by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
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Let’s get something straight. I’m supposed to be the bad guy. I will always disappoint you. Your parents will hate me. You should not root for me. I am not your role model.
I don’t know why everyone seems to forget that. I never do.
This is both an easy and hard book to review. Easy because, of course I loved being back into Ridley, Link, Ethan and Lena’s world. Hard because, well, again I did not have time to fully immerse myself into the story. I would get a good bit to read, and I would totally get into the story and become very excited, and then I would lose time again. It was a vicious cycle and I was very unhappy that this book I’ve waited forever on had no time to fully develop for me.
Instead, she slept on, dreaming of things that were far eerier than a ring. Even eerier than an unknown cast-forever binding a Siren, a Natural, a Keeper, a Wayward, and two Incubuses-under a full summer moon in a Caster county.
A full moon was for making magic.
Magic and memories.
The subjects of the book, Ridley and Link, were always favorite characters of mine. They were great side kicks and I loved seeing what all they were willing to do for their friends (In Ridley’s case, her cousin and friend). But, admittedly, it scared the shit out of me that they were getting their own story. What could they possibly do for a whole book? Or whole spin-off series, for that matter? But, rest assured, they got themselves into trouble all on their own even without Ethan and Lena around.
He looked at Necro. “What’s up, Gaga?”
Ridley snorted. “Link. Don’t be rude. It’s not Gaga. I’m not even sure it’s a lady.”
“It? are you talking about me?” Necro examined her fist like she was examining her options. “Ouch, Barbie. Where’d you learn your manners?”
Ridley has screwed up-she lost a deadly hand at a club named Suffer and she now owes 3 markers. One of those, coincidentally, is that this guy needs a drummer for his new club in New York. Hmmm…where does Ridley know a drummer? The other marker…well…let’s just say that one could cost her her life.
“Did I say Link Floyd?” Ridley shook her head. “I meant Supertramp.”
She glared meaningfully at the blond chick staring at her boyfriend.
Floyd bumped fists with Link and added, “Or Superhot.”
Ridley frowned. This wasn’t what she was expecting. “Did I say Supertramp? I meant bitch.”
Link’s eyes flickered over to her, surprised. Even Floyd looked at her like she was psycho.
Rid shrugged. “What? It’s a band. Look it up.” She stifled the urge to kick the coffee table to pieces. It would be bad for her boots.
One of my only complaints would have to be the cast of characters. I didn’t like the new crew. I missed Rid and Link and Ethan and Lena and Olivia and John…and Amma…and Ethan’s old aunts. I just missed them. I know this is Rid and Link’s journey, but I just kind of hated the band Link got with. Necro and, I think it was Floyd (which, is a GIRL, btw) just bored me to tears and they drove me insane. That isn’t to say I didn’t like other additions-like Lucille Ball’s reappearance (the Aunts’ awesome cat) and Lennox Gates-he was a cool character. But because I missed those other characters so much, I wanted their shoes to be filled and to not miss them much. But, as it was, I did.
“Why don’t you ever believe me when I say I’m sorry?” Ridley attempted to appear sorry, but she was having trouble remembering how that particular expression looked. She went with sick instead, because she’d faked that one enough times growing up that it was almost second nature.
The writing was, as always, great. I’ve always loved the way these authors have composed their works together, but, I didn’t connect quite like I did with Ethan. Ethan just was one of my favorite voices ever, so Ridley had a lot to compete with. Also, part of my resistance was probably the beginning where I was trying to get used to the switch of characters and POV and also, I really didn’t like when the writing referred to Ridley as ‘Rid.’ I just felt like when it wasn’t Link talking or someone who might call her that, it was a tad juvenile. But maybe that’s just me. I just didn’t connect with that abbreviation in reference to our strong, witty, and hilarious main character.
Then, as quickly as Ridley had caught him, she threw him back, breathless and stammering. When she pulled away, Link looked like he was going to pass out.
“Bye, then,” Rid said sweetly.
Link stumbled toward his car. His mother came after him with two open arms, then let them drop, disgusted.
“Well, Wesley Lincoln, are you happy now? What kind a mother could kiss her own son after a sordid display like that?” Mrs. Lincoln snapped. “You’d better go in the house and wash your mouth out or I’ll never be able to kiss you again.”
“Aww now, wouldn’t that be a shame,” Ridley purred.
As I think it on it, though, Ridley’s inner dialogue broke my heart. She was good but she got dealt a bad stick-I mean she’s a Siren for Chrissakes. What’s she supposed to do? Not EVER use her mojo? (By that I mean persuasion with the help of cherry red suckers-LOVE that) She fights her nature everyday-she fights the urge to compel people and make them bend to her will. She fights persuading Link to be one way when they are arguing, and she hates when he thinks she is doing it to him anyway. She is very hard on herself, and we never knew that before. She has a sassy snark to her that I hope she never loses-it makes her her, and while it leans her towards the dark caster she is, it only proves one thing: she is putting on a front. Oh, and she does have a ‘tude anyway. She is hilarious. I found myself more than once smiling when I didn’t realize and laughing when she bantered with Link or his evil mother. I really did enjoy her POV-it was definitely not what I was expecting.
What can I say? Payback’s a bitch.
But here’s the thing:
So am I.
So, all in all I really loved being back in this world again. I love the way Ridley can call someone “Darlin'” and it doesn’t come off cheesy or out of place. It fits with her tone and the way she is either being sweet to someone (Link) or putting them down (Floyd). And Link-all his zaney words and pet names for Ridley have always been out there, but, oddly, they worked in this story. Nothing was overdone and he was just the right amount of jealous (which I love). I hated when he would get mad at her when all she was trying to do was make things right, but I guess that angst is necessary for a story to have a little substance. So. Anyway. Loved the story, loved the world and trouble they created, and loved them. Who’d a thunk it??