by Julianna Scott
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After nearly being drained of her ability and betrayed by a man her father trusted, Becca Ingle was left with one clue — Ciaran Shea. He holds the key to the downfall of the power-mad Holder, Darragh, and can ensure the safety of both Holder and Human kind alike... but is he willing to help?
Becca, Alex, Jocelyn, and Cormac set out for Adare Manor to meet with the Bhunaidh, an aristocratic group of pure blooded Holders of whom Ciaran is a rumored member. However, when Becca discovers that they might not be the only ones after the information Ciaran has, everyone begins to wonder if Bhunaidh might not be as uninvolved with Darragh as they claim.
A race to uncover Ciaran’s secrets begins, where the line between friend and foe is blurred, and everyone seems to have their own agenda. Becca will have to call on every ability at her disposal to uncover the truth, all the while knowing that sometimes the answer is more dangerous than the question.
“…For a long time it was enough-more than enough. More than I ever thought I’d have.” He paused again, swallowing twice before continuing. “But then I met you. And feeling the way I do about you…having what we have…if you were to…” He tried again. “If…” He took a deep breath. “All that other stuff, it isn’t enough anymore. I couldn’t go back.”
Awww…this series is just too cute. No, really, it’s way too cute for it’s own good. Where this one excelled in character growth and adorable situations involving my absolute favorite character, Alex, it also lacked the drive with which I wish it would go. It has so much potential, and I really did start to see it break through those barriers here, but it never takes that leap, you know? I crave the intensity that this series lacks…but I still find myself soaking in all the perfection that is the characters (or rather-Alex and and Bastian).
“For the record,” I glared. “I’m not like the other girls you know; I will throw a book at you.”
“And I’m not like the other guys you know,” he smiled, glancing up. “I’ll throw it back.”
I think my largest problem, in part, is that I read some pretty intense YA (I mean, as intense and gritty as YA can get) and I just expect that out of all of my YA books-which is wrong anyway. I just love an intense build up and the execution that follows-nothing is more gratifying than a high-powered finale. And this book does that-it builds up beautifully…but then the fights are all like wah wah…
See the contradiction, for me, here? This big scary thing is looming…but there’s no follow through. Aside from the writing, which is my only other problem with the series, as I mentioned in book one, this is my largest gripe with the stories.
I scowled at the floor as we stepped off the last stair and into an empty hallway. “I don’t know, maybe…”
“What did you want him to do? Sneak off to some secret lair with a sign on the door: ‘Bad Guys Only, Mwa-ha-ha’?”
-Alex and Becca spying (I don’t know why I found this so humorous)
But, what I like most about these stories is the general happy tone on each and every page and the fact that it’s all actually pretty good. I mean, I hardly have any issues with the story, aside from a lack of build up and cheesy writing-that’s all in all a pretty good book these days, which is sad to say. Anyways, my point is that these books just make you feel good, and I don’t think we get enough feel good books these days-there’s too much drama riddled with angst, deception, lies…it’s nice to read a book about good, pure characters who fall in love and would do anything for one another. So refreshing. But I do love my angst, deception, and lies….lol
The people who love us most can always find a way to make us smile, even if we are dead set against it-a fact that was often as annoying as it was comforting.
And my least favorite thing from book one was taken care of pretty well in this installment. As in, it was almost non-existent. Alex and Becca’s love felt authentic and unforced (again, refer to review one-I didn’t dislike their romance and it wasn’t forced, but, anyway, look back to it if you don’t understand my rambling) and completely natural. And with that natural little romance came natural little jealousies and insecurities…awwww my little Alex!
The question should never be “do you fight,” but “can you fight,” because fights happen, that’s just the way it is. What’s important is how you handle it. The strongest couples aren’t the ones who avoid fighting, but the ones who do fight and are able to grow from it, and come out on the other side with something better than they had before.
This is where my love for book two really won out-I like seeing these little quirks in a relationship (but mostly on the boy side-shut up) and I was worried from the first book that this wasn’t possible. Sorry, I just don’t like reading happy-go-lucky and I always have a perfect relationship books-can you say boring?? (We women are a fickle breed, aren’t we?).
So anyway…my favorite thing about this story was Alex’s love and devotion to Becca. He was sweet, kind, understanding, and he was always there for her-forever a support system when she doubts herself. I don’t think I would have found half the enjoyment I did if it wasn’t for my adorable, tortured Alex. He was so sweet beyond words in this one.
We all want to stand up for ourselves when the hateful people of the world put us down, unfortunately most of us rarely do. We’ll defend others to the grave, but when we are the ones attacked, most of our snarky comebacks and witty retorts go unsaid to everyone but our own bedroom mirrors.
And Bastian! I was ecstatic about this addition to the story. I can’t say much, but his cavalier and I’m better than you attitude cracked me up beyond words and I was never without entertainment when he was on the scene. I had a perpetual smile every time he was around and I couldn’t help but be addicted to him as a side character. Especially when he and Alex were there together :P. Happy happy me.
So, all in all this was a wonderful story that overcame a lot of faults from the first story. And, might I say, it is totally underrated. No, it’s not perfect and yes it screams a tiny bit juvenile from time to time….but it’s eons better than some of the drivel making a ton of money out there. It’s so odd to me how some books make no waves whatsoever, yet they are a million times better than some of the highly anticipated and hyped books out there. It’s just so weird! Where these books lack in hype and street cred, they shine with heart and substance. I only hope that people start seeing how amazing this understated series is, and begin to let it worm it’s way into their hearts. It certainly did, mine.