Friday, February 12, 2010

My take On Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she's just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn't entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there's a big problem— she's the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn't be so bad, but Dru's killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .
Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?

"Poor Dru" is right! After being saved from the grips of the vampir that killed her mother and father by the devilishly handsome1, and half vampir, Christoph, Dru and Graves are whisked off to an eroding reform school for Djamphir and Wulfen boys. Yes, for boys. Dru's the only girl there and her tough girl image is taking a beating. At the schola she's treated like she's made of glass. Worse than that, she's treated like a civie! Like she hasn't spent her whole life immersed in the Real World, chasing monsters across the country with her dad, sniffing out the local weirdness so he can exterminate it.
But does she really know all that much about the Real World, after all? It's starting to look like she doesn't know as much about it as she thought.
Now it's just her and Graves, the last constant in her life, and even he's starting to pull away from her preferring the company of his fellow wulfen to her brooding silences.
To top it off, Dru is Svetocha2. The powers that she's always thought of as just something special she learned from her Gran in the Appalachians are getting stronger. She's getting vampier. And there's a bit of a mystery surrounding the her mothers locket. It behaves almost as though it were alive. Oh, yeah, and there's the whole the mystery of who at the schola is trying to kill her. That too3.
St. Crow did two wonderful things in this novel; 1) she wasted no time with formalities and got straight to the good stuff- action. The action started on page one and never ceased. And 2) she didn't underestimate the smartiness of her readers by over explaining things. The book started with a prologue of the last scene from SA and then skipped forward one week so we wouldn't have to sit through the boring explanations of terminology and such with Dru. Things such as "the aspect"4 were simply implied, and you just understood without her having to go into too much detail. It was nice. The pace at which the story unfolded confused me at first, I will admit. It jumped in so quickly that I felt lost for a few chapters and then had to reread the first novel and then the second again. Although, my being lost wasn't the sole reason that I reread them both, they were just really, really good!
Strange Angels is one of my favorite books, so I was little worried that the second book wouldn't live up to the first, and my fears were almost confirmed in the first couple chapters since it felt like St. Crow was having a little trouble finding Dru's very unique voice again. She pulled it off, though. Dru was just as kick butt as the first book, though she was made even more real and relatable by all the doubts she was having about herself, about who she could trust, everything. She was even made doubtful by the fact that she was unsure of things.
I rate this fast paced sequel PG13 for strong language. Dru's got quite the potty mouth, and she is surrounded by teenage boys, so cussing and such is only to be expected.
I give Betrayals...
...Four Zombies!
An excellent continuation of the Strange Angels series and a must read if ever there were one. My only recommendation is that you not wait too long between reading the two.

1  Handsome and yummy! Like, really. He smells like apple pie. I find that a bit weird, but coming from St. Crow, I'll accept it.
Svetocha- a fancy word here meaning "female half-vampir", or in Dru-speak a "sucker". Svetocha are exceedingly rare. Only one in every one-thousand or so births is a girl, so they're highly prized individual; royalty almost. But not in a cheesy way. Oh, if you're thinking that they're prized for their sparkling personalities you's be wrong. Their blood is extra tasty while they're young, a draw for bad guys, and once they "bloom" they're toxic to suckers, a draw to the good guys. Not exacty a win, win situation.
3  I know that's supposed to be, like, the main plot point, but it just doesn't stand out in my mind as the most important or interesting aspect of this book. I'm more interested in the action than the who-done-it. Although it was a very good plot line. I even have an idea as to who did do it. Or is planning to do it. Or whatever. I just confused myself.
4  The physical change that comes over the djamphir when they're blood is up. (Pun intended.) Prepare yourself for a first-hand account of the aspect. Ooh, teaser.


Shweta said...

I have yet to read Strange Angels . If the second one is promising I think I should get started with the series


Great review, as usual :) I really need to read this series...

Anonymous said...

What's the first book in this series called? I tried googling it but I didn't come up with anything. I want to read this one, but I hate reading a series out of order.


Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Maybe I'll give this series another try. I liked all the paranormal in the first one but it was a bit slow for me.

Great review. Thanks for the insight! I always love your footnotes.

Zombie Girrrl said...

@ Geekyreads: The first in the series is Strange Anggels by Lili St. Crow.

@ Alyssa: You thought SA was slow?! I'm shocked. Speechless, even. What was it that was slow for you? It can't have been the action... Was it the whole Graves+Dru thing? Or that the bad guy didn't really get introduced till the very end?

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