Natural Selection (Forces of Nature #1) by Elizabeth Sharp
Average, plain-bodied Amelia Hoffman has resigned herself to a life of mediocrity, unable to escape the shadows cast by her all-too-perfect siblings. Worse, her feelings for her brother’s best friend are getting stronger.
Everything changes after the brutal murder of her close friend.
Suddenly, Amelia’s life is transformed and she is thrust into a wondrous and frightening new world of myths and legends. As she explores this new world hidden within the layers of her own, secrets are revealed. When her body miraculously changes overnight, Amelia is forced to hide in her home for her own protection. But as danger circles closer, Amelia has to figure out who is committing the ruthless homicides.
Otherwise, she could be next.
I was expecting much more mystery and demons and much less high school drama and time skips. There was such focus on the "before" and Amelia not knowing about her past and what she was that the first 30% was boring. Then her parents are like "okay we should tell her what's up" but don't actually do that which causes problems. I feel like the mythology could have been explained and expanded a bit more, especially why everyone hates demons but seems to love the mother nature people.
There wasn't much mystery or Amelia trying to solve the murders, one second she has no idea who is doing it and the next page (literally) she knows the answer. It didn't lead to much suspense or build up because Amelia drew a conclusion, held fast, and a couple pages later it was revealed that she was right. There should have been more tension, more explanation, and more build up before the action scenes.
The action scenes were so cheesy. They were not well written and seemed to be extremely quick without actually explaining what was happening or why. The main problem I had with them is that the antagonists seemed to be 100x stronger than the protagonists, yet the antagonists were defeated. Why? Have the protagonists have to retreat, regroup, and fight them again. Instead, we got quick action scenes that resulted in the antagonist being defeated without much explanation.
There were mythological things that didn't make sense, such as the Bonding and how the one antagonist was able to gain their powers. I'm not sure if they will be explained in the rest of the series, but I do hope they are. There was little world building and what was included was not explained very well, especially the transformation aspect of it. I would like more of a clear understanding of these things, but without someone to explain, I doubt Amelia (and therefore the reader) will get the answers.
Overall: 3.5/5 stars. There was still too much focus on the "before" aspect of Lia's life but the cliffhanger ending was well worth it.