on May 7, 2012 :
The sequel in the Rose Trilogy starts off just as it ended: fierce, fast-paced, and twisted. Rose, as quirky and head-strong as ever, is left to deal with the task of coping with and accepting what she had done, and working out the aftermath - and dealing with what it revealed. The first few pages leave the reader caught up in Rose's world, dying to know what she is going to do with the secret locked within her blood and threatening her very nature. In spite of the inner conflicts seen in the first novel, it suddenly seems that disproving the belief that she was untouchably innocent and proving her strength and independence are the last things she needs to be worrying about. Instead, she's faced with her own shocking darkness - and vampires aren't quite so scary anymore. Except, of course, the possibility that if they found out her secret that they might rally to end her (and the threat she poses) the old fashion way: avoiding poison and ditching the fangs.
The boldness of the characters and their story seems to be a successful theme throughout the Rose Trilogy, and the fierce ultimatum between love and life were a creative addition. Choose one, and she just may lose both. The entire twist on what seemed to be heading for a wrapped up, happy ending in the last book is brilliant. As a reader, I was certainly willing to trade a little torture for more time with swoon-worthy Christian and his two-sided red Rose. ;)
The whole idea of, What do you do if by being with the love of your life, you could throw them into madness and eternal darkness? is just fascinating. And, of course, this easily five-of-five-star read executed the concept beautifully. Between going into hiding, attempting to avoid the father searching for her while dying to see him, being hunted by an enemy subconciously assumed neutralized, and trying to figure out the relationship of her nature and her boyfriend being a maybe-Sire, it's definitely not difficult to sympathize with Rose. Knowing super-passionate, completely trusting, sexy, misinformed, and in-love Christian feels so strongly for Rose while being at risk of drifting is completely maddening! Expecially amongst constant disputes, confusion, and edge-of-your seat anticipation. The character development continues to unravel, and is done exceptionally well. The multiple points of view were as efficient as in the first book, helping to drag the reader into a 360: the dramatic irony of varying motives, who's alive, what their plans are, and still being completely surprised at what plays out. All of the untied ends the prior book left exposed were quickly revisited and flowing again in the first few chapters, and it isn't long before the reader can catch up and fall into the novel.
The entire novel flew by. It was a surprisingly quick read: well-written, fast-paced, and completely engrossing. When the reader is convinced one end would come, another completely spun it into a tantalizing whirlwind, followed by the punch of an insane cliff-hanger that stays with you, although the book itself is entertaining, riveting, and fast. The revealed truths behind the privously unexplaind were shocking, while other sub-plots exploded on the sides. The pressure of anticipation built all the way to the last sentence, and the ending was incredibly surprising and terrible and beautifully sweet (and yes, that is absolutely a concurrent effect). The emotions of the characters, even when angry and unfounded, were written so well they felt very real and valid -- and both the twists and revealed answers throughout the piece were insanely clever (and in Terrance's case, just plain endearing) in their complex simplicity - which, in my opinion, has always been a sign of a great storyteller. I absolutely cannot wait to see what becomes of the main characters, and there is some seriously amazing things in-store for the next book.
I loved this!! It's highly recommended for fans of Evernight by Claudia Gray, Fate Fixed by Bonnie Erina Wheeler, The Vampire Academy by Rachelle Mead, and The Vampire Kisses Series by Ellen Schribner.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)