The Girl in the Box Series (The Girl in the Box #1-3)
Rating: 3 Star
The 3 books included in this trilogy are:
The Girl in the Box series is currently Free on Amazon and has gathered a huge number of 4 and 5-star reviews on there (2,394 in September 2016).
The series focuses on Sienna Nealon, a 17-year-old girl who has been brought up by a mother who never lets her out of the house or let her see anyone from the outside world.
If that horrific upbringing weren't enough to deal with, Sienna also discovers she is a 'meta-human' with a number of powers that she has to learn how to control.
Things look pretty bleak for Sienna at the start of this series. She is trapped in the house all day, every day, and only ever has her mum for company. The description of her upbringing is very powerfully told by Crane and you soon understand why Sienna would have some serious issues to deal with.
Everything changes one day when Sienna's mother disappears. Soon, Sienna is thrust into an outside world of shadowy organisations, psychopathic meta humans and the ongoing search for her mum. At that point, the plot really shifts up a gear.
The Girl in the Box series hangs together really well and the 3 books are enough to get the reader engaged into Sienna's world. I commend Robert for making the first 185,000 words of his series Free to readers and am sure that many will continue to follow Sienna.
There are some really interesting ideas in this book and Sienna is a great character. My rating would have been 1 star higher but sections of the trilogy made too many connections to the X-Men franchise in my mind. Sienna joins a meta human directorate, she goes to classes to learn how to control her powers et cetera and this dampened the experience down for me a bit.
There were also several themes running throughout which started to get quite repetitive by the end of the 3rd installment (mainly Sienna's romance dilemmas). Aside from Sienna, who is really well described and developed as a character, several of the others in the story feel like background helpers rather than characters in their own right.
This was a good action read with some interesting ideas on human superpowers.