Books about vampires are a dime a dozen, ditto with angel stories. Nikki Kelly tried something a little different with Lailah, she brought the two togBooks about vampires are a dime a dozen, ditto with angel stories. Nikki Kelly tried something a little different with Lailah, she brought the two together and what resulted was an powerful, unique niche story. Lailah (Francesca - Cessie) is a lost soul. She's seventeen years old and doesn't have friends or family. All she understands about herself is she doesn't age, she's somehow immortal. She has visions or glimpses of her previous existences. They don't make any sense because there are gaps or blackouts. Over her past lives, she remembers only one constant, a man's face who frequents her dreams. Then, one night after coming to the aid of a young man, he ends up leading her to this man in her dreams - Gabriel. Lailah is confident Gabriel is the one with all the answers. Together, the two young man lead Lailah on a journey of self discovery, a wild, dangerous ride culminating in an unforgettable battle of good and evil at the end.
Set mainly at and around Europe, I knew right away this was going to be different. Writing style is free flowing, easy to read and follow. Pacing is moderate, spiking to a wickedly rapid pace near the end. The book is written in a first person narrative from the unwavering voice of our female heroine, Lailah.
Lailah begins the book somewhat meek and introverted. She likes to blend in and makes no attempts to make herself stand out in a crowd. She's on a quest for answers. Her life is a mystery, a big puzzle she wants to put together. As the story progresses, she experiences a journey of self discovery. During her quest, at times I was frustrated with her stubbornness. I appreciated her bravery, resilience and ability to find true self.
Jonah, a second generation vampire, is a little sketchy in the beginning. I didn't really believe he was trustworthy. He came off as reckless. I wasn't completely sure where his allegiance lied. As I learned more about his past and experienced his faithfulness in many faces, he slowly grew on me. In the end, I almost think I liked him more than Gabriel.
Gabriel is an angel who is crazy enough for Lailah he continues to search the earth for her each and every time she passes. Initially, he frustrated me with his cryptic nature. I had a strong hunch he was hiding the truth from Lailah. I just didn't know why. He seemed like a fair person. I also appreciated his compassion for the second generation vampires. In the end, once everything falls out, his character made a lot more sense.
In the beginning I didn't fall head over heals in love with this book. I was a bit miffed at the confusion surrounding Lailah. It frustrated me that Gabriel had all the answers, but he wouldn't just reveal his secrets right away. At first it also felt like a story where romance was going to be the main focus. Plus, the apparent love triangle forming between Jonah-Lailah- Gabriel, seemed contrite and didn't interest.
About a third of the way into the book, everything changed for the better and I became hooked. The world building involved great complexity. This book is very unique with its vampire and angel lore. There are pure vampires, second generation vampires, angels and of course fallen angels. Worlds appear in dimensions, with three known: Heaven, Hell and the human world. Most of this was divulged by Gabriel in a telling, not showing sort of fashion. A device I'm not a huge fan of. One aspect I did appreciate was how the author used Lailah's rehashing what she had gleaned from Gabriel in her thoughts later, when she was trying to piece things together. These rehashing moments helped me digest everything a bit easier. By the end of the story, I was turning each page with bated breath. I couldn't wait to get all the answers. The mystery behind who/what Lailah really was heated up and it kept me on edge. I was able to figure out some of what was going on, but there were plenty of unexpected twists and turns. The story wraps up very nicely, without cliffhangers. I would say this could be read as a stand alone novel. I'm excited to see where the next book will take me.
I'd recommend this to readers looking for something unique and different. If you like battles of good versus evil this is a perfect fit. Paranormal fans will appreciate this story for the way it brings together vampires and angels in an impacting and exciting fashion....more
I didn't really understand what this book was all about when I picked it up. There were quite a few mixed reviews and plenty of comparisons to The TwiI didn't really understand what this book was all about when I picked it up. There were quite a few mixed reviews and plenty of comparisons to The Twilight Series. A friend at work strongly recommended it, then a discussion about the book on a thread by Mundie Moms caught my eye. She and another fellow blogger Haley seemed to rate this one very highly. So, I decided these two gals probably knew what they were talking about. I put myself on the long wait list and the digital library and I was surprised by how quickly my name came up. This particular book is primarily about a witch, called Diana Bishop who is descended from a prestigious line of witches. Diana is almost ashamed of being a witch, ever since her parents were murdered when she was a small child. She didn't even bother to keep up on developing her witchcraft and did everything under her power to behave like a human. Diana is also a professor at Yale university. She's researching a talk she's going to be delivering on alchemy. One evening, not unlike any other, Diana is at the library studying. One of the old manuscripts, she requests ends up behaving very strangely. The writing seems to be moving on the page and the book appears to be begging her to open it and read what's inside. Diana, still against using her magical powers, passes on what the book has to offer and ends up re-shelving it. The only problem is, the book is far more important than she realizes. Every since her encounter with the book demons, witches and vampires have be tracking her. One vampire in particular, Mathew Clairmont, ends up pursuing her, primarily to find out more about the manuscript and what evolves is a first a cautious friendship then a romantic relationship. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what this book has in store for these characters. The story is set in Europe. Pacing for this one is quite slow. Its a very lengthy book and I felt it. That's not to say this wasn't a book I loathed to read. Quite the opposite, the pacing seemed perfect for the story. It slowly developed slowly in its delicate complexity. It told in a first person narrative through Diana's eyes, occasionally though it switches to third person from Mathew's perspective. The main characters in the story are Diana and Mathew. Diana, a professor at Yale, is extremely intelligent. She's a historian and loves researching and alchemy. As the book progresses so much is revealed about Diana that she becomes a very rich and vibrant character. I loved her bravery and her fierceness. She ends up being able to endure incredible amounts of animosity and pain. Plus, she's fairly grounded despite everything she learns about herself as the book moves forward. Mathew is a vampire who is over 1000 years old. That alone sparks my interest. He impressive, patient, powerful and does an incredible job of exercising restraint. Its evident he's a cold blooded killer and that alone makes me a little fearful of his character. However, as the story moves along, we learn a wealth of information about Mathew and after I got to know him throughout the book, I trusted him much more towards the end. There are numerous other characters that play substantial roles in the story and we also have the quite a few gay characters involved in the plot. So, one could definitely say this is a very diverse book and I think part of its message is to say its ok to fall in love with anyone, race, culture and breed should not matter. My favorite aspects of this book were the complexity of the plot and all of the amazing in depth backstory. Lot of history is involved in this. I was totally entertained by all of the powers Diana slowly began to command. There are so many twists and turns, plots and subplots. One part of the story which bothered me somewhat is I felt the romance in the foreground. I had plenty of interest in the manuscript and what was inside, discovering Diana's powers and especially the mystery of her parent's death. There was much more I enjoyed than not, but I still wish the romance was slightly more in the backdrop. The ending isn't abrupt. It doesn't complete the story, but it definitely wraps up on a quiet note. It leaves the reader yearning to know what's to come. I can't wait to read the next installment of this series and lucky for my I'm already on the waiting list at the digital library. I would recommend this book to patient readers who don't mind very long, somewhat slow paced books. If you are a reader looking for an in depth story with rich characters and plenty of plot to keep your imagination piqued than this is your book. It holds so much mystery, I think that is the draw and what makes it so engaging....more