BOOK REVIEW – Awry (The Archers of Avalon #2) by Chelsea FineAwry (The Archers of Avalon #2)
by Chelsea Fine
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

*5 Star-crossed Stars*

Scarlet inhaled as she looked into his soft eyes and deep dimples. He smelled like leather and water. “I think,” she said quietly, now that their mouths were close to each other, “that easy and clean love is not true. It is simply convenient. Messy love, though…that is something to revel in.”

My thoughts are a jumbled mess and I am giant ball of giddiness. I can’t say this story had as good of an ending as the first (The first had an epic ending), but it did a better job of showing us peril throughout. Oftentimes authors tend to rely on cheesy dialogue and unrealistic situations to get them through a complete trilogy, but Chelsea Fine handled this second book with a grace unlike many other unmentionables do today. Sure, there was some repetitiveness and I would sooner punch Gabriel in the face than to have his grimey paws all over our dear Scarlet…..but that is neither here nor there. I loved this story, and I loved it despite these flaws.

She licked her lips. Tasting Gabriel. Feeling Tristan.
The three of them made a tragic triangle.

Probably my favorite thing about this story, aside from Tristan and Scarlet’s uber hot and forbidden relationship, was the flashback aspect of this story. Now, that is usually my least favorite part of a story, but in Scar and Tristan’s profound and utterly overwhelming journey, I think it added an intricate layer of heartbreak and desperation, loyalty and young love, and, ultimately, the foundation to one of the most beautiful and tear-inducing tragedies of, you guessed it, a star-crossed love that I have ever seen. It’s not about a clichéd back plot or the recycling of old ideas in a new story, it’s how it was executed. Execution is key if we are to care about what comes of these two romantically robbed teens. I’ve seen it happen time and again where there is a tragic story line that is literally above and beyond epic proportions…only to be floundered by poor execution. I do wish some things would have happened and that certain scenes had been extended, but overall, Fine created a flawless portrayal of desperation and impossible-but-all-consuming love, and that in itself is execution enough. And, guess what, I cared when Tristan cried in agony and I cared when Tristan’s heart was broken for the hundredth time…I just, simply, cared.

Slowly pulling back, Tristan murmured, “Is it okay if I love you?”
Scarlet tried to catch her breath as she looked into his beautiful eyes. “Only if it is okay that I love you back.”

Tristan. What a beautiful, broken boy. I must admit, I adored him over the ever-present Gabriel in book one with just a single dark look and the clench of a jaw…so sue me, I might be a tad easy. But in this book? My heart and soul shattered into a million tiny pieces as we learned the truth of what happened in the past. No detail was skimped on and no stolen moment was passed over. We learned how everyone met and what led to the death and betrayal of all our beloved-and not so beloved-immortal characters. I can’t say what I want to say, not really, but what I can say is this: If Tristan hadn’t won me over in book one, he certainly would have with these flashbacks. Every look, every touch, every ache and pain and grievance of the soul…it crushed me. Now, and don’t get me wrong, every moment from the past was absolute perfection, my favorite re-telling was the origin of the tattoo. How it came to be, what it represented, and why it meant so much to our dear Tristan. I loved it, and I likely won’t forget what it meant to him in every life any time soon.

His eyes blazed into her and he slammed the door closed. “First of all,” he said angrily, “I couldn’t stop loving you even if I tried. And I’ve tried.” He shook his head and laughed without humor, his hands balling into fists. “God, how I’ve tried. But I am completely lost to you. I am lost and empty and broken-“
“My heart is broken too-“
“My heart is not broken, Scar. My heart is dead!” His eyes were hopeless and wild. “It is a hollow black object that sits in my chest without purpose, haunting me with memories.”

Heather is back and zany as ever, along with the rest of (I swore I wouldn’t bring it up) Team Awesome. Ah, yes, they have a team name, did ya know that? Well, now ya do. And this is precisely why this series gives me the warm fuzzies on top of a heaping pile of angst-Fine can write literally the funniest conversations without making them completely over-the-top or cheesy. They are just short enough and they cut off just perfectly before they become redundant or rendered useless. They all banter and bicker, accuse and deflect, grouse and project, but they always make me laugh…and I really, really need that right now. It’s perfectly light but has just enough mystery, action, and emotional turmoil to keep me on my toes, and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s making me feel.

”So?” She threw her hands up, her chest tight with frustration. “Loving anyone is dangerous! There’s always going to be something at stake.”
“Your life is not just ‘something’, Scarlet.” He said her full name and Scarlet’s heart broke. “It’s everything.

Sigh. I loved book one. I adored book two. Now, with one book left, I have to face the only book that ever tends to be over-the-top or annoying in a series to me. My friends all don’t understand why I like series to just…end…at book three. Why is that, they ask? Well, I’ll tell you why. I fall in love with books one and two in a trilogy, only to wait a year or however long for the impending wrap-up of said series that I do so cherish, only to be disappointed by the lackadaisical explanation of why everything is the way it is and what they are going to do about it. So, when I think of a series an author is debating on drawing out or finishing snugly at book three, I’ll always root for the trilogy. There’s a point where the line needs to be drawn-the heroine can only be rescued so many times, the hero can only be dark and mysterious for so long, the newly found relationship can only lead to complacency for me as a reader after such a long build-up, and we can only expect so much. So, after that long-winded affair I will wrap it up neatly: redundancy isn’t key, and I only hope this is all wrapped up as beautifully as I know it can be….that’s all I can ask.

Scarlet exhaled through her nose as she looked back at Kristy. “She’s such a flirt.”
Tristan tucked his lips in. “You don’t like her flirting with me?”
Scarlet looked at him and answered honestly. “No.”
Tristan nodded and looked away. “Kristy is just a girl, Scar.”
Looking back at her, Tristan leaned in close and lowered his voice. “She’s not you.”

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
Anew The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine
Anew #1

Awry The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine
Awry #2

Avow by Chelsea Fine The Archers of Avalon
Avow #3


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