Review: Sentient by Kenechi Udogu

Sentient (The Mentalist Series, #2)  - Kenechi Udogu

SERIES: The Mentalists, #2

BOOK BLURB:
Mastering her Progressive Empath abilities isn’t going as well as Gemma hoped. In fact, months after finding out what she really is, she still has no clue what this truly means. All she can do is wait to see if any new abilities will eventually manifest. Things aren’t going great with Russ either. Unsure of how to handle her Sentient Link with him, she tries to integrate herself in his busy social life but struggles to adjust to her new circumstances.

When she is plagued by recurring nightmares, Gemma realises things are changing and knows she has to do something, fast. The arrival of two sets of strangers in town, both offering the much needed assistance she needs to unearth her powers, escalates the situation even further. Gemma attempts to decipher whose intentions are genuine, but does she have enough time to figure out who has her best interest at heart?

MY THOUGHTS:
Sentient picks up a few weeks after the ending of the first book, Aversion. Gemma and Russ are trying to settle back into their school routine but constantly on the lookout for anyone coming after them. It would be hard to explain their situation without giving away spoilers for the first book since this story is a continuation of the story arc from the first book.

I liked Aversion much better than Sentient. This book felt uneventful for the first half and I found it somewhat boring. I was pushing myself through this part. The action then starts to kick in for the second half of the book and this part held more of my attention. This pattern is actually very similar to Aversion, but unlike this book, the first half of Aversion was more interesting to me since the reader is learning about Averters and Gemma’s relationship/situation with Russ was developing.  

One of the biggest things that stood out to me in this book is the same issue that I had with Gemma and Russ’s characterization in Aversion -- Gemma and Russ, though likable, come off as bland and uninteresting. Russ continues to have a flat reaction to everything that happens with the possible exception of when his friend got hurt, which was unintentionally caused by Gemma.  Gemma frequently ponders why he is so low-key about everything to the point that I wondered if there was some reason for his lack of reaction that might be part of the reveal at the end. But no, there doesn’t seem to be. I guess Russ is just a laid back kinda guy, but it makes him a somewhat boring and uninteresting character. It probably doesn’t help that the story is told from Gemma’s first person POV, so the reader is constantly in Gemma’s head and cannot experience what might be going through Russ’s head. My favorite character actually turned out to be Laura, a new character introduced in this book. She had a quirkiness that made her stand out against Gemma and Russ’s blandness.

This story is labeled a YA Paranormal Romance. Like many other books I have read recently labeled as “romance”... it is not. It has a romantic element but it is not a romance. There is no HEA/HFN and no ILY. In fact, in this book, I don’t feel the relationship between Gemma and Russ really moved forward that much at all, let alone had any resolution.

Overall, I would say Sentient was slightly more than an OK read for me due to the continued blandness of the main characters and the slowness of the first half of the book. On the upside, the author is British and there were a few Britishisms sprinkled throughout the book, which I enjoyed but occasionally had to look up. I now know what blagging means! I also like that the books don’t end with a major cliffhanger even though it’s a continuing story. Each book so far has had a conflict that is dealt with at the end yet still leaves the major story arc open, as well as new developments, to be continued with the next book without leaving the reader completely hanging.

Heat Level: Sweet – just a few kisses

Word Count: approx. 56,000 (Short Novel)
Kindle locations: 2325 (story text ends at 99%)
Print Length: 155 estimated pages
Ebook includes a Table of Contents
Source: Review Request from Author
Note: my copy was an ARC and final published version may not have the same Kindle locations.