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Monday, April 4, 2011

'Enticed' The Violet Eden Chapters #2 by Jessica SHIRVINGTON

Received from the Publisher

From the BLURB:

Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengeance of exiled angels.

Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever.

The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.

When we left her, seventeen-year-old Violet Eden was struggling with all the typical teen problems. She had a crush on a guy who thought of her only as a friend. She was struggling to connect with her distant father, who was never the same after Violet’s mother died. And Violet herself was trying to figure out her place in the world and why she always felt so out of touch . . . and then secrets began falling into place for Violet. A long-ago message from her mother in a wooden box exposed Violet for what she really is: Grigori - part angel, part human.

Grigori are charged with protecting the human race from the threat of bitter and exiled Fallen Angels. One such angel is Phoenix, the bad boy who breezed into town and turned Violet’s world upside down, and her heart inside out.

Violet thought she was half in love with her best friend, Lincoln. But once Violet’s angelic heritage was exposed, Linc had a few secrets of his own to shed. He is a ‘watcher’, like Violet, he is charged with watching and protecting the human race. And in his quest to help steer Violet on the path to Angeldom, Linc had to lie to her for two years.

Linc’s lies and Phoenix’s magnetism has drawn Violet into a devastating triangle of the heart. Lincoln on one side, the boy she has grown to love but whose deceit run deep. And Phoenix, the renegade angel who is drawn to Violet, but is also the sworn enemy of the Grigori.

Now Violet finds herself in the middle of a bloody war between Grigori and the Exiles. She and Lincoln have to stop the Exiled Angels from discovering the key to destroying all Grigori and plunging the human race into imminent destruction. But will Violet be able to trust Linc, after what his lies have put her through? And exactly how much of a hold does Phoenix have over Violet, and will he use it against her and the Grigori?

Violet Eden thought she was a typical teenager, until she discovered her life was intricately linked to heaven, hell and the fate of humanity.

‘Enticed’ is the second book in Jessica Shirvington’s young adult paranormal trilogy, ‘The Violet Eden Chapters’.

‘Enticed’ is set one month after the events of ‘Embrace’. Violet is deep into her battle training with Lincoln

I have to applaud Shirvington for focusing on Violet’s moral compass in this book. It doesn’t happen often in YA paranormal/fantasy novels that the young characters take the time to have a meaningful introspection of their violent actions. But in ‘Enticed’ Violet actually takes the time to question Linc’s training and how God’s teaching of ‘thou shalt not kill’ factors into fighting the Exiled. So often in this genre it’s the case of heightened reality replacing moral conundrums. Characters kill without thought and readers can become equally anesthetized to violence and think it’s just the norm for the universe. Very few paranormal books take the time to pause and question the status quo of violence. And it especially makes sense, in this Biblical-bent series, that Violet would wonder as to the merits of a part-angel having to drench herself in such bloodshed.
There were three of me: the now me, watching this vision; the killer me, holding the dagger; and the dead me, dropping to the ground in a pool of blood, lifeless and . . . gone.
I didn’t particularly rate Lincoln as a character in ‘Embrace’. I felt that the first book was definitely more the Violet and Phoenix show, and Linc was a fairly poor contender for Violet’s affections. He came across as a cardboard cut-out, cookie-cutter hero and a little boring when compared to the enigmatic rebel, Phoenix. Well, Shirvington definitely adds to Linc’s appeal in ‘Enticed’. He comes across as being much older and wiser than he was in ‘Embrace’ (maybe because he has shaken off the shackles of his lies and revealed his true ‘watcher’ self to Violet?). In ‘Enticed’ Linc is battle-weary and ferocious, and Violet once again feels drawn to him (and really, I can’t blame her!).

But I do still have a soft spot for Phoenix. His appeal and mysticism grows in ‘Enticed’, as Shirvington weaves his character history with Biblical mythology to become utterly enigmatic and fascinating;
Griffin nodded. “You’re right. But Phoenix has capabilities we are not fully aware of yet.” He turned to everyone else. “For the benefit of those who do not know, Phoenix is something of an anomaly. He is the son of an ancient dark exile, Lilith, and also . . .” he looked down, worried, “he is the son of man.”
I will warn you that Phoenix isn’t the same man he was in ‘Embrace’ . . . yes, his history and character have become even more interesting, but it is at a price to Violet. Be warned!

Another minor complaint I had about ‘Embrace’ was the lack of definitive-setting. Shirvington deliberately kept the locations ambiguous (in order to appeal to the overseas market?) and I couldn’t tell if the story was set in Australia, USA, UK or an imaginary amalgamation? Well, in ‘Enticed’ setting is key, and the book is all the more vibrant for it!

Violet and Lincoln jet off to ‘The Academy’ in New York, where she meets other Grigori and watchers in training. We meet a new cast of characters who add fullness and energy to the universe Shirvington has created; Spence, Rudyard and Zoe were amongst my favourites (Spence in particular for a little dance floor interlude with Violet!).
A particularly climactic part of the book also takes place in Jordan. This is a great location, rich in history and conflict and the perfect setting for the scene that takes place there. Shirvington does such a wonderful job of writing Jordan in all its dusky beauty; it just reiterates how important location, location, location is (even in novels!).

I am proud to bursting that ‘The Violet Eden Chapters’ are a slice of Australian YA brilliance. Jessica Shirvington really comes into her own and stretches her imagination in this second book – the cast is increased, settings are majestic and the characters are spiralling towards a fantastic hell-bent finale. I cannot wait for the final book, ‘Emblaze’ to come out in October this year, capping off Violet Eden’s wonderful adventures. Bring it on!

5/5

4 comments:

  1. nice review :)

    and I LOVE the third cover. these covers actually look refreshing in their simplicity. They appeal to me and work so well together.

    xx Nomes

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  2. I agree Nomes. The covers are refreshing in their design. So much of the genre sticks to the black/white/red colour motif.

    The story sounds intriguing as well. Great review Danielle.

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  3. A great review! it sounds like an interesting story & another series to add to my never ending TBR pile :)

    http://obsessionwithbooks.blogspot.com

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  4. okay i absoloutley lovee these books with a passion <3 but i found mytself wanting to re-read them recently and found that the second book "Enticed" is missing from my collection, iv'e looked all over the house and i was hoping somebody knew of a way i could watch it online without paying? any help

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