Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jenn's Review: Stolen Nights

Summary: A new year is beginning at Wickham Boarding School. A new chance at life, at reversing the evil in my past. But nothing is ever as simple it seems...

Last year, the love of my life died performing a ritual to fulfill my one wish and make me human. And now I’ve performed the same ritual for my friend Vicken – and survived. Why am I here, back safe on Wickham campus?

The strong magic I used in the ritual did more than just make Vicken human. It drew someone to Lover’s Bay who does not belong here. She wants the ritual. Then she wants me dead. And she will take down any and everyone in my life to get what she wants.

As if that weren’t enough, the ritual has also summoned the anger of the Aeris, the four elements and most fundamental powers on earth. They have a surprise and an unbearable punishment for me – like stepping into the sun for the first time, only to be put into a cage. And now I have to make an impossible choice – between love or life, yearning or having, present or past…~blurb 

Review: I have been waiting for Stolen Nights since I closed the cover on Infinite Days three years ago.  Infinite Days was the novel that made me fall in love with vampires again. Needless to say, Stolen Nights  had a lot to live up too. Did it meet my expectations? Not in the least. It exceeded my expectations and completely blew me away.

It is rare anymore that I read just for the love of reading... one of the downfalls of blogging about books is constantly analyzing as I go, but I was so enthralled with Rebecca Maizel's story that I lost myself in it. Her storytelling is masterful and I had no idea where she was taking me; any theories I may have had were blown out of the water in the first few chapters. There was foreshadowing I zeroed in on, then promptly forgot until it resurfaced later in the story.  That's not to say there weren't a couple rough patches and things I wanted explained in greater depth, but they were easily forgiven. I expect more will be revealed in the third and final novel.  Honestly, there were many things about Lenah's world I want to know more about just in exposition, purely for my own edification  (I want to know more about Aeris and the Hollow Ones.)  Ms. Maizel has created a world I can't help but want to know everything about.

It was very different meeting characters that the I had previously only known through Lenah's memories. Ms. Maizel's vampires aren't all sweet and sparkly; they're vicious.  However, their ruthlessness is not who they are it's a product of what they are so it was also incredible to see Vicken as a human.  It was amazing how quickly relationships changed and how easy it was to accept them.  I love the way Ms. Maizel weaves character exploration into her stories.  I love her concept of the Irish Anam Cara, soul mates, too; it was just breathtaking.

I really don't want to spoil the story by going much further, but things are actually wrapped up fairly neatly by the end of the novel ...until the last mind melting chapter.  So now, once again, I must patiently await the next book in the series.

Final Take:  5/5

Stolen Nights is due out  January 29, 2013.  Thank you to St. Martin's Press for my ARC of this novel.

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