Title: Raven Born
Author: Bree Moore
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Rating: Five stars
“Harper King is being hunted by the government. Her crime? Being a shape-shifting, half-raven woman.
And she’s not the only one they’re after.
Supernatural beings like Harper are arrested every day, a fate she’s dodged so far. But when a single miscalculation lands her in a Naturalization camp, she must choose: be Naturalized or be killed.
Between magical wards that imprison her at the camp and a rebellion brewing, can she find a way to escape before her wings or her life are taken from her?
In a few days, Tyson Miller will be charged with murder.
Today, he’s just a human counselor at Camp Silver Lake. According to Tyson, his therapy makes all the difference for paranormals making the transition to Naturalized citizenship, even if it means encouraging them to give up their shifting abilities and powers.
But as he uncovers the dark history of Camp Silver Lake and the leaders’ mental instability, he’ll be forced to face a devastating truth:
He’s been fighting for the wrong side all this time.“
* * *
Imagine you’re driving along a highway and suddenly you’re involved in a huge pile-up. Somehow, you end up sitting in the middle of carnage and fire but you’re completely unscathed, hands still on the steering wheel. That is what it’s like to read Raven Born. I am staggered by what this book has done to me, emotionally.
Harper King is a supernatural with raven wings but the world doesn’t look kindly upon the likes of her. The human world has created a system that ensures that supernaturals are legally obliged to go through a “naturalisation” process before they can enter society. Harper has avoided their grasp for years but on the hunt for her brother, Quinn, she is finally captured.
Upon arriving at the naturalisation facility, Harper meets Tyson, the facility counsellor – and human – who fully supports the system. Harper has been alone a long time and doesn’t take well to being counselled but she finds herself becoming receptive to Tyson and the other “inmates.” She befriends Fletcher, who also has wings. She learns that he has chosen to have his wings surgically removed, which is a mandatory part of his naturalisation process – something she will also have to do if she is to return to society.
After learning that Quinn was at the facility not weeks ago, Harper begins her plans for escape. In his sessions with Harper, Tyson begins to question some aspects of the naturalisation process and after researching what happened to his supernatural childhood friend, wonders which side he truly belongs to.
There’s so much I cannot – should not – spoil about this book and I won’t. But prepare to be rocked. Moore creates a protagonist in Harper who is super broody and I half-expected to get exasperated with her teenage angst but not once. She is a spectacular character who is both powerful and capable of making poor decisions, but for all the right reasons. Yet, she is still a child and the tumultuous mix of innocence and experience of life on the run is beautifully portrayed.
The part of Raven Born that impacted me the most was the portrayal of institutionalisation. How even with such strong convictions, anyone can be made to see the good in something so obviously monstrous when you’re thrown into the middle of it. Worse, that you can be a part of a movement so damaging and horrendous and not even know that you are part of the problem until it impacts you personally. It had a profound effect on me and I’m still shook.
The story was thoroughly unpredictable, engaging and heart-breaking throughout. Especially at the end. Raven Born is a book that will have you closing the back page and staring at the wall for an whole hour while you try to process everything that has just been done to you.
This book was masterfully written and I can’t express how disappointed I am that I have to wait a whole month more for the sequel. Needless to say, I’ve already pre-ordered it!
Raven Born has naturally earned The Secret Library Book Blog Recommended Reads seal!
I’m not just recommending this book, I’m telling you: GET THIS BOOK!
Thanks for reading!