Potency || ARC Review

Title: Potency (Glow #1)
Author: Aubrey Hadley
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Ruby & Topaz Publishing
No. of pages: Paperback, 620 pages
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Date Read: April 1, 2019
Rating: 3/5


The Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it’s popped up in New York, and it’s wiped out an entire homeless shelter.

The same night of the outbreak, Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, stumbles across a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood. As her suburb goes on lockdown, Harper finds herself isolated from her friends and family, and soon begins to suspect that the events — though thousands of miles apart — may have something in common.

Harper must find her bravery and embark on a plot-twisting adventure that will have her looking for answers in unexpected places … and worlds.


Thanks to Netgalley and Ruby & Topaz Publishing for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I was incredibly interested in this book alone for the description. I was ready for some weird Contagion-esque, end-of-the-world, 5th Wave kind of deal. That was not what I read. Instead, I read a lengthy, but good, book about a girl whose world is ripped apart and the illness killing everyone on earth literally accounts for like one-fifth of the book.

Potency follows the story of Harper. She’s homeschooled, incredibly good at Biology, has to sneak away to play soccer, and just wants to graduate to get away from her family. The Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome has only hit a few cities: an unnamed city in Kenya and New York City. That’s hundreds of miles away from Reno, Nevada where she lives. One night after an argument with her mom, she runs to the desert and stumbles upon creatures that are human-like and give off a glow. That night everything changes. She’s constantly haunted by the glowing creatures she saw in the dark and after an unsettling night of babysitting and another hidden soccer game, Harper returns home to find that she’s alone and her entire neighborhood is in quarantine: the Masaai Mara Sleeping Syndrome has arrived in Reno. Soon after she’s the last one left in her neighborhood and is kidnapped while during an failed escape plan created by her mother and brother. She finds out that she’s not truly human at all. While living in this new world, she finds friends but not everything in this new place is settling right with her. Half-truths and a search for the real truth begin and at the end, Harper’s still looking for the right answers.

Honestly, this book was good. That’s it. There were parts that had a lot of potential, but to me it just fell kind of flat. There was so much detail that felt unnecessary which made it super lengthy. Also, this book is over 600 pages and much of it is those extra details or plot points that aren’t even necessary to the main story. There were so many characters mentioned that I had a hard time keeping track, especially the ones that were only mentioned once or twice and had no dialogue, but kept being brought up.

My favorite parts about this book was the quarantine and maybe the last 150-200 pages. The quarantine was super interesting. The intrigue and suspense was there: ‘Will she catch this super contagious killer virus, or would she survive. She’s alone and has a single friend from the National Guard that she met the day before, is she going to make it.’ The last 150-200 pages truly made it feel like everything I sat through was worth it. There was action, there was suspense, there was the knowing that everything that Harper had gone through wasn’t for nothing, but it all came together (the parts that mattered) and fell into place. The book ended making me want more (there’s an abrupt ending), but more of the actual story and less of the insignificant details.

This book releases on July 16th and is a great read if you really love details, aliens, books taking place in otherworldly atmospheres, and intrigue. Overall it really was good, but again, the extreme amount of details just threw me off.

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