Friday, March 14, 2014

Review: Thrall by Jennifer Quintenz

(Daughters of Lilith #1)
Publication Date: May 16, 2012
Paperback, 304 pages, Secret Tree Press
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Braedyn is a normal girl just trying to survive high school with her two devoted friends, Royal and Cassie. Together they're doing a pretty good job of shrugging off the slings and arrows cast their way by the popular crowd when a new boy, Lucas, moves into the house next door. Suddenly Braedyn finds herself falling in love for the first time. But as her sixteenth birthday approaches, Braedyn discovers humankind is at war with the Lilitu, an ancient race of enticing demons that prey on human souls. Her father is a member of the Guard fighting against the Lilitu - and so are the new neighbors, including her crush, Lucas. As her world starts to unravel at the seams, Braedyn learns the right answers aren't always clear or easy. And as for "good" and "evil" - it all depends on how we choose to act. Inspired by the ancient Mesopotamian myths of Lilith and her offspring, Thrall explores first love, strong friendships, and taking on adult responsibilities against the backdrop of powerful supernatural forces and life-and-death stakes.

My Review

Demons, and thralls, and teenagers. Oh, my! Thrall is a paranormal read that will have you practically wanting to dagger someone for more!

Book one of the Daughters of Lilith series starts out with a teenage girl who finds out her father has been lying to her for the first fifteen years of her life. While that storyline does sound eerily similar to a lot of other supernatural YA books, Thrall manages not to linger on the angst that comes with an untruthful parent finally copping to the dark and mysterious world that's all around them. Braedyn may not enjoy her dad's revelation, but she gets over it quickly.

Braedyn is an average teenage girl at first with average friends. She gets a new neighbor and her former life takes a swirly ride down the nearest toilet. Okay, so the mysterious boy next door is kind of cliché, but Lucas isn't really a typical mysterious neighbor boy. Unlike how paranormal romance in YA usually goes, Braedyn, the girl, is the one with the kicka$$ powers. Of course, she doesn't think they're very kicka$$, but I wouldn't mind being able to make a guy, like Lucas, do whatever the heck I want him to do. Like my homework. What? Did you think I was going to write something else there? What kind of girl do you take me for?

Lucas is so very sexy and delicious. We learn about his backstory and why he's even involved with the demons, aka the Lilitu, pretty early on. Poor boy has a had a very sad life. And now his own girlfriend can serve him a can of whupa$$, if she so chooses. While I really enjoyed Lucas's character, I felt that there could have been a little bit more information on him. I want to know what he's like as a person. Not just a love interest.

The other characters in the story include a myriad group of sidekicks. Braedyn's dad is in the story. And by that I mean that he's actually in the story. He kicks butt alongside his daughter. Maybe even more butt than his daughter. Gretchen was rude, witchy with a captial B, and could totally be my best friend. You hate her, but she's right, and sometimes you just need that type of friend. She's not Braedyn's friend, though. Nuh uh, no way. What's great about this story is that Braedyn's friends, Royal and Cassie, have their own share of issues that Quintenz brings into the major arc of the book. I'm interested to see how that dynamic plays out in the sequels.

The plotline of this story was very unique, and I seriously enjoyed every second of it, but there were times when the story just moved waaaaaay too fast. The beginning - with Lucas and Braedyn's relationship, Braedyn learning her true origins, and Braedyn coming in to her powers - needed to be expanded on. More details equals more pages for me to read, and that's always a super good thing. The ending flowed nicely. I understood the need to make things rush then and the pacing helped me feel the desperation that the characters were feeling. My heart skipped a beat or two during a few of the last scenes.

All in all, Thrall is an entertaining read. It has some macho female characters, with some macho male characters mixed in. (The men just aren't as cool.) It's a fast-paced action-packed read that, despite having no cliffhanger, leaves you wanting more. Lots more.

Oh, and the covers to this series might as well have a big fat sticker labled "Book Porn" on them. I just want to stroke them a little.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from the author. This in no way altered my opinion/review. 

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