Friday, 17 September 2010

Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Evernight #3, review contains spoilers for previous books.

"After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, an elite group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend - the vampire Balthazar - all her secrets threaten to come out.
Soon, Bianca and Lucas have orchestrated Balthazar's escape and are on the run, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they run, Bianca can't escape her destiny.
Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything - but can it survive what's to come?"

Book 2 of the Evernight series, Stargazer, ended rather dramatically. Evernight attacked, set on fire, and Bianca and Lucas escaped only with Black Cross. Now Black Cross are giving her refuge, still under the belief that she's human, kidnapped and raised by vampires as a baby. If they find out the truth, that she is actually a vampire herself, they'll kill her. And most likely Lucas as well. But they don't have anywhere else to go. Escaping from Black Cross could well be harder than escaping Evernight, and they need money they don't have as well. So they stay, Bianca trains, learns to fight, while starving for blood only able to get a little every few days instead of daily like she needs. Bianca and Lucas get little time together either, not alone, and Bianca can't confide in her roommate, Raquel, either because she's sided completely with Black Cross. It leaves Bianca feeling very alone in the heart of enemy territory.

Then Balthazar, Bianca's closest friend from Evernight, a vampire, is captured. Bianca can't watch them torture him so she convinces Lucas they have to save him, somehow. Lucas, who has never liked Balthazar for his attraction to Bianca, agrees for her sake more than anything. But he puts his heart in to it and together they come up with a plan. But in such close quarters, can they really save him and continue to keep Bianca's secret? And Lucas', because if they discover Bianca's fed from him, he'll be in just as much trouble. Living on the run, Mrs Bethany, the powerful head of Evernight Academy, after them, surrounded by Black Cross members who'd kill them in an instant if the truth came out, things are far from certain for Bianca and Lucas.

I really, really loved this book. It was fascinating seeing Bianca and Lucas attempt to cope within Black Cross. Neither wanted to be there and the tension between Lucas and some of the members was almost explosive. It wasn't always fast paced, but it never felt slow either. I think there is more action in this book than the previous two, and I loved seeing how they both dealt with the things thrown their way.

It's a great continuation of the series, building on previous events, more secrets are revealed and dealt with, and both Lucas and Bianca continue to grow and learn from the things they face. I've loved how this series has developed. Ms. Gray does a great job of hiding things until the last moment, with just subtle hints before hand which don't make anything easy to guess, but makes perfect sense when you understand what's going on.

I've loved Bianca and Lucas from the start, and Balthazar grew on me a lot as well through Stargazer and this. But Vic has become one of my all time favourite side characters with this book. I loved him already, but even more so now. He's smart, takes things in stride, and yet has a serious, deeper side which just makes him more impressive and lovable.

The build up for the ending is intense. I confess that I think Bianca and Lucas should have figured out what was going on with her a bit sooner than she did. But on the other hand, it does still make sense that they didn't. The ending though, about killed me. I'm so glad I hadn't got in to this series sooner and read this as soon as it released, because the wait for the final book, Afterlife, may just kill me and I've got less to wait than some. Such an awesome series, great writing, great story, great characters, and a must read. It's still far from your typical YA vampire series and it's up there with Strange Angels [Lili St. Crow] and Vampire Academy [Richelle Mead] on my favourites list.

Rating:  9/10


Lynsey Newton said...

OMG I can't believe I wasn't following your blog, I'm so sorry!! I LOVED Hourglass and I just think that Claudia's writing gets better and better with every book. I can't wait for Afterlife and I'm going to do everything I can to snag an ARC. If I'm successful, guess where it's going...yep, on a tour :)

Cem said...

Lol! No worries Lynsey, I won't hold it against you ;) And I have my fingers crossed for you getting an ARC of Afterlife! That would be awesome!!