Embraced was an unusual book with an unusual premise. It was part sci fi and part love story, although this was not the kind of love story where everyone lives happily ever after.
I’ll try to give a flavour of the story without giving too much away. It starts with Abby, a school headmistress. She is a likeable character but she has a problem that is somewhat unusual. She is troubled with clicking sounds in her teeth and is convinced that these are alien messages which she is desperate to decipher. She enrols the help of one of her students, Curtis, a rather unlikely sidekick who is overweight, has acne, bad hair, and body odour, however he is also a geek who helps her unravel the messages.
Cut to an alien environment now. I’m not sure whether this is a planet, or some kind of mythical Mount Olympus, or maybe even Heaven, but it is inhabited by Supreme Beings who are the Guardians of the Universe. In their world Earth is simply a speck that one of their number is assigned to watch over.
The person assigned to watch over Earth is Paul, a trainee Power. Paul, however, is a badly behaved adolescent who is enjoying himself by playing games on Abby. The clicking sounds in Abby’s teeth are his doing, and they actually mean nothing. Paul is supervised by Yves, an Adjunct, who is in despair at Paul’s bad behaviour because he is in love with Abby, despite it being against the rules for a Supreme Being to become involved with an earthling.
Paul continues to mess around with Abby and his interference in her life increases with drastic results. I don’t want to go any further because that would involve revealing spoilers. Suffice to say that Abby becomes more distressed, Paul’s games increase, and Yves becomes more disturbed.
The two interlinking storylines worked well, seamlessly moving between each other, and both held the interest. I did, however, relate better to Abby than the supreme beings, although I really wanted to take Paul by the scruff of the neck and give him a good shake. On the other hand I felt that Yves was a bit distant, and I was more concerned with Abby’s bereavement over the loss of her love interest than I was with Yves’ unrequited yearning for her.
On balance, I enjoyed reading Embraced, although I would have liked a little more information about the Supreme Beings’ world. I felt the storyline was different, unusual and intriguing. I was saddened by the ending, although there was a note of hope for Yves, if not Abby, and I had the distinct feeling there would be another book to come.
This is was a well written novel with themes of control, adolescent behaviour, thwarted love, reincarnation, and godlike supreme beings. And now I’m off to read the first book in this series Embattled’. I wonder if it will answer the questions I was left with about the Supreme Beings’ world?