Series: The Styclar Saga #1
Also in this series: Gabriel
Published by Feiwel & Friends on 10/7/14
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Blog Tour
My content rating: Mature YA (Sexual situations, Violence)
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.
On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?
Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.
I really loved this book! It did have some flaws, but I was completely sucked into the story and loved the characters. This was one of those books that I just didn’t want to put down – and now I can’t wait for the next installment.
What I LOVED:
- Shades of Gray. Those of you who read my reviews often know how much I love stories that involve not just good and evil, but everything in between. Well, this book definitely does that! This book explores angels and vampires and Lailah, who is something else entirely. The vampires in the book definitely have baser instincts – even the vampires who are trying their best to gain back some of their humanity feed off of humans (and not in a nice, volunteer sort of way like happens in Vampire Academy). Let’s talk about the characters more specifically …
- Lailah. Lailah is a complex character because she is strong, but also innocent in many ways. Lailah has lived many lives, but she doesn’t remember them – at least not more than bits and pieces. So, in some ways she feels young. But when push comes to shove, she makes her own decisions and refuses to live life on anyone else’s terms. Lailah has gone through her current life with a memory of Gabriel – she feels a deep connection to him. But then she meets Jonah, he appeals to something in her as well … something she fears sometimes. Yep, there’s a love triangle – but I felt like it made sense in this story because Lailah is trying to figure out who she is – and these two men each represent a part of her.
- Jonah. Jonah is probably the darkest character in the book who isn’t an outright villain. While Lailah is definitely drawn to him (and he to her), he isn’t just a misunderstood good guy. Sometimes Jonah did things that upset me (there is one scene in particular where he forced Lailah to bare her back to him so that he could see her wound, and the scene borders on violence). He isn’t always likable – and I didn’t always WANT Lailah to be attracted to him. But as Lailah learns about Jonah’s good qualities, we do too. That doesn’t mean that I was able to forgive all of his baser qualities, but I felt like those sometimes made him more real – more of a true vampire. And that I could appreciate.
- Gabriel. I’m definitely Team Gabriel (though there were times when I melted for Jonah too). Gabriel has history with Lailah, and though she can’t remember it completely, she feels incredibly connected to him. Gabriel is an angel, and truly believes in goodness and purity – but he doesn’t discount the vampires because of who they are. He has spent years trying to help vampires that want to escape their inner demons and gain their humanity back. Gabriel loves Lailah, but he struggles with guilt over feeling like he didn’t save her when he should have – and so he dedicates himself to protecting her this time around and finding out who (or what) she really is so that he can help her. Gabriel is all sorts of swoony, and even though he realizes in the end that he doesn’t understand Lailah completely, he wants to love her for all of who she is.
- Lailah’s distrust. Throughout the book, Lailah struggles with trusting Gabriel, even though she knows that he feels strongly about her. I understood this to some degree, but sometimes I wanted to sigh and tell Lailah to grow up a little and not jump to conclusions. Sometimes I felt like this was a bit of a plot device to put a wedge between Gabriel and Lailah that wasn’t really there.
- I can’t tell you right now. This is one of those things that happens often in books and it bugs me. One character (Gabriel) has information about the main character, but just refuses to tell them (and us). Again, it feels like a plot device to extend the mystery. I DID feel like there were certain things that Gabriel didn’t want to talk about because it was painful for him, and I was okay with that, but occasionally his lack of sharing got frustrating.
- Unsurprising twists. I wasn’t terribly surprised by some of the twists in the book, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy seeing it all play out! Watching the characters discover what I had kind of already figured out was still exciting (plus, I got to confirm my suspicions). And there were definitely still a few surprises!
So, while there were definitely a few things that marred this book’s perfection, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to find out what will happen next. I give it 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Read Gabriel and Jonah’s short stories:
About the Author
I was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. So it will probably come as no surprise that when I’m not dreaming in Vampires & Angels, I dream in chocolate! For the past ten years I have lived in West London with my hubby and two dogs, Alfie – the Pug & Goose – the Chihuahua.
LAILAH is my debut novel, and first launched in serial form to wattpad, a readers & writers community. Within just 6months, LAILAH had over a million reads and thousands of comments and votes.
Since then, The Styclar Saga has gone on to pick up a traditional deal with Feiwel & Friends, and LAILAH, the first book in the series is due for release on October 7th 2014.
These days I spend my time balancing my amazing job of writing fantasy fiction, with my other, very important role of Chocolate Connoisseur. I like to multitask and do the two together. It makes me happy.