|Til Death by Kate Evangelista|
(Fractured Souls #1)
March 4, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
(Contains: strong language, some violence)
Source: eARC from publisher for Honest review
Sixteen-year old Selena Fallon is a dreamer. Not a day-dreamer, but an I-see-the-future kind of dreamer. Normally this is not a problem as she has gotten pretty good at keeping her weird card hidden from everyone in her small town. Except from her best friend Kyle and her grandparents, of course. But when Selena dreams of her own rather bloody death, things get a little too freaky even for her.My Review:
Enter Dillan Sloan. Selena has seen the new guy in a different dream, and he is even more droolworthy in person. Beyond the piercing blue eyes and tousled dark hair, there is something else that draws her to him. Something…electric. Unfortunately, Dillan makes it more than clear that he does not feel the same. They just met, so why would he act like he hates her?
When Dillan and Selena are forced together one weekend to work on a school project, Selena prepares to be ignored as usual. But when she stumbles across a few undead in the backyard, Dillan comes to her rescue and reveals a whole lot more. Not only is he part of a society that hunts otherworldly creatures…she is too. And she is being targeted by a force bigger and darker than anything she ever imagined. Despite her death dream, Selena is not going to give up easy, especially when she discovers that Dillan might not actually hate her after all.
Right from the start we enter into the unique lives of Selena Fallon and Dillan Sloan. Told from their alternating perspectives - 1st person POV from Selena and 3rd person POV from Dillan - we get to discover along with them the deeper secrets of themselves and of Newcastle. This was one of those stories that grew on me the longer I read it. I could sense that the story would improve if I gave it more time. And it did!
The Plot and Pacing: I enjoyed the complexity of the plot, watching both Selena and Dillan discover that not all is as it seems on their own. There's definitely a huge heap of mystery to sift through. Though a bit slow in the beginning, discovering what was really going on was well done, keeping my attention as the novel progressed. I found the second half of the book much better paced than the first half, and after that I had a difficult time putting it down. The action picked up in the second half, which also added to the excitement. Once the pieces of the mystery were put together, it really made sense.
The Supernatural World: I liked the build-up of both the Illumenari world in general, and Newcastle and some of its residents in particular. I enjoy a well thought out world, and I appreciated the complex world Evangelista created, but also the simplicity in which she created the Illumenari hierarchy. Then throw some mythological creatures in there, and it all seems to blend together really well. I will say, however, that there are still many more questions about this world that haven't been answered yet, so I hope we get to know more in the next book. But I felt the amount of info I got here was sufficient to satisfy my immediate needs.
The Characters: I found Dillan's character a bit better flesh-out that Selena's. She was likeable enough, and she grew on me, but I would have liked a bit more. Perhaps it's because I found the POV from her to be a mixed bag - juvenile and naïve on all things except when she's kissing a certain boy; then her descriptions become more mature than I think matched her character. Dillan, even though he could be a jerk sometimes, felt more clear cut, and I liked the writing of his perspective much more. But just like the story itself, these characters grew on me with time. Though a few of the secondary characters were a bit one-dimensional, most were great. Kyle was a nice addition to the story, as well as Sebastian, who added that special spark to any scene he was in.
The Romance: Despite the "sparks," I was glad this wasn't a love-at-first-sight book. I'm not against those, but in paranormal books it can feel a bit cliché. The dynamic between Selena and Dillan was very interesting to watch - going from enemies for no apparent reason, to having to work together, to where they ended up. I give the author credit for what she did (or didn't do) with their relationship. I enjoyed watching the dynamic between them develop and progress.
Cliffhanger? Yes, there is a bit of a cliffhanger, but it's a good one. I hate cliffhangers, but I liked how the author ended this, leaving me very interested in where things are going next, but not wanting to throw my kindle.
Overall, Til Death is an entertaining and enjoyable read, delving into a world that I really enjoyed. Full of fascinating complexities, I found I liked it more and more as the story progressed, with the second half surpassing the first. The ending left me very curious where the story will go next. For the Young Adult reader, there is sporadic strong language throughout the novel, but no sexual content, just kissing.
3-1/2 to 4 STARS