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.
I’m so glad you loved this book! I’ve been watching it since I first saw the cover and hoping it got good reviews. I’m with you on hating really dramatic distrust between characters. Sometimes it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’ve definitely wanted to slap a few characters… Great review!
Tracy @ Cornerfolds
Yes, the cover totally caught my eye too. I love it!
thanks for the great review! This looks and sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing 🙂
You’re very welcome! Always happy to share great books!
Oh, I am relieved you gave this book a good review. I’ve seen so many bad reviews, but I really want to read it for myself.
Yes, I’ve read some lukewarm reviews as well, but I really enjoyed the book. Everyone has their own opinion, of course – but I would definitely give it a chance!
I enjoyed reading your review. It definitely sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for having the giveaway.
You’re welcome. Good luck!
I’ll admit, I’m a fan of the vampire genre and this one sounds pretty good. It’s going on my to read list, thanks for sharing!
I’m a sucker for vampires too. 🙂
I want to read this one SO bad! I cannot wait to get my hands on it! I am so glad there were twists!
Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
Good luck in the giveaway! I was really eager to read this one too!
Oooh… this really sounds good Nicole! The characters seem really well developed. A love triangle too! Awesome!!
Not too often that I see people excited about a love triangle! 🙂 But this one was actually necessary, in my opinion.
Great review! I had seen thsi oen aroudn a few times, but never took the time to figure out were it was about as the cover seemed to suggest zombies and I am not a big fan of zombies. I really shades of grey in books as well, so I am happy to hear that’s one of the good things about this book. The characters sound interesting as well.
I agree that the cover does look like zombies. No zombies in this book, though!
Your review’s done it. I can’t wait to read this. I’ve heard mixed things before, but your review finalized my desire to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!
Glad I convinced you. I definitely think you should give this book a try!
Great review! I love when I found out that a reader loves the characters, or at least finds them strong. That is always a deal-breaker for me with a book, so I am happy that they were positives for you! The unsurprising twist thing DOES annoy me, but I can deal with it, it isn’t as important as some other aspects!
Yes, Lailah was interesting because she was strong sometimes, but also hiding behind some things. Throughout the book, Lailah goes through a process of understanding herself, which helps her to be stronger.
Here is hoping I enjoy it as much – though I’d have to wrench my copy back from my friend to ever know.
Make sure you wrench it away from her at some point! 🙂
This looks very interesting. Thanks for posting on it. I hadn’t seen this book yet.
You’re welcome! Good luck in the giveaway!
That cover is a little creeptastic!
It is. It actually looks a bit like zombies, but those are supposed to be vampires!
[…] Lailah by Nikki Kelly (review & giveaway) – Still time to enter to win a hardcover copy! […]
Lailah sounds great, i love the cover. Vampire books are my favorite so i know i would love this book. Thank you
I’m sure you would love it then!
I’ve been hearing about this book on blogs everywhere. It sounds so good.
It is good!!
I’ve seen this book floating around but never really paid attention to what it was about. I, like you, love books that focus on the “shades of grey” because not everything is black and white, or in this case, good and evil.
Lovely review! I look forward to this one 🙂
Yes, I love it when you can’t always tell who the bad guys are!
[…] I bought one book from each author and had them signed! (You can WIN the signed ARC of Lailah – check out the giveaway below. Read my review of the book HERE!). […]
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