Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angel. He's more elusive than ever (if that's possible) and what's worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora's archenemy, Marcie Millar.
Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him--despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something.
If that weren't enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodlines has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything--and everyone--she trusts.
Most of my friends have heard me tell the tragic tale of the horrible sequel to Faerie Wars. That was a long time ago, back in 9th grade, but it's stuck with me to this day. Probably because horrible sequels are just epic pits of disappoint for readers. After reading something so amazing, the reader immediately scrambles for the sequel, just to feel that rush again. When they find out that the sequel was a bad trip, the author's first work now just seems like tease, and one is hardly motivated to follow through on the third installment. These emotions were highly involved when I read the sequel to Faeries Wars: The Purple Emperor. Never did I think I would pick up another sequel that would grant me such disappointment. Becca Fitzpatrick, tragically, proved me wrong.
I picked this up having already heard terrible things about it (refer back to my colleague's review from a few weeks ago). Still, I wanted to go into it with an optimistic view, so I did, I gave the benefit of the doubt, and as usual Fitzpatrick wowed me with her first person persepctive in it's first two chapters...then...suddenly, it's as if someone else decided to pick up the pen and just go off on a wild goose chase for the rest of the book.
In fact, I became seriously convinced that rather than fallen angels possessing people in this book, I thought that the Plastics from Mean Girls decided to possess Nora. One minute, she's Karen Smith, just stumbling through the dialogue and falling for psychological tactics that Nora from book one would NEVER have fallen for. Case and point: when Scott uses reverse psychology on her so she'll go to the insane Battle of the Bands. I mean, she even talks about how she took a psych course...you'd think that would have helped. But no. Additionally there are just so many times that you watch her stumble into these situations that put her and her friends at risk. Then, suddenly she'd turn into the nosy Gretchen Wieners, who finds it necessary to snoop on EVERYONE, and in being so, also finds it ok to break into every character's household, though of course Patch visiting her dreams is just SO not fetch. Then, my favorite, Nora morphs into the Regina George; in this form, she's being a conniving witch, seen at dinner when the Parnells come over and her overbearing mother tries pimping her out to Scott. Nora from the last book would NEVER been so mean putting him on the spot about his past. Even though I didn't know much about Scott at this point, I wanted to seriously reach through the pages and smack her for being so mean to him. With the rest of her time, Nora deems it necessary to scream at Patch whenever he shows up, crying when he's not there, but then shrieking that she doesn't want him to be her guardian angel five seconds later. The amazing heroine that I had such a girl crush on in the first book is pretty much gone for the majority of the novel. Vee, her obnoxious bestie from the last novel, was actually the good friend in this, and on top of that you get to see Nora criticizing her for her eating habits, and just comes off as arrogant when she talks about food. I mean, come on, adding strawberries to your cereal isn't being "conscientious about" what you eat? (p. 128) In the last book, all I wanted to do was get more into Nora's head. In this book, I would have wanted anyone but her.
In addition to the main character being more than sub par, I thought most of the people on the character roster were just poorly done. If anyone remembers Polonious from Hamlet then you could compare his presence to that of Scott Parnell's mother: absolutely infuriating. And not in the good way at all. Her obnoxious personality could have been pulled off in the way that I would have loved to hate, but like many of the characters in this book, Fitzpatrick lacked grace when drawing out the characters' personalities. They were all just blunt, basic personalities that just grated me for the majority of the book. At the beginning of chapter thirteen, Fitzpatrick surprised me even further; I could not believe that she has Nora consider suicide. Moreover, she didn't want to do it to make things right; only to make the archangels feel bad. It further showed that this was not Nora Grey from Hush, Hush, and was just appalling to read that someone who was such a strong character even consider that an option.
Additionally, I just could not follow what was going on in this book. Not that it was even that complex, it's just that it either involved Nora needing to break into someone's house, or that she was yelling at Patch again. It all became monotonous. When actual key details did pop up, I didn't realize I missed them because I had become so accustomed to just jumping from place to place. It didn't help that the Nora that I adored in the last book finally decided to pop back into existence the last thirty or so pages, because by that point I just wanted to finish the book and though I was told that everything got wrapped up by that point, I really had a hard time sitting back and appreciating the final pages, as I was so intent on putting this book down. .I apologize for being a little heated in this review, but seeing that many of reviews from the first book compared to the second go from 5 to 1 is a good indication that the author just needed Patch and Nora to be apart for a good portion of the book, with little thought into how she was going to pull it all off. I've heard from some people that the third book is better, but I think I'm going to need a break for a while before continuing on.