Imagine you have just moved to a new town with your mother. A town where you know absolutely no one. Then your mother is murdered, and if that wasn't bad enough, everyone in the town thinks you did it. You finally meet someone you can connect with in this town and they are the sister of three of the cops that are the most hell bent and proving your guilt.
This is the situation we find Thomas Bellwether in at the beginning of this newest paranormal thriller from Elementals series author Brigid Kemmerer and this novel is Ms Kemmerer at her best.
Right from the beginning I felt for Thomas and the situation he was in and desperately wanted him to prove his innocence As story built and grew, I found my belief wavering...Was he the killer? I think I changed my mind back and forth at there 3 or 4 times before the electrifying and chilling conclusion finally gave me an answer.
I loved that this book kept me guessing from beginning to end. Ms Kemmerer layered it exactly right so that every new revelation added more questions for every answer that you got and the reader got to go on the journey of discovery with both Thomas and Charlotte to try to find out what really happened that night.
The strong plot line is not the only great thing about this novel. I also loved the characters. The story is told in alternating points of view by Thomas and charlotte and Ms Kemmerer did a wonderful job in giving each of them a distinct voice so that even if each chapter didn't have the name of the character narrating it, the reader would be able to tell straight away. I also felt the characters were well written and easy to connect with. I felt Thomas' sense of isolation in this town where everyone thought he was a killer and I felt Charlotte's irritation and sense of claustrophobia at the constant over protectiveness and constraints laid on by her brother, parents and grandmother.
I loved her best friend Nicole, in part because we share the same first name but mostly because I am a sucker for a well drawn loyal best friend and this best friend's personality leaps out of the page at you. I loved Charlotte's brothers protective ness of their sister even as I chafed at the bit for Charlotte. Ms Kemmerer really captures the different personalities and this helped bring the story to life.
If you are a fan of a good YA thriller but not a huge paranormal fan, don't be put off as whilst there is a paranormal vein running through this book, it is first and foremost a thriller and a chilling one at that. One you won't want to put down till you have turned the last page and then mulled over it some as you digest the ending.
I devoured this book in less than 24 hours and am extremely happy to give this book 4 1/2 stars.
One of the first things I heard about this book after opting to read and review it was hearing it described as in the vein of Buffy the Vampire slayerOne of the first things I heard about this book after opting to read and review it was hearing it described as in the vein of Buffy the Vampire slayer in the Regency era. This description excited me and I was quick to add it to the top of my reading list anxious to get started on reading it.
When I sat down to read it, it didn't disappoint! Whilst I could see the Buffy comparison, I also enjoyed it for many other reasons.
Right from the beginning I was intrigued by Lady Helen and her life such as it was and I was eager to find out all about her special abilities. Right away I was able to connect with Lady Helen as she set out to find out more about her mother, Lord Carlsten and why she was different which drew me further into the story. I felt her frustration when answers were slow to come initially and felt like this may have been drawn out just a little too much. But what kept me going was characters I couldn't get enough of and writing that made me feel like I was being given my own little window to peek in on the higher society of Regency life. .
I loved the twists and turns in the plot line, which kept me on my toes trying to guess who lady Helen could trust, what she was going to do and how it would all turn out. I liked that nothing was as black and white as it might seem at first and that the more Lady helen and the reader discovered, the more questions were also raised. In this way, the story was well layered though as mentioned sometimes the pace of the layers being peeled away had me just a little impatient as i was desperate to know right away.
Ms Goodman's gentle writing style flowed well, which helped translate the feel of the era and her world building gave to book an authentic feel. This gentle seeming flow of words worked incredibly well as a counter point to the vivid imagery and action in the story and added to that feel of authenticity.
As all good books do, this left me wanting more. More of Lady Helen and Lord Carlsten, more about the dark Days Club and more paranormal Regency London. I am eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
So whilst in some ways Lady Helen could described as a Regency Buffy the Vampire, don't let appearances deceive you. This book is perfect for anyone that loves their paranormal sublimely balanced with a great story line and a regency feel
I received this ARC from Bloombsbury Australia via Netgalley in return for an honest review. I then purchased myself a copy :-)
I absolutely adored the first book in this series The Winner's Curse. I gave it 5 stars. I have to be honest though, this second instalment took me 2 separate goes to finish it. It actually took receiving book 3 for review, to go back and finish it. That being said though. I am so glad I did come back to it as the second half had me absolutely gripped to the pages, greedily devouring each page until the ending... The words exquisite agony come to mind. Needless to say. I am extremely glad to be able to move straight on to book 3 to see how it is all going to unfold.
I first started it shortly after I reviewed book 1 last year. I read it ravenously at first then I think I got distracted by something else and then never quite got back to it. When I picked it up again however last week, i found I could easily sink back into to the story and get caught up in all the intrigue till suddenly i was sitting shell shocked at the last page. What I really love about this series and this instalment is that there are so many different threads running through it and yet every thread is exactly where it needs to be, being expertly woven into the whole to make such a rich, detailed and authentic story.
The world building is incredible. Ms Rutkoski has created a such a vivid world, with such distinct countries and cultures and her writing really captures the brutalness of the Valourians conquests and campaigns and the desperateness of the conquered countries to both obtain their freedom and fight back against the Valourians and their brutal tactics. I think in this books we get to let much more about all of these countries and the people who both live and rule them and i think this really adds to the story and series as a whole.
There is so much intrigue in this story. I was genuinely scared for both Kestrel and Arin for a good portion of this book. And the emperor scares me with his evilness and constant game playing and loyalty tests. He always seems to be several steps ahead of everybody else and that just makes him dangerous. This goes together with my point about the many different threads. there s so much going on beneath the surface in this book and Ms Rutkoski gets the balance between suspense and reveal absolutely perfect
I am so very glad i finished this story and it truly was a gorgeous and thrilling read and if you will just excuse me now, i am off to read book 3 :-)
Even though I loved this book, because of my original false start with this book, I have to pull this otherwise flawless story back to 4 stars!