by Jessica Shirvington
The war between Exiles and Angels is on — and she's wanted by both sides.
The hotly anticipated follow-up to Embrace, Entice ramps up the captivating combination of angel mythology, forbidden romance and intense action. Seventeen-year-old Violet Eden's whole life changed when she discovered she is Grigori – part angel, part human.
Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengeance of exiled angels. Knowing who to trust is key, but when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something - even her partner, Lincoln.
And now Violet has to learn to live with her feelings for him while they work together to stay alive and stop the exiles from discovering the key to destroy all Grigori. It isn't easy. Especially when the electricity between her and exile Phoenix ignites, and she discovers his hold over her has become more dangerous than ever.
The race halfway across the world to find the one artifact that could tilt the balance of power between Angels and Exiles brings them to the cradle of civilization, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.
*** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***
I was immediately loving this book. I camped out on the couch on my day off work and whipped through the first 220+ pages (over half the book!) in the first day. That's crazy for a poky reader like me. But the writing style of this one was such a breath of fresh air from the style of the Mortal Instruments series, which I'd been laboring through by the end. Author Jessica Shirvington keeps things more blunt and too the point, keeps things moving. There is not the endless grand sweeping statements meant for emotional benefit that seem to be a requirement of young adult fiction. There is not a lot of fluff or nonsense. There is not a lot of extra stuff going on to try and keep readers on their toes, or to try and set up future books. It stays on course and I appreciate that.
Once again, I love the relationship between Violet and Lincoln. There were a couple times when he was in danger of becoming a whiny drama queen but the author reeled him back in and all was good. I love his bluntness, also his quiet caring through simple gestures. I love how he and Violet read each other and know when to step up or back off. Just like in the first book when Violet revealed a deep, disturbing secret and he responded with a silent 'You'll be ok' arm around her shoulders instead of making a big deal about it, there is a situation again in this second book that just makes me love him. Their group has arrived in an important place and as they are leaving the plane Violet's 'senses' kick into overdrive all at once and she's completely overwhelmed. Instantly, before anyone else probably even noticed a problem, Lincoln had his arms around her and was pulling her back into the plane, whispering into her ear, "Violet. It's me. I'm here," in a calming way that centered and grounded her.
I also love that Violet comes with emotional baggage. Something traumatic happened to her in her childhood and it sticks with. It keeps coming back to her in times of crisis, and it has sort of defined who she is, the rules she's made for herself. Few people know about what happened. Even Lincoln, who she's known for years, has only just recently been told about it. While a lot of the YA novels I've read in the past year or so all try to have some such 'problem' that the character struggles with, they always seem to come across as inconsistent in their feelings, or things are too easily wrapped up and dismissed at some point. Not so with Violet. And again, I appreciate the author's work on this.
I was a little disappointed that the book description seems to imply that Phoenix is back in a bigger way than he was. The description almost makes it seem like the Violet-Phoenix romance from the first book might be revisited. Even though I love Lincoln, I loved the hotness of Phoenix in the first book. While he is back in this sequel, it's not nearly like the description teases us with.
There are new characters in this book, as well as many returning characters from the first one. As I was reading I found myself wishing I had indeed gone back and reread the first book just so I could remember more of the details. A lot of times a sequel book will have a lot of brief recapping of things that happened previously. This one didn't. It was like it just went from one book into the next. I mean, ok, there are brief mentions of things from the first book where they need to be but sometimes I found it wasn't enough. Then again, I often don't like when sequels spend too much time reminding us of things, so I guess I can't complain much. I do think I will go back and read both books before I read the third, which comes out soon. WOOT!
The story itself is a typical good guys vs bad guys, impending doom, race to find the thing that can save us all YA story. I'm getting used to this format now that I've read it so many times. While it can still be really cheesy and predictable, as I said before this one keeps to a more streamlined plot and at a decent pace without all the usual sappy melodramatics. It's becoming interesting now to see so many different takes on the whole fallen angel thing. It's interesting to see some of the same names popping up, in this case, the demon Lilith. It used to be that I'd always find myself comparing stories and dismissing them for being unoriginal, but now I'm becoming more tolerant and 'Ok, how is this one going to do it?'
One curious thing is that for as much as I love Lincoln, I don't yet have a picture of him in my head. Of course my vague image of him is dark haired and dark eyed because that's just my dream guy, but it's mentioned that he has brown hair with natural golden highlights, and green eyes. My mental picture just won't settle down when it comes to him. I try to run through actors or people I know just to give him a face, and no one seems to fit. If this series is ever made into a movie, I'm very curious . . . and afraid! . . . to see who would play Lincoln!