Monday, September 28, 2015

#Monday Review - Fractured by Sarah Fine (Young Adult, Fantasy)

Series: Guards of the Shadowlands # 2
Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: ARC Trade
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

In the week since Lela returned to Rhode Island, local news has been dominated by chilling sightings of human-like creatures running on all fours. Lela knows there’s only one explanation: the Mazikin have arrived in the land of the living.

Needing to maintain the appearance of a normal life, Lela returns to Warwick High along with Malachi. At night they hunt for the Mazikin nest along with two new Guards. Jim, one rogue recruit, repeatedly challenges Lela’s authority. Lela struggles to keep all her Guards on the right side of the law, but their mistakes come at a terrible cost.

As one painful revelation follows another and the Mazikin start targeting those closest to her, Lela finds herself more vulnerable than ever. With an enemy determined to separate soul from body, Lela must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect those she loves.

Fractured is the second installment in the Guards of the Shadowlands series by author Sarah Fine. Fine has moved her story from the darkness of the Shadowlands, to the human world where things are about ready to get pretty damn interesting. One thing remains the same; Fine's world is dark, dangerous, gritty, action-packed, and at times, heartbreaking. I'll keep this as spoiler free as I can, but I will say that I would recommend that you pick up this book knowing that anything can happen to anyone and nobody is immune from being brutalized by Ms. Fine.

It has been one week since Lela Santos agreed to become a Guard of the Shadowlands and returned home to Rhode Island. Lela is now a Captain whose job it is to hunt down the escaped Mazikin and dispose of them quickly and quietly. Lela's team now includes Malachi Sokol, who is her Lieutenant; Jim, a Guard from the Realm of The Blinding City (Home of the Insatiably Greedy) and Henry, who is a Guard from The Wasteland (Better known as the home of the Mazikin). 

Lela not only has to worry about the ever increasing sightings of weird looking animals that hunt the homeless, but she also has to deal with her school work, her foster mother Diane, her parole officer, her reputation as a stone cold killer, and a budding friendship with Tegan and her friends. Lela grows as a character. I know reviewers love to say that, but it's factual evidence in this book. Sure there are some bumpy roads with the romance angle. Sure there are some growing pains as Lela moves into a leadership position that life or death consequences that affects everyone she knows. 

Bloody Hell, I was not prepared for THAT ending! Fine took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions, and puts Lela to the test. Not only does Fine test Lela with the Mazikin and an suddenly there character who shows up out of the blue, but she also has to deal with the fact that the Mazikin are really smart, and cunning, and hungry for revenge against those who have wronged them. They use every method possible to lure Lela and her team into trap after trap. I dare say their machinations were brilliantly written and drawn out.

One of the things that fellow readers have complained about is Fine's determination to test Lela and Malachi's romance. There are issues. I won't argue about that point. Lela is in over her head at times, and really wants to keep her enemies from taking her new friends away from her, and her emotions are all over the place. So, yes, Lela and Malachi find themselves with other characters for a short period of time. Here's what I need to say. Malachi has been working as a Guard for 70 years. While he loves Lela, he also needs to rediscover this new world that he left behind 70 years ago. Thankfully, the separation is only temporary.............CLIFFHANGER!!!

This really is an addictive trilogy as you can probably tell by the fact that I read these books back to back. The third installment, Chaos, will be reviewed NEXT week on the blog to keep things interesting.  

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