Monday, March 11, 2013
Paranormal Young Adult
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Once again Violet Eden faces an impossible choice ... and the consequences are unimaginable.
Violet has come to terms with the fact that being part angel, part human, means her life will never be as it was.
Now Violet has something Phoenix - the exiled angel who betrayed her - will do anything for, and she has no intention of letting it fall into his hands. The only problem is that he has something she needs too.
Not afraid to raise the stakes, Phoenix seemingly holds all the power, always one step ahead. And when he puts the final pieces of the prophecy together, it doesn't take him long to realise exactly who he needs in order to open the gates of Hell.
With the help of surprising new allies, ancient prophecies are deciphered, a destination set and, after a shattering confrontation with her father, Violet leaves for the islands of Greece without knowing if she will have a home to return to...
Emblaze wastes little time in making us brutally aware of how emotionally intense it's going to be, bringing us up to speed on the notable events of Entice quickly and riddling the emotional dam built in the time since the last book with holes, allowing the painful waters of Violet and Lincoln's relationship to pour through and envelop us once more. Where Lincoln and Violet were hopeful of their future together in book two despite the lingering issues caused by Phoenix's role in their lives, this book deals in the aftermath of having that hope violently ripped from them, hearts and souls now raw and fully exposed with the roughness of their pain like sandpaper to our skin, rubbing constantly until we find ourselves hurting as much as they are.
The highlight amidst the darkness of this tale is Violet herself, a young woman we struggled to connect with upon our initial meeting–thanks in large part to Phoenix's manipulations–who has grown into a heroine of extraordinary strength emotionally and physically. She exists in a state of suspended torture in this book, pieces of her soul tied with rope and handed off to a handful of people who each pull their end in an opposite direction. She's stretched to the limit many times over in this story, but she never breaks or cries out, the only evidence of her pain being the tears that track their way down our cheeks as she holds herself together for the sake of those around her, and we can't help but be impressed by the transformation she's undergone from the girl we first met.
The romance between Violet and Lincoln is at its most dramatic in this third installment, and while our hearts ache with their pain, we find ourselves thankful their hurt stems not from playing games with one another now that they know they cannot be together, but rather from the bone-deep chill that results from forcefully denying love. While Phoenix and Lincoln are both uniquely entangled in Violet's life, there's no triangle in sight, Violet's feelings for Lincoln radiating from her body and soul so there's simply no question as to where her heart lies. Phoenix is not so easily disregarded however, his dark complexity and his search to find a place he truly belongs making it incredibly difficult to hate him the way we'd like to, and he remains at the forefront of our thoughts even though he's no threat to Lincoln and Violet's relationship.
Overall, this is a series that continues to get better with each an every installment, delving deeper into the thoughts and feelings of all the characters as the battle between Grigori and Exile reaches its turning point in the final pages. Ms. Shirvington expertly balances emotional drama with physical action, ensuring we devour hundreds of pages despite our intent to read only a chapter or two before bed, but she makes the weight of sleep lost the next day a burden we're more than happy to bear. As mentioned previously, we conclude our time with Violet in this book at a turning point in her fight, riveted to every word spoken and praying our eyes are deceiving us when they reach the last sentence, loving how addictive these books have become and already craving the next fix.