Book Review: Childhood's End (Shine, #1) by William Bernhardt

In the near future, a few young women manifest extraordinary abilities called "Shine." Each girl's ability is different. Some develop extraordinary mental abilities. Some become physically strong. Others have powers that defy description. But the world does not embrace these Shines. It fears them.

Aura was only trying to use her healing powers to help a small child. But when she Shined, something went horribly wrong--and Seattle was destroyed. In the aftermath of this disaster, the government institutionalizes Shines in "rehabilitative treatment centers." Aura is sent to the Transforming Your Light island rehab--but to her it seems more like a prison. The other Shines hate her. The people running the place are out to get her. And she feels certain more is going on here than "group grope" and twelve-step programs. But when she tumbles onto the horrible secret beneath the rehab--she realizes just how great the danger to her and all the other Shines really is.

Aura resolves to escape before it's too late. But she can only do that if she organizes the Shines, persuades them to work together, and overcomes the deadly opposition she only barely understands.

Shine 1: Childhood's End is the first installment in a new monthly series from nationally bestselling author William Bernhardt. Each month a new installment will be released. The first story arc will be spread over the first five months, followed by stories set in the same universe by other authors selected and invited by Bernhardt, until Bernhardt launches his second multi-part story arc in mid-2014.
Release Date: October 7, 2013
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli
The Shine series is one of those that really took me by surprise.  For one, I'm not a huge fan of novellas.  Secondly, the paranormal genre is getting a little old for me.  And lastly, I broke one of my cardinal reading rules by reading these books out of order.  Gasp!  I read book six before any of the others (read my review here).  William Bernhardt wrote the first five installments in the Shine series and invited other authors to continue the series. 

This review is for book one, Childhood's End.  I was excited to see how the Shine saga started, and how the Shines came about.  The premise of the Shines---young girls with different superhero powers---is catchy and inventive. 

I love that these books focus on strong female lead characters.  I can't abide weak, indecisive lead characters, and so I really enjoyed reading Aura's story.  She's smart, strong and capable. 

Childhood's End is a short book but there's a lot of story packed into this novella.  I found it thrilling and read it in one sitting.  I love the Shine premise and look forward to reading the rest of this series.


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