Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jealousy (review)

Jealousy ******

Lili St.Crow

Young Adult

I love this series, and I loved reading this book. In fact, I have so far enjoyed all the books that I've read written by Lilith Saintcrow/Lili St. Crow. However - I really don't like this cover. I mentioned this a few posts ago. If I knew nothing at all about this series, nothing at all about the writer, then looking at this cover and reading the title would make me think that this is a romance novel, and I wouldn't have picked it up long enough to find out that there are wulfen, vampires, dhampir, hunters....I would have missed out on a lot. The other two books (in the series) had covers that weren't quite as misleading, but they really didn't portray any fantasy, urban fantasy, or supernatural content of the series. So I'm wondering....What's up with the covers? Especially this one. I think that's also supposed to be Graves on the cover - Graves who is part Asian-American, with Goth looks and long black hair....This looks like an almost preppy young man from a boy-band....a tame (lame) boy band. She looks like a debutante from an upper crust ...well, you probably get the point. My point, besides misleading, is...Boring cover. YAWN! nothing draws my eye to it. How is it going to pop out at a teenager? Doesn't the publisher WANT to sell this book?

Thank god I already was looking forward to the sequel, because otherwise, I would never have picked this particular book with this cover up. The book was good. I am really enjoying this series It's first person narrative, with just the right amount of angst, first love confusion and strong girl trying to stay strong. Normally, I have no patience with angsty characters; there are a few exceptions, but in general I'm not fond of angsty characters. Lilith Saintcrow is one of the few authors that can write angst and still keep me interested in her novels. It must be the combination of angst and kick-ass that works for me. I've put down other books with a bit less angst. Ms Saintcrow strikes the right balance with her characters for me. From the first book to the the third, there's only been a passage of a few months - so Dru (main character) and Graves have been through quite a lot together in a short time. In the first book, Dru has to kill her zombified dad (hey - kill or be killed!) and through out the next few months has hardly had time to process this intense loss or the extreme changes that she's been through. Graves has had to deal with being changed into a wulfen, that's got to be tough for a teen boy. This third installment deals with her delayed grieving as well as a whole slew of other mental leaps that Dru has to navigate.

Dru and Graves have finally made it to the Schola that she was originally supposed to go. But she's still in quite a bit of danger. She is one of the few female dhampir who have made it to the ripe age of 16, and the other female dhampir seems to have an unreasonable hate on for her....is it jealousy? Being the only female dhampir for years and years must make a girl feel very special, and now here comes Dru. Even though Dru and Graves are supposed to be safer now, Dru knows that she's still in danger. She can feel it. She's also been having a lot of flashbacks of previous scenes from her childhood. They all tie together by the end of Jealousy. There is an absolutely heartbreaking happening - which will be the focus of the fourth book. One of Dru's enemies is finally dealt with, but there seems to be more.

A few of my favorite characters from the past two books who are still in Dru's life. Graves, of course; Ash the broken wulfen who seems to have formed an attachment to Dru; Dibs from the other schola (school) and Christophe. Although I have to admit here, that Christophe is not one of my favs. In fact, I find him, and his feelings for Dru just a bit creepy. He's way older than her, knew her mom and yet...Creepy. There are a few good things happening for Dru. Her relationship with Graves is progressing in a first love, awkward way. She's learning that she can make friends with some of the boys. She's learning a little more about her heritage, and putting two and two together - fitting some of the puzzle pieces of her past into place. I'm looking forward to reading more of Dru's story. I'd like to hear a little more about Graves and his past also.

Lili St. Crow is great at painting pictures with words. She's very good with dialogue, especially the different speaking patterns of a young girl, a teen boy, the wulfen, and the rather stuffy dhampir who have "been around" for a while. She's one the authors that can write a story where you can just picture the teen really saying the words. The narrative is also something that I enjoy from Lili St. Crow. She's good at all the little details - such as the way the hair changes with the moods of the dhampir, the little sounds the come and go, the tastes and smells of things. I think the word I'm looking for is atmosphere - she paints a wonderfully atmospheric picture with her words.

The fourth book, Defiance, is due April 2011. Thankfully, the cover looks a little less like a romance, but still is ambiguous. I catch myself wanting to make snarky comments about why she's looking up at the sky......

Reading challenges
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge
Speculative Fiction Reading challenge

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