Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: Stormfront by K.R. Conway

Stormfront (Undertow #2)
Stormfront by K.R. Conway
(Undertow #2)
August 3, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal
Contains: minor language, sexual references
Source: eARC for Honest review

Not long ago Eila Walker’s choices were limited: death by a bullet to the head, or at the hands of her beloved bodyguard, Raef. Now, five weeks after Raef triggered her power and she nearly leveled a historic mansion, Eila is dealing with the fall-out of her decisions. While she doesn’t remember dying in the arms of the soul thief who loves her, she knows that Raef remembers everything about the night he nearly killed her.

Now on the mend and attempting to keep one step ahead of the FBI, Eila and her team of misfits are desperate for a bit of normal. Eila is trying to navigate high school, while her BFF Ana is cautiously hanging with past-boyfriend and soul thief, Kian. Shape-shifter, MJ, is trying not to piss off his mother, while Raef is coping with his fears that Eila will never be safe.

But just as “normal” seems within their grasp, a powerfully built newcomer arrives. Raef knows the scarred man as a Blacklist Dealer – a soul thief, who peddles the names of humans who deserve to die. Eila, however, knows him as the protective hunter from the woods, who she nicknames Thor. Before long, Raef and Eila realize they’ve met the same killer, and he has one hell of a story to tell the five friends . . . if Raef doesn’t murder him first.

I was completely drawn in by the first book in this series, Undertow, and Stormfront has kept the excitement and the intrigue going strong. Stormfront picks up not long after where Undertow left off. I love that this is a young adult series, yet as someone not in that demographic, I am completely invested in these characters, their storyline, and their world.

One new development in Stormfront is that we get the dual POV of both Eila and Raef. For this series, this change-up worked really well. I loved getting the extra insight into Raef's mind and feelings. His love and protection over Eila was super sweet. Watching the two of them together overcome obstacle after obstacle, seeing their love bloom and mature, was very tender and sweet. But what I also liked about them was how they challenged each other, how they grew individually, and honestly, I just liked them. They are a great couple to carry the storyline, yet their romance doesn't detract from the other exciting plot developments.

Another new development is the level up in the plot. Undertow was exciting and had great twists and turns. Stormfront kept up the momentum, introducing new layers and depths. Plus, there's a new character, Rillin (aka, Thor), that I really liked. He has a fascinating past and brought another level of mystery and insight to everything that was going on. And there was a whole lot going on. All of these things kept the story exciting and a page-turner. Oh, and let's not forget MJ, Anna, Kian and Christian. Yep, some great stuff happens with them, too.

I will say that there were a few slow spots, mostly the recap portions, which perhaps I was more sensitive to as I read both books back-to-back. But it wasn't a huge deal. Also, for those more sensitive to Raef and Eila's physically developing relationship, their closeness amps up, but it's tactful and fade-to-black.

Overall, I love this series - the characters, the storyline, the world, the mystery... all of it. Stormfront is a great continuation of what Undertow started, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Have you started UNDERTOW yet?
Undertow (Undertow, #1)

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