Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Review: Vowed by Liz de Jager

The Blackhart Code:
Don't let the monsters grind you down
A Blackhart can see the supernatural behind everyday crimes. But some crimes hide even greater evils…

Kit Blackhart must investigate why children are disappearing from a London estate. However, their parents, police and fae allies claim to know nothing. And as yet more children disappear, the pressure mounts. Luckily, or unluckily, government trainee Dante Alexander is helping Kit with the case. Yet just as her feelings towards him begin to thaw, his life falls apart. As Kit struggles to unravel his problems and dangerous secrets, she meets fae Prince Thorn in her dreams – but their relationship is utterly forbidden.
Then Kit digs too deep, and uncovers a mystery that’s been hidden for one thousand years. It’s a secret that could just tear down our world.

I read the first book in this series, ‘Banished’ in March this year when I was stuck in hospital. I happened to have it on my kindle and devoured it in a matter of hours. I loved it. It was fast paced and funny and had such a fantastic plot that twisted and turned and kept me on my toes the entire time. The characters were brilliant and it was bursting with imagination and brilliance. So I was pretty excited to get my hands on the second book and get right back to where we’d left off with Kit and her friends. Only it didn’t quite turn out like that.
Yes there were still the characters I loved, plus a few new ones, and there was still the magic underside to the world we already know, but it didn’t quite have the same sparkle as the first book. The biggest problem was pacing. Whereas the first book keeps you on your toes with an array of pitstops on the ultimate quest as you race to figure out what’s wrong, this installment felt slow and sluggish. At five hundred pages it’s vying against a couple of the Harry Potter’s for sheer volume of story, but there is a distinct lack of meat to keep you interested for those pages.

I know the point is for the reader to experience the frustration along with Kit as she tries to solve the case with little to nothing to go on, but instead it merely prompted me to put the book down every few pages and go and have a break. An interesting story, no matter the length, will have me glued to the book and finished in a few hours, this book took weeks to plough through. The problem was it felt like a filler book. Not enough of a plot to sustain the length of novel before we get to the next book, with presumably a lot more action as it all kicks off. Quiet before the storm books are great when they’re done well, but this one just didn’t quite manage it. I wanted the action to be driven forward, not to watch as Kit ate breakfast, went clubbing and managed to get very little sleep.

Which was just disappointing given how much I loved the first book.

This is still a fantastic series from a brilliant new author, but unfortunately this isn’t as strong as her debut, I’m sure though that with everything being amped up for confrontations in the next book, the next installment will be back on top form and a breathlessly brilliant ride.

Fans of Cassandra Clare, Harry Potter and Laini Taylor should definitely check out the first book ‘Banished’, but maybe hold on for the second one until you can go straight from the quiet slow pace of the second book and race into the third.

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