4 September 2017
My Rating: 4.5 stars
This book was such a great second instalment to this series. We see more of the Medoran world, see more of Alex and her friends during their next year at Arkarnae and also see the return of Aven and everything that he has planned. It is fast-paced, full of laughs and so entertaining - a wonderful story. (And look at that cover!)
*Slight spoilers ahead.*
This book was such an enjoyable read and really took the series to the next level. I enjoyed this book more than the first one, which is so great as often the second book will be the tell-all about how the series will go.
We start back with Alex at a party for D.C. and the author wastes no time in getting back into the story. After a quick update of what has happened since the end of Arkarnae, we have Alex and D.C. hanging out who are then joined by Bear and Jordan. Seeing them all back on page was wonderful particularly as they make a scene at a royal event, and as Aven reappears. I really loved jumping straight into the plot and also how quickly they were back at Arkarnae. I really love the whole setting, but I would have liked to have seen some of Alex's one on one sessions with Karter during the school break.
The whole book is wonderful. You tend to forget you are reading about someone attending school as all the classes are so interesting and the characters are all so natural and normal. There's no ridiculous drama and I adored seeing the Combat guys really envelop Alex into their group. The addition of SAS was also really cool, and I felt like it really added to Alex's character as you got to see her use her skills. She truly is a fantastic character and she has so much progression from the first book in this one. The way that the author weaves what is happening at school and in her training into the rest of the overall plot is really great and done in a way that isn't overly obvious.
This book is very fast paced. Alex doesn't take long to visit Meya, which is intriguing since it's meant to be a lost city. I do love the way it is described - it takes the feelings of wonderment that Arkarnae had to start and builds on it with this new world. Hearing that Alex also has been directly impacted by Aven with new is so cool and I was really glad that this is a key part of the story. It makes Alex stand out as a character and also hints at what could happen in the future. I particularly like that she is not keen on the idea of these abilities, as it shows that Alex is overwhelmed by all this change that is happening. I mean, honestly, it's only been a year since she found out about this place! The Meyarins are really interesting and I am looking forward to seeing more in future books as they play a bigger part.
The library doesn't play as much of a role in this book which I think is good - while I love it, it adds to the story as there are different elements in it. It's bringing the whole world together, not just keeping it in one setting. The whole plot is interesting and the whole time you want to know what is happening which is great. It's not overly fast and it's not slow, particularly at the end where you can't believe all of this is happening and you can barely focus because your heart is breaking. (I have a note in my journal that literally says Jordan why? Whyyyyy? *Sobs*.) Aven is an complicated villain, particularly with the addition of his Claimed, which I can see will be a big part of the story. (It better be with that ending!) I like seeing Alex give him a hard time, even when she thinks 'Is this really a good idea?'
The friendships that are in this book are truly fantastic and wonderful. Jordan is so sweet and wonderful, D.C. is gorgeous and challenging, Bear is solid and defensive and I love how they all come together. They just love each other and it is so refreshing. They don't have ridiculous fights or argue about anything in particular. They are friends in the purest form which I love. My favourite is Jordan and I love that he just connects with Alex in a wonderful way that is purely platonic. This book increases the cast of characters, with us learning more about Kaden and Declan as well as meeting the Meyarins. It creates such a great blend on the page, as they all interact with Alex in various ways. There is such a good mix of characters as well, particularly with SAS and other classes, showing the size of the school. I want to know more about all of them. I like that romance isn't a key part of the books, as there is too much going on for Alex to be focusing on that. It is quite refreshing!
This book is so entertaining with a lot of laugh out loud moments. Alex and Jordan are so funny and sarcastic sometimes which is awesome and true to a bunch of 16/17 year olds. I love the references to Aladdin and Harry Potter - the perfect mix of a fantasy world that also has connections to our world too. I think this book has such great potential and honestly, I could easily pick it up again and reread it. While the writing is a bit simple, the story makes up for it as you fall into the world of Medora and disappear for a while, the whole aim of reading sometimes.
I feel as though I have read so many great books lately and Raelia is no exception. It is such a great entertaining read and I am looking forward to reading book 3, Draekora, and finding out what happens next. Beware: The cliff-hanger is brutal!
Recommended for: people who love magical worlds and fantasy stories. It's a mixture of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Narnia but brings so many new great things to the table.
Quotes (Spoiler Free):
"This happens every time I walk in here. It's a consequence of being so devastatingly handsome."
"You say molesting, I say assisting," Jordan corrected. "Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic view."
"Of your backside?" D.C. said dryly. "Believe me, it's not all it's cracked up to be."
"Well, that's a relief," Jordan piped up cheerfully. "It would've sucked to have a best friend who was possessed by an evil tyrant. Great anecdote, but definitely not ideal."
"Kaiden laughed. "You weigh practically nothing, Alex. I've carried much heavier things in Finn's class. I'd choose you any day."
"Knowing is important," the prince acknowledged. "but there's a great difference between knowing what's right and being able to hold onto it in the face of adversity."
"I'm being stalked by a magical blade."
"Note to self: don't antagonise the murderous psychopath."
"Life is full of crossroads, Alex. Full of choices. There are many paths we can take. It's up to us to decide which ones lead in the right direction."