Friday, 31 July 2015

Charmed


Charmed
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

Indie has spent the last few weeks frantically searching for Paige. She's tried every spell imaginable, but witchcraft has gotten her nowhere, and she's going crazy with guilt. Despite what her warlock boyfriend, Bishop, tells her, Indie knows it's her fault her best friend was kidnapped by the Priory. And with the Priory destroyed, finding Paige feels more hopeless than ever-especially when Indie discovers that Paige isn't even on Earth. She's trapped in Los Demonios, an alternate dimension of Los Angeles filled with evil paranormals. No one who has gone there has ever come out.

Fueled by terror and loyalty, Indie is desperate to find a way into the underworld prison. She'll worry about getting out later. But facing the dark world's most dangerous witches and warlocks on her own means keeping her plan hush-hush-and forging alliances with some sketchy people, including a seriously sexy sorcerer.


So, like the synopsis says it's been a few weeks, specifically 16 days, since the end of the last book. For those of you who didn't re-read Hexed before you read this, there's a little concise recap so you're straight back in the story. There's still things from the end of the last book to be resolved and you know...obviously Paige is missing. I'd also like to point out that there's NO love triangle. Or I didn't really see it as a love triangle, one of the two! 

Once you're caught up with the characters and what's been going on since the last book, it's not long before the action starts and Indie is on her way to finding Paige and her tangled web of deceit begins! 

I have to say, straight up, I was a tad disappointed with how things went down with Jezebel. I mean we didn't really see much of her and in a chapter near the beginning it seemed like she was going to have a bigger part to play, and she's kind of an awesome badass, so I was hoping for more from her in this book than we got! I also want to point out that I got confused at one point because in Hexed it's mentioned that sorcerers can't fly. Now Indie thought some Warlocks/Witches where sorcerers at one point and I put it down to her being a bit of a silly sausage, but then near the end she states sorcerers flying, so I got confused! I probably only picked up on this because I'd read the first book straight before for the second time, and I'm genuinely the type of annoying person who notices stuff like that. Did it take away from my enjoyment of the book? Nah. I'm just stating it before someone jumps on any of it. 

I actually really enjoyed this book in fact, as much as I enjoyed the first one. I loved the first book, the cheerleading witch and so on, but I loved this book because it had a more mature vibe to it which was largely down to Indie and her character development, but more on that later. This is one of those books that's just enjoyable, no matter your mood. You can get lost in the world and the characters and get caught up in the plot trying to work out what's going to happen next. 

The book isn't entirely unpredictable to me, but it's just one of those times that you enjoy the book so much that it doesn't matter if you can guess at something that's going to happen. Besides, there where plenty of twists and turns that I didn't guess at, particularly in the final few chapters. I mean....woah. Really did not see a certain scene coming. All the sads! To give an example, Bianca and Devon, I so knew what was coming because you got a real feel for Bianca and it's standard psychology of a mean girl. I wasn't expecting Devon to be such a douche however. To  be honest with you, some of the bits that you can guess at or predict more accurately...actually give you more enjoyment because they give you a nice sense of anticipation. 

We all love drama, not in our own lives, but in TV and books and so on, you're lying if you say you don't. Everyone loves to sit there going "ooooohhhhh" at a really juicy scene. Back to my example of Bianca and Devon, in the first book as well as this one. I so knew what was coming. I could see it coming a mile off. Did it ruin my enjoyment? No. Why? Because I knew some intensely dramatic and juicy scenes where coming up and I couldn't freaking wait to get to it. I was excited to watch it play out. There was a scene with Bishop I suspected coming and was pretty obvious because he HAD to find out, and I was excited to see how it would play out. I had my suspicions about the Chief and his identity, it's one of the bigger reveals and I was right, but I kind of was thinking I was half wrong so I was kind of surprised, but also frothing at the mouth to get to the reveal scene. Not to mention the how the hell it happened scene. I do love knowing a juicy scene has got to be coming up and getting so excited for it I'll keep reading until way past my bedtime. Yes I'm 22 and I have a bedtime. Shhh. 

The writing and the characters draw you in so it doesn't matter if some parts are slightly predictable, and to be honest, sometimes we don't all want some giant Game of Thrones unpredictability that just hurts your feels too much. You're so drawn in that you don't care and it doesn't affect your enjoyment. I have explained this really terribly but I wanted to get across that it's not always a bad thing and in this book it's not even a bad element, it's a good one because it added more anticipation for me and then the unpredictable turns really blew me away.

But it's not just the anticipation for certain scenes that kept me reading way too late at night. It's incredibly hard to put the book down and if I could I would have read it in one go. There's always something going on, some new tidbit, some new drama, some new clue to keep your intrigue going and keep you riveted to the book and completely lost in the world. A lot of the chapters end leaving you on a mini cliffhanger and you're like "I should really be asleep, but if I put the book down now it'll take me ages to get to sleep because I'll be thinking about what just happened and it can't just end there" so you carry on reading. I seriously lost track of time at one point, finally reached a point where I tore myself away, and realised it was like 2am and was like......oh. 

We see more magic in this book, more awesome spells and we see more of the Sorcerers. We also learn a lot about this new area of the world of the book and it was interesting to see how the events of the last book and consequences that made themselves apparent in this book. The world building was fantastic, I want to go to LA even more now. I mean, hello, actor, how can I not want to go there!? Anyway, you really get a feel for LA and you can picture the areas of it described. Then there's the world of Los Demonios which is incredibly vivid as well and unlike the laid-back LA vibe, has an incredibly post apocalyptic vibe, and an intense atmosphere. 

I continue to completely love the relationship between Indie and Bishop, it's way too cute and gives you some intense warm and fuzzies. He's kind of the perfect boyfriend when compared with Douchey Devon. He reacted the exact opposite of how most YA boyfriends act as well it has to be said. Which was very refreshing. He's so supportive as well. I will not gush! I just really enjoy their relationship. 

I loved the characters in the first book and we see even more of them in this book. Duh. Although I actually really dislike Bianca and keep hoping she'll get what's coming to her. I'd just really love to smack her one to be honest. 

Indie is by far my favourite character, and she has developed so much over the course of the two books and you can really see how far she's come in this book. She's so determined to save Paige, her best friend, and learn as much magic as she can and take whatever risks she has to, to do so. Considering she was Paige's reluctant friend in the first book, you can see how she's shed her shallow cheerleader self and finally accepted Paige's friendship in the first book, and then in this one is going to do whatever it takes to save her to kind of pay her back for being an awesome friend and because she's her friend. I just think she's awesome, and her witty comebacks make me chuckle! I was sad we didn't actually see much Paige though! 

We did get to know Jessie more, which was intriguing and I want to know more about her! I love how she fit in the story and how she handled everything! Cruz was an interesting addition to this book and I wanted to know more about him and his life and I felt like we didn't see nearly enough of him! Which is why I'm saying there's no love triangle. The synopsis kind of makes you think there is but she meets him like twice I think, and she has some attraction to him and everything but it's not a proper love triangle and it's all handled in a great way. So don't worry...no angsty love triangle of pain!

I also really love Aunt Penny and we didn't really see much of her in the first book, but she's come so far as well from who she was in the first book, she's really coming in to being responsible and being a parent. But she's also still get quite fun and entertaining like in the first book. Penny has a reaaaaallllyyyyyy interesting backstory/history as well and I can't help but want to know way more about it! It added a nice element. While we learn about Penny's past we also learn a bit about her mother's as well and Indie's by default, so there's so many revelations going on it's jaw dropping! 

The book isn't just a rescue Paige book, there's more going on. There's another thread complicating things and adding intrigue as you try to work out what the Sorcerers are up to. Not to mention the high school drama going on and Indie trying to find out what her Aunt's deal is. We're not in Los Demonios for the entire book, we flick back between there and LA and it was interestingly done, and the whole secret keeping, there's seriously so much more going on than just rescuing Paige, even if that is the main backbone of the plot! 

I still love the idea of Witches and Warlocks being different to Sorcerers and this war between them. I really want to know more about the war between the two and how it started and so on even though no-one can remember. Usually in books they all get lumped together as the same thing, like different titles for the same thing. I find it an original take, and love reading about the two and all the different spells and potions and so on. Is it eye roll worthy of me to say it's.....magical *winkwink*

Now, I'm not sure if this was just a two book series or if it's actually a trilogy, some people seem to think this was the last book in the series but I'm conflicted. I would really like another book and here's why. The book ends with things fairly neatly wrapped up, you get the feeling that it's the end of the story and everythings resolved and that's it. Which is great, because the books been wrapped up perfectly. However. Through a scene with Devon and the end of the book (which was perfect by the way) I kind of got a hint/strong feeling of what might happen in a third book. Not like the magical element, but a relationship element. I feel like there's more to be told for their relationship especially if Bishop goes for what he wants at the end. 

There's a few other things as well, I'd like to know why Bianca turned on her, we nearly get it answered and while Indie was okay with not knowing I'm like "WHY ARE YOU SUCH A COW?!", there was a bit of....weirdness with Devon I thought that could contribute to some drama in a third book. I really badly want to know more about Jessie now that we got to know her in this book! Not to mention Paige and how she's left at the end of the book and the surprising admirer she has! So I'm kind of torn! 

In some ways it felt like the end of a series but in others I kind of felt like there was room for more. Either way it was an incredibly good sequel, perhaps even better than the first book, and whether or not it's the end it was very well done either way because people are probably a lot more better at me than being like "oh okay....I think this is what happened to so and so" and letting their imaginations fill in the blanks! 

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