Thursday, September 6, 2012

Review: Silver

SILVER (Bandia #1)
Talia Vance
Paranormal Young Adult
374 pages
Flux
Available September 8th
Received from publisher via NetGalley for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can't resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna's charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she's been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.

Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.


MY THOUGHTS
Silver is an intriguing first installment, delighting us with a touch of Celtic mythology as well as a deeply forbidden romance, and keeping us on the edge of our seats as life for young Brianna gets more complex by the page. Tensions run extraordinarily high the more we learn of Brianna’s lineage and the cycle of violence that plagues those like her, defeat settling on our shoulders with a tangible weight as the fate of all the young women before her becomes brutally clear. While the mythology and the starcrossed nature of the romance is endlessly fascinating and painfully heart-wrenching, the actual romance itself leaves us slightly lukewarm – missing the flush to our cheeks and the rapid thumping of our hearts every time Brianna and Blake appear on the same page, but the potential for combustion is there and we can’t help but hope we feel that fire in the next book.

Brianna is an enjoyable heroine, a self-deprecating young woman who is constantly able to poke fun at her social ineptitude when she goes from being completely unnoticed to being the sole focus of Blake’s intimidating attention. She’s used to walking by members of the opposite sex without so much as a nod of acknowledgement, and while she at some point may have wallowed in a deep hole filled with self-pity, she’s long past it when we meet her, accepting her virtual invisibility with humorous resignation. Her relationship with Blake once it starts does feel very one-sided however – her feelings for him seeming the stronger of the two – but thankfully she’s not oblivious to the imbalance, instead proceeding to ask questions of Blake we as readers want asked as she tries her best to see past the bond they share and discern his true feelings.

Where the romance seems to fizzle slightly is with hero Blake, a young man with a conflicting destiny to Brianna’s own who practically dares us to try and get a read on him as things progress, and in doing so ultimately succeeds in keeping us at bay. Quickly after their meeting the two of them find themselves soul-bound to one another, creating a physical ache when they’re apart and a burning attraction when they’re near. We know so little of Blake prior to their bond, and once they’re joined he spends majority of his time alternating between fighting against the attraction and succumbing to it, leaving Brianna and us thoroughly confused as to where the truth of his feelings lies on the emotional spectrum. Just as Brianna’s gone years without anyone around her really seeing her, Blake is much the same for us as readers, our eyes searching him out but ultimately glancing off him as he remains an indistinct form in this tale; a nebulous mix of traits we can never quite fully force our minds and hearts to focus on.

For a story predominantly relationship focused, Silver doesn’t quite captivate us with the romance, things between Brianna and Blake often very sexy and very physical, but the intimacy we wish would accompany that physical draw is sadly missing a bit in this first installment. There are declarations of love, but they feel hollow, the words rattling around in a cavernous space we’d hoped would be filled with complementary feelings of respect and friendship, yet instead we’re left with more of a begrudging attraction on Blake’s part. The story is definitely more than interesting enough to continue on with the series however, and there’s so much room for growth in the relationship that we can’t help but want to see if both Blake and Brianna will work harder in the next book to convince us what they have is real.

Rating: 3.5/5

28 comments:

  1. Celtic mythology and forbidden romance. Sounds fantastic! But the fact that the romance felt lukewarm turns me off a bit. As well as the back and forth with Blake denying his feelings and whatever. I'm not sure I'm sold on this one yet...
    Fantastic review Jenny!

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    1. I just didn't feel the attraction on Blake's side. Brianna was definitely interested in him, but he fought the attraction and it was hard to tell if he actually wanted her or if he wanted her because of the soul-bond.

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  2. At first glance, this book seems like another smoochy book. But I am intrigued by the Celtic myth aspect. I've never read about that! Brianna's characters sounds lovely :D

    Beautiful review, Jenny :D

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    1. I don't think I've read about any Celtic mythology before either, that was really fun for me. I just wanted to believe in the romance a bit more, but maybe that will happen in the next book:)

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  3. Hmm. I'm intrigued despite the somewhat lackluster romance. You write the best reviews, Jenny. :)

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    1. Thanks Amanda! There were some very sexy times which I enjoyed, I just wanted to believe there was an emotional element attached to the physical you know?

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  4. Celtic..as in Irish stuff right?? So was this Blake wearing a kilt, Im so reading this if he was...!!!!!

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    1. There are kilts involved. You're welcome:)

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  5. Hmm... interesting review, Jenny! Maybe I should turn my expectations down just a little? I was expecting hot sparks with this book, but the lack of emotional depth to the romance at times is definitely a put-off factor for me. Despite that, it does sound enjoyable enough so I will still be giving it a go sometime soon. Great review! :)

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    1. There are some very hot moments for sure, I just needed a little something more from Blake to believe he genuinely cared for Brianna, it seemed more like he's forced to feel something for her based on the bond which made it tricky.

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  6. Hmmm...love the idea of a book with some Celtic mythology behind it but it doesn't sound as if Blake's character is very well developed. And I'm not so opposed to the whole soul mates instant bonding as long as there is some genuine development of feelings and a true spark and intimacy which apparently this one is lacking.

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    1. Exactly - there just wasn't enough there for me to believe in Blake's feelings in this first installment. He fought it majority of the time, so when he finally came around and decided he actually did like her outside the bond, I remained skeptical:)

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  7. Hrm..sounds like an insta-love thing going on or am I wrong? I haven't read much on Celtic mythology so that piqued my interest though the romance is only lukewarm. I think I might see what the second book is like before reading this one.

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    1. It's not so much instant love as this bond thing they have happening that makes them hyper aware of each other. You know Brianna has feelings for Blake prior to the bond (or she's at least attracted to him) but we don't know the same of Blake, so once they're bonded, it's hard to tell whether his feelings are real or just part of the bond. I just couldn't ever quite believe in their feelings for one another.

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  8. Celtic mythology? Mmmm, yes please! This book sounds stunning and I'm glad you somewhat enjoyed it! I like how it has tension throughout as you discover Brianna's heritage, books that keep you on edge are always great. Despite being relationship focused, I think I'll like it and I'm interested to read about Brianna and Blake's relationship and how Brianna asks questions and overcomes obstacles.

    Beautiful review, Jenny <3

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  9. I used to devour Celtic mythology (it's my fav). And from that standpoint, this sounds intriguing, but the how you described the hollowness of their romance, may bother me.

    If you're interested in some really good Celtic mythology read Evangeline Walton's Mabinogian books.

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  10. I wonder if it's because they are bound so quickly that it's hard to create the tension in a forbidden romance? Still Celtic mythology... hm... just don't like the sound of Blake not really into the romance.

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  11. I do not like the sound of hollow feelings, I do need to feel it. But on the other hand I love Celtic Mythology

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  12. Wow, I had completely tuned out this book from the cover, but it sounds amazing! I'm a little obsessed with Celtic Mythology at the moment, merely because Shadowfell contains a bit of it as well, so although the romance was a tad-bit disappointing, I think I'll check this one out anyway! Fabulous review, Jenny! :)

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

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  13. Oh this book sounds fascinating Jenny, it has so much to offer, even though it focuses a lot on the relationship between Blake and Brianna a lot. Despite the irks I'm happy it's left you wanting more, hopefully the next book in the series will provide much more. Lovely review Jenny! :)

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  14. Somehow, Brianna and Blake's relationship sounds like that of Anna and Kaidan from Sweet Evil, one that I didn't particularly like. I'm also disheartened that the spark in their relationship isn't that evident. Though I like that Brianna finds humor in her social ineptitude. I feel like I might like Brianna and Blake as individual characters rather than as a couple.

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  15. The synopsis of this one suggests that the romance between Blake and Brianna is going to be a focus of the book so it's too bad that you didn't find the romance in this one that strong. I got a copy of this from NetGalley but I think I'll hold off reading it for now. There are a few other books I have that seem more interesting.

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  16. I love Celtic mythology, but was never much interested in picking this book up because I assumed it would be heavier on the romance and lighter on the mythology and paranormal aspect... (which I tend not to like at all!) I'm still not yet sold on the fact that this book is for me, although it sounds interesting nonetheless! Brianna sounds like a lovely character. :) Brilliant review Jenny, like always. :)

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  17. I love Celtic mythology but I think I do better with YA that isn't relationship focused. You write the best reviews though and they always make me want to try the book!

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  18. Too bad about being let down with the romance. I like the cover of the book. The story sounds interesting, especially the Celtic mythology. If anything, I'll pick it up at the library!

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  19. I'm pretty sure I've heard of Silver and I was really intrigued by the summary and cover! Celtic mythology is definitely interesting but I'm sorry that the romance was a bit disappointing! I might still give this book a go when I get the chance to read it :)

    Awesome review, Jenny! ♥

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  20. The celtic part of this book, really the back round story really captured me. I was hoping you like it more, though. Still, thanks for being honest :)

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  21. I'm reading this now so I just skimmed your review. I actually read a way in to the "beach scene" and thought I better start over because I was pretty confused. I must have read too fast because second time in it was much better and I understood a lot more. I love the mythology. May have to look it up!

    Heather

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