Kathy Davie's Reviews > Betrayals

Betrayals by Lili St. Crow
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Oct 08, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult, urban
Read in October, 2011

Second in the Strange Angels urban-fantasy series for young adults revolving around a svetocha, a very rare female djamphir with powers greatly desired by both the good and the evil.

The Story
In this installment, Dru and Grant have just arrived at the Schola where Christophe said she would be safe but nothing else is as Christophe said. And it soon becomes apparent that Dru isn't safe here either.

No one will teach her anything. No one will tell her anything. No one wants her here. Oh, they say they do. They say she is a treasure. And Dru certainly doesn't feel like one. Instead, she feels stalked, watched. Then she learns that this is not the Schola Christophe had intended for her. She should have tutors and bodyguards. And she has nothing. No one in their world outside this school even knows she exists.

What Christophe does know is that there is a traitor in their midst.

The Characters
Admittedly, Dru Anderson is in a bad state. Her father was captured and destroyed. First by this Sergej and then by Dru (Strange Angels). She has nothing and no one in this world except the boy she met at school, Grant. The one who helped her survive after her father died and the one who was rewarded by a bite from a werewulf, turning him into a loupe-garou.

Christophe. The elusive djamphir who rescued her from Sergej's trap in North Dakota. Who sent her to this Schola. Who believes she is now in danger. Sergej's son.

Dylan is the headmaster at the Schola. A Schola it turns out that is a dumping ground for all the bad little djamphirs and werewulves.

Samuel "Dibs", Bobby "Shanks", Peter, and Andy at whose family farm the runaways hide out are fellow students and weres...not a djamphir in the bunch...hmmm, think that says something???

My Take
Well, Dru is consistent. She's still just as stupid as the last story. Thinks she knows it all and instead of attempting to learn more about this world she's now inhabiting, learning more about who/what she is, learning the geography of the Schola itself and its grounds, she's sulking in her bedroom. Whining, whimpering, whinging. She talks a great game about how she knows so much after spending those years hunting evil with her dad. And she's constantly whining, whimpering, and whinging about wanting her dad back so he can make the decisions, he can tell her what to do, and he can make her feel safe. Yes. I agree. She's perfectly entitled to want these things. If only she would take to heart the lessons he taught her and that she keeps whining about how good she was at them.

Even when Grant tells her some of the stuff he's learning, Dru still can't be bothered to learn the new things he's discovering. Then she wonders why no one wants to be friends with her when she keeps blowing everyone off. Well. Duuuhhhhh.

She's a boiling cauldron of stubborn and stupid, pushing everyone and everything without attempting to understand. She knows there's a traitor. Christophe told her before she ever got on the chopper. And it takes weeks at the Schola, before he reminds her and then has to assign her the task of trying to find the traitor. What? With "all her vast experience", Dru can't think of this on her own?? Miss I'm-too-cocky-to-live? Then there's the fourth attack on the school, that she knows of, and "no one has come to get her". I mean, every other time, a teacher or Dylan have shown up to take her back to her room. So she just stands there. Miss I-know-everything.Thank god the owl is around to lead her to safety this time...because obviously Miss Experience hasn't a clue. Then she gets pissy because she finds out that Christophe is not a "half-breed", he's a sixteenth!! Ooh, lordy! He's much less of a djamphir than she thought!! Ooooh. And here I thought she knew everything. What, she doesn't know that "half-breed" is a rather generic term and not a scientific one??!

I gotta confess, when St. Crow builds up the tension where Dru's life is in danger...I'm not sure which side I'm rooting for…

St. Crow really tries to up the drama/tension with Dru trying to figure out if she's attracted to Christophe/Grant but it's so half-hearted that it's almost embarassing.

Okay, no more whinging on my part. I like the story even if I can't stand Dru. And note that Betrayals is a bridge novel giving us a taste of the Schola; a hint of the tensions between werewulves and djamphirs; an extra sideplot when Dru rescues Ash, the werewulf who bit Grant and is a servant to Sergej; and, more of a glimpse of the greater issues amongst the Order as Dru and Grant segue from a small town in the Dakotas to the main Schola in New York City.

The Cover
The cover is appropriate. Dru has her hair pulled back, one wavy strand dangling on the side of her face leaning forward as though tense or moving stealthily as she looks back over her shoulder. In the background, under a metallic coral sheen, are two boys possibly representing either side of the Order, the werewulf and the djamphir.

The title is also appropriate as Dru and Christophe are attempting to cope with many, unknown Betrayals.
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