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First I have to talk about this cover. The distressing is awesome – it looks old, but then we have this glamorous girl. The colors are fantastic – everything works together to make me want to pick it up. I do have to admit at first glance I thought the girl was some badass from NYC who was on a mission to find the perfect shoes: sleek outfit, giant Jackie O glasses, and a purse slung around her body. This is the point that I tell you I don’t wear my contacts near enough. That, my friends, is not what this cover looks like at all. No, there is a girl wearing a masquerade mask (and her blue eyes sure do pop!) and has a sword. A SWORD. A swashbuckling sword. Umm, that’s more badass than I first thought!
So, this book is the second in a series. In the first book, we find out that Chantal is an Oracle. She spends her whole life having terrifying nightmares, feeling scared and alone, making up an imaginary friend to cope with her terrible existence. After being forced to leave her foster family on her 18th birthday, she decides to move to NYC (SEE I told you!) only to find out that she isn’t crazy, but is a part of a world she never knew existed. She also find outs her imaginary friend isn’t so imaginary! The details are so imaginative and the world Allie creates is unlike anything I’ve read in a long time.
When we move into book two, we hit action at full force. They were fighting so quickly I kept having to look and make sure I hadn’t skipped chapters in the book. There are SO many cool characters in this book: oracles, shades, fallen angels, contrite (fallen, repented angels), warriors, etc. The lore and myths behind the book are all so fascinating, but the way Allie interweaves them into the story leaves you hanging by a thread. I also like how this world fits within and between our world, that it could actually exist out there.
Of course there is some typical YA in this: Chantal wants to fight, even though everyone wants to protect her. She is coming to terms that her nightmares come true (and that she is supernatural), frustrating and confusing feelings between the characters in the romance department, and a lot of answers that we will have to wait until the next book to answer.
The book is high octane intensity, dark, engaging, and enamoring. You get a lot of bang for your buck in this series. It has a good message – a person is more than the pieces of their past and even out of the worst situations there can be hope in this world.