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Becky Fleetwood lives in the Northwest UK with her engineering hubby.
Her love of writing started when she won a large quantity of chocolate in a Cadbury's writing competition, at the age of 8.
At the age of 20, she fell in love with Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonflight" series, in particular the female heroine, Lessa. Since then, she has burned with an ambition to write a novel with a similar female protagonist - someone who was strong, analytical and did not see the world in black and white. It is from this that Chroma was born.
Reviewed by Janelle Alex, Ph.D. for Readers' Favorite
Reading B Fleetwood's Chroma: Imogen's Secret, the first volume in the Chroma series, is like taking in a breath of fresh air. Yet, the story of Imogen will keep readers on their toes throughout the entire book. Imogen Reiner, a 17-year-old young woman, has deep secrets that even she doesn't know about. Her abilities have not been fully exposed to her in an effort to protect her from an unseen and unknown dark force. While her grandfather tries to protect her from a distance, he sends her a protector. Imogen is unsure of what to make of her protector, the questions she has and a new man at college, whom she correctly reads as being a danger. Eventually, her questions are answered and Fleetwood does a wonderful job setting the stage for the next book as Imogen needs to learn how to handle the truth.
Without question, Chroma: Imogen's Secret is a book that readers won't be able to put down. It embraces fantasy and science fiction smoothly, all while being a fantastic thriller. Exceptionally well-written, the story is fast-paced and helps paint a colorful picture that will keep readers enthralled and turning pages. The emotional connection that Fleetwood helps readers feel with Imogen may very well encourage them to uncover and connect with their own powers because Chroma most certainly will give readers the desire to explore their own capabilities right along with Imogen. Fleetwood's Chroma: Imogen's Secret is billed as young adult fiction, but it has the capacity to pull adult readers into the unique world Fleetwood has created and offer hours of enjoyment, excitement and entertainment.
In her first novel and book one of a series, Chroma: Imogen’s Secret, author B. Fleetwood mixes an advanced concept of auras with ancient civilizations to create an exciting science fiction thriller. The story centers on a sixteen-year-old girl, Imogen Reiner, who can see “chroma,” defined by Fleetwood as “colours we all unknowingly exude which show our deepest fears, emotions and thoughts.” Imogen knows she’s different from everyone else, but she doesn’t know why and her secretive grandfather isn’t ready to tell her. He does, however, teach her to conceal the ability and otherwise protects her from strangers until she goes off to college and meets Araz.
The mesh of science fiction with the paranormal and romance has become a solid book sub-genre, but none I’ve read can match the unparalleled plotting skill demonstrated by Fleetwood in Chroma: Imogen’s Secret. The primary story line is a thrilling page turner, substantiated by intermittent first-person narratives of past events. Fleetwood’s advanced concept of auras is fascinating, but she takes another leap ahead of current schemes in this genre by introducing a superior human race that, without obvious connection, ties them to ancient Egypt through the sun god, Ra. It will interest me to learn more of this connection in subsequent novels. Other than Imogen and Araz, the story introduces several supporting characters with expert skill; characters that are relatable and unforgettable. With Chroma: Imogen’s Secret, B. Fleetwood has put together a complete package, with a satisfactory conclusion leading to the next adventure that will have readers salivating for more. One can only hope that book two is right around the corner.
Imogen has always been able to see the Chroma, but she’s never really known why. Instead, she’s learned how to control it, how to conceal it, and how to shield herself with no knowledge of just who is after her, or why. When a new boy starts at her school and another one moves into her house, it starts off a chain of questions and experiences that she has no way how to answer. But could the truth about her and her entire family be hidden in the past? Or is she crazy to think that maybe there’s more to her mother’s ten-year coma and her father’s disappearance than she’s been told? There’s only one way to find out in Imogen’s Secret: Chroma Book One by B. Fleetwood.
This story is about more than just a young woman coming into her own and starting to recognize her own power. Instead, it’s about family, secrets (and family secrets), strangers and enemies that you don’t even know exist. It’s good at making you want to know more about the good guys, the bad guys and everyone in between. Imogen, Granddad, Leo, Araz, Chrissie and everyone else are just too intriguing not to be interested in learning more about them. There's a bit of a mystery going on and there’s a whole lot that’s left for the next book, which you’re definitely going to want to read (I know I do). Imogen’s Secret by B. Fleetwood has new turns around every corner and you'll want to know about all of them.
This the first time I've read a novel by this author. A fabulous read, throughly enjoyed reading this book. Would highly recommend to others.
17 year-old Imogen Reiner can read emotions. She is haunted by a recurring nightmare of what happened when she was a child.
Was it the cause of her mother's ten year coma?
I really enjoyed this book. Absolutely fantastic read. Imogen was my favourite character. I was amazed. Can't wait for more. 5*. Highly recommended. Tbc on fb.
We all think we’re different from others when we’re young. In this book, Imogen is totally correct, but she doesn’t yet know how different. She is able to read people’s ‘chroma’, the colours of their aura, so she can see if they’re telling the truth, afraid, angry or in love. She’s also able to mute her own so that anyone else (very few) who can read the chroma can’t tell what she’s thinking.
There’s much more to this book but without spoiling the story I can only encourage you to read it. It’s marketed as for young adults but as with all good stories in this genre it has plenty to offer the older adults too. By the end we know Imogen’s secret but what she intends to do about it will carry us over into another book. I’ll be delighted to read it! The story was fast and in parts, quite exciting, and, like Imogen, I wasn’t sure who could be trusted. I still have my doubts about some and look forward to seeing if I’m right in the next book of this proposed trilogy. A great read in the fantasy genre.
As an avid reader of many books and genres I absolutely loved this first instalment of the Chroma series!
The story keeps you gripped throughout and you really feel for Imogen as she finds out the different pieces of her past. Once I started reading I could not put the book down and finished within a day. You know you have a good book when you already think about re-reading it. Cannot wait till the next book!
It got me hooked from the start. A clever book with twists and turns.
Looking forward to more.
A thrilling read from beginning to end and hard to put down, with plenty of suspense and mystery surrounding the main characters and who they really are. The idea of 'reading' people through the colours of their aura is both original and fascinating, making it an interesting sci-fi novel suitable for teenagers and adults. Hoping the next instalment isn't far off.
A Great Story!
Be prepared to be plunged head first into this story - and you won’t want to come up for air. After being immersed in Imogen’s world you’ll be carried along at a fast-moving pace through the threads of the plot which entangles the characters. B Fleetwood has written a great page-turning adventure in an easy, engaging style with a light-hearted edge. I really enjoyed reading this book, what a pity we have to wait for the sequel! If you’re looking for a good gripping story, then this book is definitely for you.
My first foray into the world of fantasy and the imagination of the author is incredible yet plausible. As a child who loved fairy tales perhaps I have now found the adult equivalent in Chroma. We are led by the author through time and emotional dimensions, never knowing what is around the next corner, whilst reminiscing that teenage "angst " as we journey with Imogen. Highly recommended to fantasy readers both old and new and young and old.
A charming debut novel from a YA author capable of indulging the tropes of the post-Twilight/Hunger Games landscape (brooding love interest - check, complex familial histories - check, endearing protagonist - check) while still finding time to push the genre in her own unique direction; not least due to the invention of the eponymous concept of Chroma itself.
The narrative of this first instalment in the Chroma saga introduces us to a kaleidoscope of compelling characters as we travel through the lush imagery of Fleetwood's varied locations and time periods; it avoids the monotonous quagmire of cyclical teenage drama which so often curtails the flow of similar novels.
Imogen's Secret is most definitely the sound of a breakout author finding her feet in a congested genre, but the emergent world she's created has plenty of scope for multiple visits as more of the Chroma saga unfolds in the coming months and years.
I'm not usually a fan of science fiction but Croma gripped me.
The layered narrative gives the reader a story told from different angles and perspectives with plot twists and turns along the way.
Imogen's vulnerability juxtaposed with her strength her gift provides, mirror the teenage angst typical in this literary genre (and real life!).
Chroma is an enjoyable read that brings science fiction into a relatable and emotive experience.
This has to be the best young adult novel I have read since 'The Hunger Games'!
The storytelling overwhelmingly grips you right from the beginning, with the different characters' perspectives, interspersed with the intriguing chronicles. In fact, I became so immersed in the characters' worlds that I went to bed thinking about them every night!
Imogen is a strong female lead who has a balance of extraordinary abilities and flaws, Leo is hilarious but also secretive and my favourite is possibly Araz (in a Mr Darcy style infatuation!)
Chroma stands out from all the other novels I have read because of the inclusion of "chroma"; the array of colours which depict a characters' true self are as mesmerising as the plot itself.
Once I got half way through, I literally couldn't put it down! The pace increases, the plot twists and turns, whilst the reader, alongside the protagonist, pieces together the puzzle of Imogen's unusual life.
If you read one young adult book this year, make it this one.
A fascinating concept; beautiful descriptions, romance, intrigue, and time travel. The fantasy genre is not a normal choice for me, but the subject interested me and I thoroughly enjoyed the change. I just could not put it down! The reader is kept guessing who is really who as the characters gradually reveal themselves. I cannot wait to discover Imogen's continuing story.
One of the best reads this year
Chroma follows the life Imogen as she discovers her gifts and comes to realise her super powers. Chroma refers to the ability to read peoples emotional state from the colours radiated by them, with fascinating descriptions which I suspect may be based partly on fact. The science is great and very believable, with touches or reminiscences of Star Wars (the Rebellion against the Empire) and Interstellar (lost in a Worm Hole for 10 years), even Star Trek (Tele-transporters).
This is not the author rehashing old ideas, but weaving believable science into a great plot, using characters you fall for and loathe. One of the best YA novels this year on my reading list. Highly recommended.
I love science fiction/fantasy and this is a magical and enthralling tale of self discovery. The setting is sleepy at first glance but is really a volcano about to blow. There are eerie flashbacks and tantalising clues to hidden mysteries. Characters are haunted by the past and hounded by time itself; Eugenics scarily blended with social dystopia. A page turner indeed. Bring on book 2.
All in all, a great book. I would highly recommend it. It's got a great message for anyone who has ever felt like they didn't fit in. Sometimes even the things that make us extraordinary make us a target for bullying. It gave me the feels big time.
Although “fantasy” is not my typical genre, I’m now a convert. The author, B. Fleetwood, took me on a fantasy journey of colorful hues. As a painter, I am intrigued by the visuals the author created with her vivid descriptions of seventeen-year-old Imogen Reiner’s unique ability to read emotions through the colors of auras. As an example, in one scene she described it as follows: “A glimmer of russet, intermingled with sepia shades, revealed the sincerity of his affection and compassion, which Imogen could not help but warm to.” Personally, I would love this ability to read the world and all of its people this way. Imogen’s unique ability provides extra sensory input for the reader to interpret the characters emotions and motivations. The reader not only has the physical description of the characters actions and attributes, but this extra layer of information for us, the reader, provides the opportunity to know the character within— their true inner thoughts, emotions, and intentions.
The exciting beginning of the story pulls you smack dab into the suspense with the words, “They were coming. . .” As the story develops, it becomes fast-paced, and I found myself wanting one more page, one more chapter, until I found myself in bed, reading late into the wee hours of the morning, biting each fingernail, one by one. Each chapter raises the suspense as it builds up—like ascending on a roller coaster ride and then it plummets you into some heart-pounding scenes. You can almost hear the dark looming music in your head as evil lurks and constantly threatens pending doom. I was driven—compelled to go on in search of Imogen’s secret. Just who is she? What is her secret identity? Why did her grandfather keep information from her? Who was the intriguing dark-haired newcomer staring at Imogen? Why has her mother been in a coma for so long? How do you handle it when you find out your aren’t who you think you are? These questions propelled me forward deep into the story. I wanted to know!
The story was particularly intriguing to me because my mom used to tell me stories from the psychic Edgar Cayce about Ancient Egypt where there were great advancements in technology and culture as well as time travel and genetically superior humans. These were intriguing concepts to me and still are.
Perhaps because I no longer have the sharp memory of a young adult, I did experience some confusion correlating the names of current-day characters with those from sixty years ago. If there is anyone else in that predicament, there is an appendix at the end of the book that I didn’t realize until I had finished.
Cheers to Ms. B. Fleetwood for a job well-done. If someone is reading my Chroma right now, I think it is brimming with warm happy hues with random sparks of excitement and a sapphire edge, echoing the honesty of my words.
An incredible journey, so vivid and well plotted. I was completely enveloped in Imogen's story, every twist and turn making me want more and more. I can't wait to find out what's next, my mind is going crazy!! Bring on book 2 & 3!!
I did enjoy this book, although towards the end I did get a bit fed up with the "sparks flying" and
smouldering feelings between Imogen and one of the two young men in the story. But then I am an
By the end of the book the reader knows what Imogen' secret is and how her mother ended up in a
coma for 10 years and who her father is. However the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger as not all
is a happy ending and Imogen must continue her search for answers in the next book (s).
I know there are people who can read auras, so that was an interesting part of the book. I got a
bit confused with who was who in the "special group" who aim to protect Imogen as they all had two lots
of names. However, I got there in the end and the explanations of what happened in the past began to make
There was no sex or swearing in the book.
Great start to new series - waiting for the next instalment
Written for the young adult but bound to be enjoyed by many, who like me, will be much, much older than the target market.
A story which blends fantasy and sci-fi set in contemporary Britain featuring a likable, well balanced intelligent teenage girl. Hidden gifts, and the revelations of secrets kept make this a mysterious and intriguing read, beautifully written with lots of layers to the plot, really well drawn characters and vivid descriptions. The pace was spot on, it was suspenseful and flowed really well.
I can really recommend this one and look forward to the next installment!
Read and reviewed for THE Book Club (TBC) #TBConFB
Colours and a fresh magical realism combine in this accomplished first foray
What a revelation, a children's fantasy grounded in the Present Day and the Present Day UK at that.
Anyone who has read my short story Chroma will know that the idea of emotions being read through the medium of colours is an idea close to my heart, but this book, the first in a series, takes that premise to a whole new level. And knocks my little effort into a cocked hat.
I do not want to give away plot, but suffice to say that Imogen's gift and the origins of it will keep you reading from first page to last.
The story is fast paced, the mythology and rules of the world(s) Imogen inhabits are solid and intriguing and the romantic elements seem authentic and not forced unlike many of the stories written for younger readers.
Suffice to say this older reader was equally enthralled by the tale. There is enough tension and mystery in the plot to ensure that readers who pick up this book will thirst to read the next. No one is quite who they seem which makes Imogen's particular skill so central to the narrative .
It is beautifully written with the colour motifs being excellently utilised to represent every facet of human emotion and mood. This attention to fine detail lifts the story into a richer and more cohesive piece that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I happily offer five stars
How glad am I that I decided to read this book! Fantasy is not what I would normally choose and, being of retirement age, I wasn't at all sure it would be for me......but what a refreshing change! I was drawn into Imogen's world and by the end of the first chapter, I was well and truly hooked. B Fleetwood certainly has the knack of understanding the workings of a teenage mind. Once I had started reading, I couldn't put my Kindle down - I needed to know what happened next! It was so good, I read the entire story in just one day. A clever ending which is, in itself satisfying, but which also makes me want to read the next book in the series. Keep writing stories like this, B Fleetwood - I can't wait!
Riveting read with a dynamic plot. Absolutely well worth the read - I couldn't put it down. Written in a formidable style that is both engaging and easy to read .loved it !! A MUST read
Very well written page turner that keeps you guessing and needing to read more! The characters are very well developed, the action is intense, the stakes are high. I loved the descriptions of each character's constantly changing aura, their emotions playing out in color for those who have the ability to see. This story is so well thought out, so well written, it was very real for me and I could picture it all very clearly in my mind as I read. I've never read anything like it and I HIGHLY recommend it.
The first thing I did when I saw the title was to look up "Chroma", which is the Greek word for color. This fascinating story revolves around Imogen, a young girl who can "read" people by the colors they emit through their auras. This book has everything: suspense, fantasy, time-travel, science fiction and the paranormal. Wonderfully written, it keeps the reader thoroughly engaged: Why has Imogen's mother been in a coma for ten years? What is her grandfather hiding? Who is Araz and why is he watching her? I won't say more, you just need to read it for yourself. B. Fleetwood did a tremendous job on this and I'm looking forward to her next installment.
Fascinating sci-fi adventure
Imogen can read people. Not their minds, but their emotions. She has an amazing gift—she can see emotion as color. Scarlet is attraction, gray anxiety, purple rage, black is power and authority. Trained to alter her own colors, she can somewhat control how she is perceived by others. But Imogen’s powers go far beyond colors.
Her mother is in a ten-year coma and her dreams are plagued with danger. Her grandfather’s friend Leo reveals that Imogen is special; she is a member of a secret race of genetically superior humans who has been squirreled away in this primitive society, hiding from . . . what, exactly? Imogen doesn’t know. She’s also suspicious of Araz, a dark, handsome, brooding guy whose colors tell her he is up to no good.
As Imogen learns that this superior society would like nothing more than to destroy her. She also learns that her father invented a machine that can travel through the space-time continuum, like a worm hole. What is Imogen’s true destiny?
Chroma is an exciting sci-fi story that travels back and forth in time between the present day and sixty years earlier. The science behind the “chroma” ability was fascinating and believable. I loved how the emotion-based auras were woven into the fabric of the plot and character development. This is a series, and it ends with you wanting more, but thankfully it is not a cliffhanger.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
A fast-moving adventure
Imogen knows she’s different but she doesn’t know why. There’s a secret about her background and family, but she doesn’t know what it is. She is gifted in ways her college mates can’t guess, but has to hide it for reasons which are a mystery to her.
B Fleetwood unwraps the skins of this multi-layered enigma as though she is peeling an onion; each one is more eye-smartingly surprising than the one before, each one adds a further intensity of flavour and excitement to the dish. Where we end up, at the end of the cooking time, is miles away from where we began, and it’s been one hell of a ride.
In between times the reader is introduced to an interesting and convincing skew on our place in history, time and space; a series of ‘chronicles’ which punctuates the main narrative, fill us - and Imogen - in on background without hampering the pace of the story (a problem with so many fantasy books). Likewise, intriguing but wholly plausible new technologies are introduced to the reader and Imogen alike in their functionality, without pages of technological explanations. Oh, for some of it in our household! A DE, for example, is like a Google on steroids!
Imogen is a feisty, bright but sympathetic central character; strong is some ways, weak in others and very convincing.
But what stands out for me in this book, and what I liked best about it, is the use of ‘Chroma’ as a narrative technique. Chroma is the coloured aura which our emotions emit, even against our will. First of all it is central to the plot, the hub of all the mystery which surrounds Imogen and therefore becomes a catalyst of the action. Secondly, B Fleetwood’s descriptions are subtle and very compelling; she differentiates twenty one shades of colour from the ordinary seven of the spectrum. In a fast-moving world of dark forces, anxiety and mystery the glow of colour shimmering around the characters gave some much needed beauty and respite. Finally, Chroma is used as a way of depicting character. It is woven seamlessly into the text along with body language, facial expression and voice tone until it becomes an expression of personality and mood which feels natural to the reader. Indeed, by the end, I wanted to be able to see and read Chroma for myself, in the same way that I wanted to be able to speak Elvish, play Quidditch and ride a dragon after reading other fantasy books.
A great read.
I really enjoyed this book. I don't normally enjoy fantasy, unless there is something philosophical in it too - I like Ursula le Guin, for example, but this was thought-provoking as well as fast-paced and unfolded really well. It raised all sorts of serious questions surrounding genetics and ethics in an action-packed, entertaining novel. I couldn't wait to get back to it when I had to go and do something in the real world and I can't wait for the next in the series!