Friday, 30 July 2010

Jealousy by Lili St. Crow

"The Real World is a frightening place.

Just ask sixteen-year-old orphan Dru Anderson, a tough girl who has taken on her fair share of bad guys. She's armed, dangerous, and not going down without a fight. So it's gonna take her a while to figure out who she can trust...

Just when Dru thought she was safe, everything exploded in her face. Her mom and dad are long gone, her protectors Graves and Christophe kinda want to rip each other's throats out, and a four-hundred-year-old nosferat named Sergej won't stop hunting her until his bloodthirsty army of suckers has torn her to shreds.

Dru's finally made it to the Schola Prima - the Real Deal djamphir training facility and home of the Order - and life is about to get even more Real World. There's a brand new svetocha in town - a redheaded vixen named Anna who's got the Order wrapped around her pretty little finger, and who'd rather kill Dru than share the spotlight. Turns out Dru's got something Anna wants. And his name happens to be Christophe Reynard...

How can Dru trust the Order to protect her, when its leader wants her gone?"

This is the third book in the Strange Angels series. I adored the first too books loving Dru's tough, down to earth, but vulnerable character and the world Lili's created. Book three picks up a few days after Dru, Graves and a couple of other wulfen arrive at the Schola Prima. In theory she should be safer there, surrounded by the council of the Order. But Dru's sure someone is out for her death, and that the Order's leader, Anna the only other svetocha, is involved. But how can she prove she's not safe when the Order follows Anna's every whim? With Christophe gone and Graves refusing to come clean about how he really feels about her Dru finds herself feeling lost and alone and desperately wanting out of the Schola, before someone manages to succeed with their plans for her.

I was hooked from page one and really struggled to put this book down. Like the two books before it, it's tightly plotted and I was never too sure what would happen next. It's a little less action, more subtle intrigue than the previous two books, until about the last quarter. But that's not a bad thing. It gives the chance for some things to be explained, back story to be dropped in (without it dragging the story down) and for Dru to discover more about the Schola, what being a Svetocha means and more about the djamphir world in general.

The romantic aspects of the series which have previously been subtle and only very lightly touched on pick up in this book. Dru's feelings for both Graves and Christophe intensifying and leaving her confused and torn. I am still not really a fan of Christophe. I can't really figure out why. He's a good character, well rounded, mysterious and interesting. But I don't really like him. May have something to do with the way he, like all djamphirs, looks down on the wulfen, and may have something to do with my adoring Graves as well. But there's more to it than that, just can't really put my finger on it. He did grow on me a little towards the end of the book, but only a tiny bit. Think he's going to play an interesting role in the next book, Defiance, and probably one I won't be too happy with.

Graves. Ah I love Graves. He continues to surprise me with how well he's adjusting to life as a loup-garou and his constant loyalty to Dru is great to see. Doesn't mean he always agrees with her, or that he won't yell at her if he doesn't feel it's needed, but it does mean that he sticks by her, taking care of her when she needs it. He clearly has feelings for Dru, but he seems to be battling them and I'm almost as confused as Dru as to how much he really feels for her. Frustrating on many fronts!

The pain and frustration of Dru's emotions make the book hard reading at times. She's battling to find out the truth of her past, her mom's death, still grieving for her dad and just trying to stay alive. But the ending was more painful still. It's harsh, shocking, heart wrenching and a hell of a cliff hanger. There are just 2 more books to come in this series, Defiance and an as yet untitled 5th book, and I can't help feeling that they're going to be just as painful but awesome to read. Lili's created characters to care about and a world to get lost in. I'm still holding on to the hope that Graves will be the guy Dru picks at the end of the series, even though the romance is a subplot not front and center, but it's so up in the air still and I feel it could go either way. But there is one thing for sure, after the ending of Jealousy, nothing is ever going to be quite the same for Dru and the guys. Can not wait to find out what happens next! This is without a doubt one of my favourite YA series full stop. It's dark, twisted and has characters that are strong and flawed. A must read for anyone who likes urban fantasy books. 10/10


Jessica said...

Okay now I really want to read it! I bought it yesterday but am already in the midst of reading Shade, because you told me it was great as well, while waiting for Waking the Witch. Hoping that comes in today's mail!

Great review! Can't wait to read it!

Cem said...

Ah, well then wait til your done with Shade! Both are awesome reads...and so it WtW. Lots of good reading for you in the next few days! lol Glad my TBR shelf is still overflowing or I might be jealous ;)

Archimedes said...

Jealousy was so great. I finished it on release day and posted my review within the week. Strange Angels is probably my favorite YA series right now. I only wish I didn't have to wait so long in between books.