Monday, August 23, 2010

Review - Jealousy by Lili St. Crow

First a confession: I've been a terrible blogger/book reader.  I missed my review last week and left it all to the last minute this week.  My only excuses are that I was visiting family last week and, more importantly, The Passage is long.  How are you fairing with this month's Lit Snit Book Club selection?  I have to say, that the only time I really realize it's long is when I try carrying it on the subway with me; the story itself is pretty riveting.  I can't wait to talk about it.

Well, now that my flimsy excuses are over, on to my review...

Summary (via Goodreads): Dru Anderson might finally be safe. She’s at the largest Schola on the continent, and beginning to learn what it means to be svetocha–half vampire, half human, and all deadly. If she survives her training, she will be able to take her place in the Order, holding back the vampires and protecting the oblivious normal people.

But a web of lies and betrayals is still closing around her, just when she thinks she can relax a little. Her mentor Christophe is missing, her almost-boyfriend is acting weird, and the bodyguards she’s been assigned seem to know much more than they should. And then there’s the vampire attacks, the strange nightly visits, and the looks everyone keeps giving her. As if she should know something.

Or as if she’s in danger.

Someone high up in the Order is a traitor. They want Dru dead–but first, they want to know what she remembers of the night her mother died. Dru doesn’t want to remember, but it looks like she might have to–especially since once Christophe returns, he’ll be on trial for his life. The only person who can save him is Dru.

The problem is, once she remembers everything, she may not want to…

Review:  Jealousy is the third in St. Crow's Strange Angels series (can I just say that I am not a fan of the series title?  It just doesn't fit with the spirit of the series) and it's one of those rare series that I must go to the bookstore the DAY the newest installment comes out.  Because I feel very strongly that you need to go out and read the first book in the series, Strange Angels ASAFP (as soon as freaking possible) this review is more about the series as a whole, thus far. 

Though this series deals with a type of vampire, svetocha and djamphir, it's definitely not a vampire book (which I like, but this is in an entirely different genre, in my opinion...more supernatural YA than vampire YA).  Imagine if Supernatural's Winchesters had a little sister.  She would be Dru Anderson.  Dru's father is a demon hunter and the girl was raised in a world full of werewufs, chupacabras, and zombies.  She's more concerned with firearms and self-defense than boys or even having a social life.  She's smart and tough and might be one of my favorite female YA protagonists.  She's Sydney Bristow meets Buffy.  

What I love most about St. Crow's writing is the grittiness of the world she's created.  There's a physicality to every scene that makes you feel like you're right there with Dru.  There's nothing neat and tidy about the fights Dru finds herself in.  St. Crow does set up the age-old love triangle between Dru, a werewuf and a djamphir (vampire) but keeps changing the equilibrium of each relationship so you're trying to figure out where you stand with each character just as Dru is, especially in Jealousy, where St. Crow finally has a chance to deal with personal issues.  St. Crow's use of her own terminology when it comes to the "Real World" (what Dru and her father call the paranormal) at first takes some getting used to, but the mixture of old world terms and real legends makes the creatures even more frightening.

I have noticed as I re-read the series in anticipation of Jealousy St. Crow does have a tendency to write the same little details multiple times in a book, like the fact that Dru hates to sleep in jeans, which I think I read two or three times in Jealousy.  It's actually surprising more that an editor would let that get through than it is that she would repeat herself, but it's barely distracting when you're so engrossed in the story like I was.

I've read a lot of supernatural YA fiction (God knows there's enough out there) and I have to say this is probably one of my favorite series.  It's original, doesn't gloss over the icky bits of dealing with things that go bump in the night, and has a great action-adventure girl that I can't wait to see more of...too bad I have to wait until Spring '11...

Lit Snit Reviw: A- 

Oh, P.S., I just saw over at Book City Chick they're giving away the entire series and have an awesome interview with Lili herself! 

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