Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Supernaturally, the second book in Kiersten White’s bestselling Pararnormalcy series, details the further adventures of Evie, the teenage heroine who can see through the “glamors” of paranormal creatures. At the end of Paranormalcy, we saw Evie cut her ties with the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) for whom she “bagged and tagged”  paranormal creatures and start a new life with Lend, his father, and his alternative network of paranormals. Supernaturally begins with Evie living the life she always wanted: she has a boyfriend, she goes to high school (she even has a locker), and she still watches her favorite show, Easton Heights.

Evie gets everything she thought she ever wanted and, of course, it’s not what she thought it would be. Life as a normal person is, well, normal and rather boring. High school is nothing like Easton Heights: no lovers quarrel in the hallways, no drama, just a gym teacher who hates Evie. And her perfect boyfriend, Lend? He’s great, when he’s around. He’s just never around, too busy with college and studying.

Evie is ripe for the picking when Raquel shows up with an offer: come back to the IPCA on a case-by-case basis. To sweeten the deal, she introduces Evie to Jack, a mortal who can travel the faerie paths, keeping Evie safe from the faeries like Reth who continue to threaten her with vague innuendo about her background. Evie is back to feeling special and, naturally, hijinks ensue.

For fans of Evie, Supernaturally is a must-read. As you may have guessed, White has a third book planned, Endlessly, completing the trilogy. As a stand-alone book, however, Supernaturally has some drawbacks.  Paranormalcy was irreverent, fun, and Evie was, and is, a natural heroine. Her life, over the course of the novel had become much more complicated, and White keeps adding to the number of plot points in the air. The second installment in the trilogy feels weighed down by the many facets in play: faerie drama, Lend’s immortality, Evie’s role at the IPCA, Evie’s family history, etc. White is clearing laying the groundwork for the final installment in the trilogy, where all will (hopefully) be revealed.  We have a feeling is will be bleeping fantastic.

Why you might love this book: Evie is one of my favorite heroines and she is bleeping funny.

Why you might not love this book: The book is over-encumbered with plot, and sometimes feels more like a set up for the next and final installment.

Rating: 3 out of 5 black cats.

Publisher: HarperTeen (2011)
ISBN-10: 0061985864
ISBN-13: 978-0061985867


Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Meet Sydney. No, wait. You already know Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and, of course, Adrian from Richelle Mead’s wildly popular Vampire Academy series. Bloodlines inaugurates Mead’s first in a spin-off series that focusing on the Alchemists and told from Sydney Sage’s point-of-view.

Sydney’s perspective is certainly a departure from Rose Hathaway, the quick-tempered and feisty heroine of the VA series. Sydney, raised by a domineering, sexist, and conservative father, spends her time trying to fly under the radar instead of getting noticed. Sydney’s career as an Alchemist has been decided for her, but she does not challenge the system that has indoctrinated her…yet. Her prejudices against vampires and dhampirs are well developed, and her journey in this series looks to be one where Sydney must grow into her own person and make her own choices about the creatures with whom she shares her world. And while Mead certainly creates a lot of depth in Sydney’s character, she lacks some of the pluck and verve that made VA’s Rose such a compelling vantage-point.

That being said, the book is not without its pluck and verve: only it is reserved for Adrian Ivashkov, a favorite and rather ill-used character who makes the transition into Mead’s new series. Adrian’s effervescent personality maintains his trademark charm, but Mead continues to reveal more about what motivates and drives him. As with the VA series, Adrian brings some much needed humor to the book, but he also provides much of its emotional depth.

The plot of the series takes place in the world of the Alchemists, who have been charged with aiding in the protection of Jill Mastrano, the sister of Vasilisa Dragomir, the Moroi Queen (crowned at the end of the Vampire Academy Series). Sydney is sent to a private high school in Palm Springs to act as the Alchemist overseeing the hiding and protection of Jill, who is accompanied to her new school by a familiar VA guardian, Eddie Castile. And, for reasons revealed in the book, the loveable Adrian gets to tag along.

Bloodlines is already a must-read for all fans of Vampire Academy, and Mead is clearly setting herself up well for another compelling series.

Why you might love this book: you already love Adrian and you know it.

Why you might not love this book: Sydney isn’t Rose, and it may take us some time to warm up to her.

Rating: 4 out of 5 black cats



Publisher: Razorbill (2011)
ISBN-10: 1595143173
ISBN-13: 978-1595143174

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Welcome to The Arcane Reader, a site dedicated to reviewing and discussing paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction, teen supernatural, and any otherwise arcane, magical, mysterious, vampiric, otherworldly, dystopian fiction we deign worthy of recognition. The Arcane Reader’s mission is to keep our readers informed of the latest books, authors, series, and trends. The Arcane Readers reviewers are, first and foremost, fans. We are, however, discerning fans, and we are committed to providing our honest and impartial reviews. We are voracious readers and are always looking for something great to read, so we would love to hear your suggestions, thoughts, and opinions!