BOOK REVIEW: The Holders by Julianna Scott

The synopsis makes The Holders sound like a book in the vein of Harry Potter. Is it another wannabe, or a brilliant book all of its own making?




17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother – from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland’s “problem” and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.

She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together information about their family’s heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they’ve been waiting for—but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.


Becca has always looked out for her little brother Ryland – it’s what big sisters do, after all. But he is unlike other young boys as he hears ‘voices’ – an outcast at school, and the subject of many counsellors and psychologists, Becca constantly protects him from being taken away.

That is until one day when two strangers from St. Brigid’s school in Ireland arrive. They tell the family that Ryland will fit in perfectly at their school, as they are used to dealing with kids with his “problem.” Becca is not impressed, until they agree that she can join Ryland and see for herself.

Once there, Becca and Ryland discover a school straight out of a fantasy novel, and that both Ryland and Becca not only fit in, but they find they both start to feel like they really belong somewhere. And so starts the beginning of finding out their true family background, and what magical doors it will open for them.

I honestly wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this novel, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really, really liked it. The characters are well-rounded, and unlike a lot of YA books, Becca wasn’t whiney or annoying.

The plot was well thought out, and described brilliantly. I was really drawn into this book and just couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.

A mingling of Harry Potter and The X-Men, I loved this story and can’t wait for the sequel The Seers due out February 4th 2014.


AUTHOR: Julianna Scott
Strange Chemistry
P/BACK: 368 pages
RRP: £7.99
ISBN: 978-1-908844-42-2


Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: darkphoenix1701

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