Strange Angels, Betrayals, Jealousy, Defiance, Reckoning
by Lili St. Crow
Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5
by Lili St. Crow
Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5
So, quick summary time: this series is about a girl named Dru, who, for a long time now, has been moving from place to place with her dad. And what do they do when the get to these new towns? They exterminate otherworldly pests pretty much. Whether it's a bad case of voodoo or hex, they show up and take care of it. But all changes one day when Dru's father doesn't come home one night..... Oh, don't worry, he does return, but just as a zombie. Yeah, that's right, people can be turned into zombies. From that moment, Dru's pretty much on her own--and to top it off, she find out she's not completely human either! She's actually part-supernatural, half of one of the creatures she and her father spent years hunting.
From there, she, along with the help of Graves and Christophe (who are also not exactly human...) escapes perilous dangers and creatures who want her dead, and finds her way to the Schola, a place for half-vampires and wulfen. (Spoiler!) Dru is a svetocha--a female half-vampire (note: half-vampires aka djampir and svetocha are good, full suckers= super duper bad!) and it just so happens that svetochas are extremely rare because they've been hunted religiously by full vampires because there's something in their natural make up that's toxic to full-on suckers.
Now, you'd think everything would be just peachy right? WRONG. All the suckers, especially the King, Sergej, himself wants her dead. To top it off, there are traitors and backstabbers within the Schola itself who are willing to give Dru up to be killed.
Oh, and, of course, there is something of a love triangle involving her, Christophe (a super powerful, but rogue djampir) and Graves (a human-turned-loup-garou)
The love triangle was..... just all-around really great! For the first time, as I was reading, I had absolutely no clue just who Dru was going to end up with! I was a total Team Graves person myself, but good God, there were so many times I thought to myself: "Dang it! She's totally gonna end up with Christophe!" because she would talk about how, with Graves, she felt safer, whereas Christophe was pure danger and electricity, and of course, in YA novels, the girl always picks the dangerous bad boy! But surprisingly, the series ending that Lili St. Crow wrote was..... kinda highly refreshing. Without giving anything away, the ending totally wasn't what I was expecting, yet at the same time, I felt like it was the best possible ending for the series. And.... it does set it up for a follow-up book or spin-off..... FINGERS CROSSED!
Another thing, though, is that, while there is definitely a romantic element to this series, it doesn't dominate the plot line. It was there, but it wasn't like Dru's biggest dilemma and mindset was "oh, which guy will I choose???" Puh-leaze, she's too busy trying to stay alive for that kind of thinking.
As for the plot itself, I really liked it, but again, the plot is more of an overarching kind of thing, that in order to have the complete storyline, you really have to read the whole series. Though, that being said, I also felt like the books could've been, I don't know, a little shorter maybe? It's just that after finishing each book, I realized not much actually happened. I mean, yes, there were super intense moments, but that was basically the climax of the book; it was just one (maybe 2) moment(s).
Also, another thing that was a little... annoying, to me personally, was this sense of a "gap" between conversations in the book. Literally, Dru will be talking to someone and then, bam! For the next couple of paragraphs, you're either reading the rather long thoughts running through her head, or reliving some of her past memories. It kind of got on my nerves because there would just be this huge gap in the conversations, and sometimes, I'd have to go back and re-read the last part of the dialogue!
BUT all in all, I think this series was freaking fantastic! My personal favorites out of all the books would probably be book #1, 2, and 5. Strong beginning and strong finish. It's not your typical run-of-the-mill YA supernatural series. In some ways, it's a little mature because St. Crow tells it like it is---she doesn't romanticize the situation or descriptions, and I liked how it made the storyline more real. Also, just warning you, there is kind of a lot of cursing in these books, so, probably not the best choice for young kids. But seriously, this series is pretty darn amazing, and I highly recommend it.