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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Title: Betrayal
Author: Lee Nichols
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 03/01/11
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Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she's battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she's flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and soul mate) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that's not something Bennett can handle. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school with fellow ghostkeeper, Natalie. When a new team of ghostkeepers arrive-one a snarky teen boy, the other a British scholar-Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. One they thought was good.

As chilling and page-turning as Deception, this sequel will grab readers and hold them to the last page. No one is safe from suspicion as Emma closes in on the traitor.

Plot: 3 Stars
This novel picked up right where Deception left off, but it could've used a bit more recap considering almost a year passed between each book being released. It felt kinda like when you miss a days worth of notes in class as I was reading the first couple chapters. It felt like I was missing something because I hadn't read the first book since last summer. Usually I can jump right back into a series without much of a problem. But after a couple more chapters, it all started coming back to me as the past events were touched on a little more. This book also felt a lot like many YA novels that have fallen into a rut. It felt a lot like New Moon in that the mysterious love interest disappeared in order to "help" the main character.

Pace: 3.5 Stars
This was one of those novels that started off on the slow side, but picked up momentum as the story unfolded. The events in the beginning of the novel were on the slow side, but nothing to make me put the novel down (on vacation, no less). As the events of the novel continued to unfold and become more complex, the pace picked up as well. By the end of the novel, it felt like I was reading at the same frantic pace as the characters were rushing to beat the bad guy. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

Characters: 4 Stars
Although Bennett disappearing for most of the novel was disappointing, I felt like it gave me a chance to connect more with the rest of the characters as well as the new characters that were introduced. Emma and her powers continued to grow while dealing with both school and ghostkeeping. I liked that she didn't whine and complain about Bennett being gone the entire time. Emma, along with her friends, deal with the events from the previous novel that involved Coby in their own ways, which was interesting to read. Natalie grew on me throughout this novel. I remember not liking her as much while reading the first novel. This novel also introduced a number of new ghostkeepers, which was great because it meant more information about ghostkeepers and their powers.

Cover: 3.5 Stars
Although I like the continuity of using the same cover model, this cover isn't as strong as its predecessor, Deception. The angle of the cover model's head is a little strange, and her hair is hanging almost too straight to be natural. My favorite part of this cover is the color scheme. I like how the blue is very monochromatic around the cover model, while she gets to have more color. And the green title works very well against the blue. My least favorite part of the cover is the boy lurking in the background. He comes across very stalkerish, especially with his brooding facial expression. The background image of tree branches and parts of a cemetery give the cover a creepy feel that works even without the stalkerish boy.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I borrowed this novel from the local library.

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