more-than half of the book, after Dani gets kidnapped by the Council of supernaturals, that provided a steady decline in the amusing factor.

With all its familiar ideas, it comes as no surprise that there would be something off about the story, despite the homey feelings stirred with the paranormal creatures that inhabit its world. The world-building is, really, nothing special. It’s a little bit of modern-lifestyle thrown together with a (very) subtle historic feeling when the Council of supernaturals is introduced. There is a lot of room for future development, which I think the story could benefit from for the rest of the series. Other than that, the world is neither interesting nor worth remembering, perhaps somewhere in between.

The plot isn’t much better off. After the kidnapping, the story picks up quite rapidly in its emerging events, and not in a good way. We have too much happening in the span of what feels like all of ten minutes. Dani gets kidnapped, the council is introduced, the Seer is introduced, the prophecy told, all with the love triangle at the center of attention. The storyline soon becomes overcrowded, with unexpected plot twists and turns – which if they had been in another story, presented a different way, I would have jumped at the chance to talk about, but not with this – too much unnecessary angst, and the endless descriptions, and over-complications of every decision Dani makes. The epic and mysterious plot that the description offers is, unfortunately, reduced to a tedious banality. 

More than the plot being dull, it is the love triangle that made this read so frustrating for me, and perhaps the only book where I whole-heartedly favour the second guy over the first. Russ did it for me with his easy going demeanor and his loyalty towards Dani, to the point, where his character is the only character that garnered both sympathy and affection from me. I loved Dani and Russ, and the best-friends-to-lovers romance is a favourite of mine, which is why when Gabriel, the Seer, is brought into the picture I lost all semblance of having an open mind about this book. The love triangle’s failing played in part to all the extreme changes in the story. Dani goes from being a snarky, intelligent girl to a helpless, blind-by-love fool. The romance is cheesy, confusing, and definitely not worth rooting for. I couldn’t wrap my head around the “Gabriel-Dani” couple. Above all, I did not come to appreciate Gabriel's character. He has no spunk, no allure, rather he comes across as meek, not a character that gets my immediate attention. By the middle-end of the story, I found it difficult to invest in any of the characters, and ultimately, gave up trying to find a final redeeming quality. There is a lot more that could be said for the impossibility that this love triangle is, but to sum it up, it is beyond frustrating. 

With that said, I believe Chameleon is the type of read that will work only for people who have the right mind-set and patience for a love triangle, and all the conflicting emotions that it brings. If not for that addition to the storyline, this could have been a worthwhile read. Nonetheless, despite my reservations, I am still hoping that Ungifted will prove to be what its predecessor is not – memorable with no (I wish!) or as little as possible mention of the love triangle. Keeping my fingers crossed. 

***A copy was provided by the author for review.***


My Rating:
(2.5)

25 comments:

  1. Ugh! Those pesky love triangles can be the downfall of some books for me. Sorry this one didn't work out for u too well Maida! Glad to see you back :)

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    1. Thank you, Janina! :D And I completely agree...I have yet to find a love triangle that didn't ruin a perfectly good book otherwise for me.

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  2. I love a good love triangle but the way you describe this one, well I'm not so sure I could get on board. They just have to be done right. So sorry this one didn't work for you. Thanks for the honest review. Alsoo--- I missed you!!!

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    1. GAHHHH MISSED YOU TOO GIRL!! I'm so on board with blogging, I need to find my rhythm again. LOL ;p And yes! Love triangles do have to be done right, in order to get all the feels in and not in a painful way...but a good way (Like TID! ;p)! Thanks, Teresa! :)

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  3. Hi! Long time, no see. I hope you're doing well!

    Okay, so, yikes. This book seems to have a ton going on, along with an unexciting plot and that triangle, I understand your frustrating.
    Thanks for the review!

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  4. I'm sorry this didn't turn out better for you, Maida! I can understand why with a frustrating love triangle, cheesy romance and overcrowded plot. Hopefully your next read will be better. Great honest review! :)

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  5. Sorry this one didn't work for you. I shy away from triangles..I hate seeing one person lose.

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  6. Oh, this does sound frustrating! I'm so sorry this was a disappointing read, but your review is beautiful and refreshing! Now... *HAPPY DANCES* you're BACK!! Missed you, sweet thang!! Sooooo happy to see your face!! *twirls and hugs*

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  7. Oh no. You said the magic words of doom: Love Triangle. NOOOOOOOOOOO MAIDA!!!! That alone makes me hesitate to pick this one up, but with all the other things you mentioned seemingly introduced at the same time, I think I'm going to pass on this one. I definitely am not a reader who has a great deal of patience for love triangles at the moment. Maybe after I've had a break from them for a while. Lovely review though!

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  8. OMGee I'm so sorry what a nightmare!! I have to admit I love that cover and synopsis, I hope it improves Ill have to keep an eye out for your opinion on the next book! I really want to read it but I'm on the fence.

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  9. Hmmm, I think I would have a lot of these same issues if I were to read this one, if not worse. Sounds like a lot of negatives, especially with the love triangle, dull plot, and cliches... I'll be avoiding this one. Enjoyed your review though :)

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  10. OMG!!! I have missed you so flipping much!! Be prepared for a running tackle hug via internet! *running tackle hugs* :D

    And I've been curious about this one, but very hesitant about reading it. It sucks that the plot was dull, not very developed, and not that interesting. And don't even get me started on love triangles!! I'm so picky with them as it is, and just reading about your thoughts on it makes me wanna just go UGH!! I also don't like the sound of the mc's personality transformation either. I actually do have the second book -- I got an ARC some time ago, but I couldn't pick up the first book.... I have a feeling I won't...

    Loved your review and your honest!! *more hugs!!*

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  11. It is so hard to enjoy a book when you can't connect with the characters, the plot is slow and then to add a love triangle that is frustrating? Sounds like a big no for me, I can't stand love triangles so I will pass in this one. Thanks for your honest review,

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  12. Ah, sorry this made you frustrated :( Perhaps the world will get more development in the future books? Oh my god. Do not say this has a love triangle. Seriously, like, okay. We get the authors' saying and message that it's okay to have options, but most of us don't want to read about them in books. Just staaaahp >.< Sorry the romance wasn't a hit for you. I hope that your team wins though, it's rarely the best friend who wins in books like this O.o Great review!

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  13. Love triangles are an immediate turn-off for me... especially if one of the love interests is a friend because then it just becomes a lot more messy :/

    I've only read one book by the author and didn't have much luck with that so there is that too :/

    I am sorry you didn't enjoy this book more and it really sucks that it started off great and then things just went down the drain! :(

    Great review, Maida!!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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  14. Awwww, this really is quite disheartening from the looks of it. I mean, I love a paranormal book with all of the interesting paranormal creatures and sorcerers, but I don't want it to be too... ordinary. I want it to be original, at least have a unique twist, and I want the plot to not be all over the place. If it's like that, it doesn't feel focused, and I easily become either a.) distracted, or; b.)suffocated.

    And no to that love triangle :( I've seen it done over and over and over again and rarely do they come out endearing and compelling and well-done. I'm sorry you didn't like this too much, hope your next read is better.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  15. Oh I hadn't seen Chameleon before but I totally get how frustrating love triangles can be. I think I've lost patience for them too so will definitely be skipping this one. Thanks for your review Maida! :)

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

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  16. I'm sorry this wasn't the book you were hoping for, Maida! It sounded like it had some good qualities, until I got to your love triangle paragraph and wrote it off immediately. As you know, I don't do those. That one would have bugged me as well, and when the world building and rest of the story isn't better, it isn't worth my trouble. Hope your next read is more exciting than this one. And I hope authors stop introducing these triangles.

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  17. I think you already know I'm not a love triangle person! This isn't something I think I'll pick up. I've read a couple of the author's contemporary books and liked parts of them, even if they didn't blow me away. I just can't stomach a romance like the one here, so I'll skip this for now. I hope Ungifted will work better for you though!

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  19. I am in complete agreement with you about this one. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it very much :( I loved Russ so much, but I didn't like Gabriel. I also love "best-friends-to-lovers" romance, so I was disappointed when Gabriel was brought into the novel. I'm hoping that the next book will be better, and maybe Russ will become more of a contender for Dani's heart. Thanks for the great, honest review! :)

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  20. The love triangle and dull plot sound like it would do me in for this one too.

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  22. I haven't heard of this one but it doesn't sound like something I'd love to read. I mean the whole idea is good but all that rushing and dullness is not something I want to experience. Don't even get me started on that love triangle. Thanks, my one and only MAIDA! :)

    *SORRY AGAIN! xoxoxoxoxox

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    1. Haha! Thank you so much, Tanja! You didn't need to fix it...but love you too! :D xoxoxoxoxo

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