Saturday, 8 November 2014

Review: Vowed - Liz de Jager

The Blackhart Code:
Don't let the monsters grind you down

A Blackhart can see the supernatural behind everyday crimes. But some crimes hide even greater evils.

Kit Blackhart must investigate why children are disappearing from a London estate. However, their parents, police and Kit's fae allies claim to know nothing. And as yet more children disappear, the pressure mounts. Luckily, or unluckily, government trainee Dante Alexander is helping Kit with the case. Yet just as her feelings towards him begin to thaw, his life falls apart. As Kit struggles to unravel his problems and solve the case, she meets fae Prince Thorn in her dreams – but their relationship is utterly forbidden.

Then Kit digs too deep, uncovering a mystery that’s been hidden for one thousand years. It’s a secret that could just tear down our world.

Blackhart Legacy:

Visit Liz de Jager's website for more information

I feel like I have to put a disclaimer at the top of this review to say that Liz is a friend of mine, but I also want to say that I've done my best to be completely unbiased in this review. As an ex book blogger I know Liz expects honesty in reviews of her books and I'm sure she'd kick my arse if she thought I was being less than 100% truthful. Luckily Liz's books are just as awesome as she is and there is absolutely no need to puff them up or give them false praise! So now I've got that out of the way lets get down to the bit you've all been waiting for - my thoughts on Vowed.

So if you're reading this I'm going to assume you've already read Banished (if not walk away from this review now, go buy the book & come back here when you've read it!) and if you loved that then you're going to enjoy Vowed as much if not more. Everything great about the first book has been ramped up in this one - the fantastic characters, a weird and wonderful array of fae and other creatures, a mystery that keeps you guessing and so much action you won't want to put it down.

Kit has had some time to get used to her family now, and she is getting better at using her magical abilities, she still isn't 100% sure what she's capable of but she has come a long way since the beginning of the first book. She may not be the strongest amongst her friends but she isn't afraid to stand up for herself and people who need her help, even if it costs her. I loved that Kit is still learning, she doesn't have all the answers and she has to work to achieve her goals, she gets her butt kicked on more than one occasion but she never lets it stop her doing what needs to be done. I enjoyed seeing her spending time with her cousin Kyle and her friend Aiden, we saw their friendships begin and now we're getting to see that bond between them get even stronger. I have to admit I missed Thorn, we do get parts of the story from his POV which helped but I just love seeing him and Kit together so I missed that banter.

Luckily for me we are introduced to a new character Dante and he made up for Thorn's absence. Dante is a government agent who has been spying on the Blackharts so of course Kit is very wary of him and the last thing she wants is to have to work alongside him. Unfortunately for her the Unseelie Queen has a job for them and she insists they resolve the case together. There are children going missing on a London estate and with the only witnesses giving strange accounts of monsters walking through walls the police aren't having much luck finding out what is happening to them. It is up to Kit and Dante to figure out what is going on and if it's a member of the fae causing the disappearances the Unseelie Queen wants the culprit brought to her. Dante and Kit have very different ways of working so putting the two of them together was bound to cause fireworks but as they spend time together and get to know each other they slowly start to respect each other.

As much as I'm all for having lots of hot boys in books I have to say I absolutely love Liz for not turning this into a love triangle, there are times when it appears that Dante is interested in Kit but I never really felt that she saw him as anything more than a friend and he seems happy to accept that. I'm actually kind of rooting for a Dante / Aiden pairing but we'll have to see what happens in the next book. Another quick thing I have to mention is that I loved the way the story deals with Aiden and Dante's bisexuality, it's mentioned in passing but never made into an issue and it didn't feel like they'd been added as the token LGBTQ characters that you so often get in stories. I love books with diverse characters but I don't want to feel like they've been added in just to tick a box on a YA checklist!

I think I've probably waffled on enough now but if you loved Banished then you need to get your hands on a copy of Vowed as soon as possible. I'm loving the way this series is developing and I'm already itching to get my hands on a copy of the next book even though I've probably got to wait a year for it!

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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