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Sunday, August 5, 2012

'Losing Lila' Lila #2 by Sarah Alderson

Received from the Publisher

From the BLURB:

Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which somehow is managing to track their every move. Whilst Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila’s only thought is of finding a way back to California so that she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they’re being held.

Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the people she’s come to think of as family, Lila plans not just to save her brother and mother, but to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for.

But the plan requires Lila to return alone to California, make friends with the enemy, and to risk losing everything - Alex, her family, and even her life.

 *** Contains spoilers of first book ‘Hunting Lila’ ***

They took her mother.

They shot her brother.

Now they want Lila

But she’s not going down without a fight.

‘Losing Lila’ is the second book in Sarah Alderson’s X-Men meets Heroes ‘Lila’ YA urban fantasy series.

Last year I found a new favourite book in ‘Hunting Lila’ – a book that packed a punch and introduced readers to Lila, who can move objects with her mind.

After a near-miss with her powers in London, Lila fled to sunny California and her brother, Jack, not to mention her brother’s best friend (and Lila’s childhood crush) Alex. Jack left home shortly after their mother was murdered, and joined The Unit – a government organization Lila wasn’t entirely cluey about … until she became their target.

The Unit hunts down those with supernatural abilities, and performs experiments of them – whether for a cure or military gains, no one is sure. But after being kidnapped by a supernatural group, led by Demos, Lila’s eyes were opened to the Unit’s evil ways. And as if she needed even more convincing, Demos confessed to being her deceased mother’s ex-boyfriend, and knowing that she was still alive and being held in a Unit containment facility, being used as a human supernatural specimen.

A show-down with Jack and Alex’s ex Unit Squad led to her brother being shot, Demos’s group scattering and Lila going on the run with Alex.

Alderson picks up the action of ‘Losing’ where ‘Hunting’ left off. Alex and Lila are holed up in Mexico, high on the adrenaline of evading the Unit, and their newfound love for one another. But in the back of her mind Lila knows that an end of days is fast approaching, when she and Alex will have to reconvene with Demos and her other supernatural ‘supe’ friends to save Jack and her mother, and, if they can, put an end to the Unit for good.

If I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t know if Sarah Alderson could re-capture the high-octane thrill-ride antics that made ‘Hunting Lila’ so spectacular. That book had everything – from a sweet, unfolding romance between Lila and Alex, to a kidnapping plot and revelation after jaw-dropping revelation … I ended that book with sweaty palms and racing heart. I didn’t know if ‘Losing Lila’ would have the same effect … but it did. Oh boy, did it ever!

Alderson hits the ground running. Literally from chapter one onwards we, as readers, are right there with Alex and Lila as they race against the clock to save Jack and hunt for Lila’s kidnapped mother. An itchy feeling of eyes on you pervades the page, as Alex and Lila use every tactic in his Unit-trained arsenal to evade capture and plot a plan to save those closest to both of them.

In this second novel, Demos’s supes team get a little more time in the spotlight to bounce off Lila. I especially enjoyed the telepathic Suki – a bubbly straight-talker who enjoys getting a sneaky glimpse into Lila and Alex’s romantic life, for her own amusement. I also felt like Demos became a very intriguing character in this second novel – we are given a little glimpse into his old relationship with Lila and Jack’s mother, and a hint at how he may still feel about her. I loved it – all the angst and a few revelations about him had me really sitting up and paying attention to Demos, and had me kinda hoping for a prequel (or an adult spin-off series?).

Alderson also really delves into Lila and Alex’s new relationship in this second book. It felt like the hurdle for them in ‘Hunting’ was just admitting their feelings for one another – but in ‘Losing’ they have so many roadblocks placed before them . . . circumstances aside, Lila is contending with Alex’s old Unit-ingrained feelings about supernaturals and his worry over Jack’s reaction to him dating his sister. These two are so great together, but I especially liked that Alderson didn’t make things easy for them, that even with their inherent chemistry they still had friction between them for other reasons.

I adored Alex in this book, because Alderson really illustrates how hard it is for him to leave behind his Unit-training (and his squad) and choose his new-found romance with Lila over everything else he has ever been taught about supes;

‘Have you even considered the consequences?’
‘Oh please, don’t get all righteous on me. Wars will happen regardless. Man has always found a way to inflict harm. This way we get to at least choose the winning side. We get to make the world safer, Alex.’ Her eyes were burning brightly, lit by some kind of scary evangelical fervour.
‘Safer according to who?’ Alex snapped back. ‘According to whichever madman pays you the most?’
Rachel considered him for a moment. ‘Hmmmm. You know your problem, Alex?’ she said after a while. ‘You always get bogged down by morality. You could do with losing a few scruples. You’d sleep easier.’

By the end of the book Alderson had elicited that same heart-pumping, sweaty-handed reaction from me as she did in ‘Hunting Lila’, with a do-or-die finale that had me holding the book in a death-grip. The only thing I will say is I hope, hope, hope the ‘Lila’ series isn’t over. It could go either way with that heart-palpitating finale – but I think there’s still a lot to be explored in this world, and future books don’t even have to focus solely on Lila (I really am crossing my fingers for a Demos prequel or spin-off!). I think it could even work if Lila’s brother, Jack, became the star of a new book! I just loved Alderson’s ‘Lila’ universe so much, I’m not ready to leave it just yet; ‘Losing Lila’ was just fanning the flames for me - I think this series could burn on for much, much longer!



  1. Wow, this is such a good review and I can tell you really love this series! I am hoping that I enjoy Losing Lila a lot more than HL. Also, I like that their relationship isn't perfect, they have to work at it, which is realistic

  2. I have Hunting Lila but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Sounds like I am missing out though. Great review

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd out


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