Book Review: Chameleon (Ripple #2) by Cidney Swanson

Sixteen-year-old Samantha Ruiz has a lot on her mind. The crush who kissed her but changed his mind. The BFF who thinks Sam is in an abusive relationship. The geneticist who wanted Sam dead but now wants her ALIVE. And of course, Sam’s still dealing with a tendency to disappear into thin air.

When Sam learns of her nemesis Helmann’s Nazi-like plan to establish a Thousand-Year Reign, she’s determined to fight him. Along with Will and Mickie, Sam flees to France to meet Sir Walter—their best hope for stopping Helmann’s brave new world.

But Sam isn’t any safer in France. Someone is following her. Someone invisible. Sam will have to figure out how to hide from an enemy she can’t even see.

Release Date: September 7, 2011
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from author

It's been a while since I read the first book in the Ripple series, Rippler (read my review here), so I was worried I would have forgotten some of the details of the story.  But, after re-reading my review of Rippler and upon starting Chameleon, my memory was refreshed and I dove with abandon back into Sam and Will's world.

One of the many things I love about this series is the paranormal element.  It is unique and so fun to read about.  Sam and Will both possess the ability to turn invisible---what a cool talent!  It was fun to live through them vicariously, imagining myself with that same ability.  After they have 'rippled' (turned invisible) they have the ability to pass through walls, and even go underground.  They can also move faster than a speeding bullet.  Okay, that is an exaggeration, but they can run really fast.  One night, while out running, Sam and Will run fast enough to pass trains!   

Most of Chameleon takes place in France, which provided a great change of pace and added another layer of depth to the story.  The villians from book one are still a problem in book two, and the more Sam, Will and Mickie learn about Helmann and his plans for world domination, the scarier things get.  The trio gains a powerful ally and mentor in Sir Walter.  Sir Walter was my favorite character in Chameleon.  I enjoyed his personality and his mannerisms.  He was one of those characters who jumps right off the page and into my mind.

Swanson hit just the right balance between action and romance.  I was starting to despair that Sam and Will's relationship was going to go undeclared and unresolved until book three, when Swanson finally brought them together in such a sweet and tender way.  I love the way she writes emotion!

The books in the Ripple series have a more intelligent feel to them than many other YA novels.  I think it's due to the historical element of the story, the dialogue, and the fact that while the main characters are in their teens, they are mature for their ages.  They have to be, facing what they are facing. 

I am really enjoying the Ripple series.  It's paranormal YA with a unique twist.  I would highly recommend these books!

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