Maria Miaoulis's Reviews > Tangled

Tangled by Erica O'Rourke
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's review
Dec 23, 2015

it was amazing
Read in March, 2012

Magic, the Mob and midterms make for a deliciously addictive combination in Erica O’Rourke’s newest novel, “Tangled.” This second installment of the Torn series finds its headstrong heroine, Mo Fitzgerald, caught in the middle of several sinister plots, all before lunch period.

Mo is still grieving over the death of her best friend, Verity Grey, who happened to be an Arc, or magical person. More specifically, Verity was an Arc destined to restore balance to her wizard-like realm. When she was killed, Verity’s powers somehow transferred to Mo. Mo can’t actually perform magic, but she’s the only one who can stop an ancient prophecy from happening. Even though she risked her life to do that, something is now wrong with the magic, and Mo is the only one who can fix it.

Then there are her human troubles. Mo’s father is due to be released from prison, and everyone but Mo is excited about it. After all, he’s been locked up for the past twelve years for money laundering and fraud, leaving her and her mother on their own. Unless of course you count her mobster uncle’s interference/protection. Her mom may bow down to him, but Mo certainly won’t, especially since his mafia connections now mean there’s a target on Mo’s back.

But all that is nothing compared to Mo’s boy trouble. She’s crazy about her bodyguard Colin, yet his loyalty to her uncle prevents them from ever having a future, at least one where Colin is still in one piece anyway. And then there’s Luc, Mo’s mysterious soul mate, the guy she’s fated to be with in the magic realm. Both are dangerous, gorgeous and irresistible.

It’s rough when two guys are fighting over you as you try to save the world and not get expelled from school, but Mo manages. Like other novels in the post-Twilight YA fantasy genre, we’re dealing with a flawed protagonist trying to balance her own needs and wants against that of the greater good. There’s the usual “end of the world” issue which is naturally complicated by the main character’s love life. However formulaic, “Tangled” still makes for a page-turning read you’ll easily devour in one sitting.

Here’s why: If you overlook the major figments of the author’s imagination (whether magic, mafia or both is up to you), you’re left with a dynamic roster of internally conflicted characters you can’t help but relate to. Each one’s personal agenda adds to the mounting tension, building towards an explosive climax where not everything is resolved. On the contrary, it just puts Mo in deeper entanglements as the title suggests. And that’s exactly what keeps the reader riveted from start to finish as we all eagerly await the conclusion.

Despite the fact that this is the second book in the series, it can stand alone. Of course, after you turn the last page you’ll probably want to get your hands on a copy of “Torn” in order to see how it all began, but it’s easy to keep up with the action regardless. So if you’re looking for an exciting new YA fantasy adventure to become immersed in, I would definitely recommend Erica O’Rourke’s “Tangled.”

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