After finishing this sequel to
, I still maintain that this is a massively underrated series. It has a Harry Potter meets X-men vibe but will specifically appeal to teen girls/young women the most. The story itself is not entirely unfamiliar but Scott puts her own unique spin on paranormal boarding schools, superpowers and teen romance. It’s fast-paced, funny, a little creepy at times, but certainly always entertaining and addictive. For the first time in what feels like forever, I find myself wanting a YA paranormal series to never end.
Becca returns in full-force with her sarcastic humour making the narrative sparkle on each page. In short: I like her. But I need to say more than that too. She’s realistically flawed, brave without being ridiculously so, willing to fight for the ones she cares about and a perfect balance of heroine and insecure teenage girl. I have one main criticism of this series and that’s that no other female character is anywhere near as developed as she is. Chloe (Becca’s friend) is inoffensive but pales in comparison next to the depth of Becca’s personality – something that I hope will sort itself out in the next book. And the new character of Shannon is also entirely one-dimensional. I appreciate that the rules of the magic in this book make the main players male but I’d ideally like to see more from other female characters in future.
In this sequel, the story picks up not long after we left off. I’ll try my best to avoid spoilers for the first book as much as possible. The last book left us with one clue as to how Becca could defeat the power-crazy Darragh and save not only Holders but possibly the whole of humanity… Ciaran Shea. But how and if he will help still remains a mystery as Becca, Jocelyn, Alex and Cormac take a trip to Adare Manor and find themselves amid the bitchiness and pomposity of Holder aristocracy. However, Ciaran won’t be easy to find and Adare Manor appears to hold some dark secrets of its own – it seems that Becca and Jocelyn might not be the only ones interested in the information they seek. The main question becomes who to trust in this race for the truth.
Sound exciting? It is!
Though, perhaps what I love most about all of this is Alex. As far as YA paranormal love interests go, he easily has to be one of the best. I mean… he blushes. He’s sweet and considerate but doesn’t treat Becca like a baby. The two of them support one another and – apart from a couple of mild instances to keep the tension going – they are refreshingly free from drama. Plus, I like the maturity of their relationship and the way the sexual side is handled in this book. Scott doesn’t attempt to pretend teen hormones don’t exist and introduces that side of their relationship gradually but realistically. They’re easy to root for and easy to love because this book isn’t primarily about romance and its dramatics. Love is present constantly in the background, but there are more pressing issues to deal with and the author never loses sight of this.
The ending of this book is shocking and sad but leaves a little room for hope too. I honestly don’t know how certain issues are going to be resolved or if they even will be. Ms Scott is just a little bit evil – you never know what kind of hell she’ll be willing to put you through.
But I can’t wait to find out.