My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

ARC Review: Crystallum

Synopsis (From GoodReads):

Kadence Sparrow wasn't born a devil's child—she was turned into one. Now, she's hiding from the truth, and running for her life.

For years, Kade's true nature has lurked behind an illusion, so when her dad gets another job transfer, she knows the drill: no close friends, no boyfriends, and most importantly: don't expose what she is. Ever. Keeping secrets is easy. Lies are second nature. So is the loneliness—and the fear, but when the Shadows attack, and Kade meets Cole Spires, she could expose everything she's trying to hide.

As one of the Celestial Children, Cole lives by an oath: defend the Ward, protect the Primordial race, guard the gateways, and stick to his own. Everything else is a distraction, and besides, he’s lost enough. Cole's job is clear, and no one his age does it better. So, when he meets Kade in a club downtown, he assumes she just wants his attention. Most girls do, but Cole soon realizes ... Kade isn't like most girls. 

The children of heaven and hell are living among us, fighting an age-old war. And falling for someone from the opposition is not an option. But a chance encounter between Kade and Cole will blur the rules, as Kade's journey to keep her truth hidden catapults them together and into a web of lies, forcing her to not only face the demon inside her, but to answer the hardest question of all. 


I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

YA Fantasy is one of my favorite genres.  Books such as City of Bones, The Raven boys, and Daughter of Smoke & Bone, all have elements that are fresh and original.  Despite the fact that Crystallum seems to take aspects from all three of these books, I really enjoyed reading it.  It's like when a chef takes ingredients that are used for one thing, and then creates something else entirely.

The book begins in much the same way as City of Bones where the main character, Kade, sees something strange happen in a club, and finds out that there is a whole secret culture of people protecting the world.  Kade also has secrets in her life, secrets that isolate her from the rest of society.  When she arrives in Boulder, Colorado, Kade is befriended by Giselle and Lindsey.  Kade has never been allowed to have close friends, and especially no boyfriends.  Cole is the hottest guy is school and he knows it.  But when Kade is attacked by the shadows, Kade and Cole meet and the sparks fly!

One of the things I enjoyed about this book is that Kade is not a helpless female who needs to be saved.  She is far from being a wimp, as she fights off the shadows herself.  But, as she was raised with a dark secret, she has cut herself off from other kids her age.  She is clueless about boys and dating, and seems to be especially clumsy around Cole.

I also found that the relationship Kade has with her father could easily be an analogy to the dynamics found in family abuse situations.  At first, it looks like Kade's dad is just overly protective of his daughter.  But as the story progresses, one can see parallels to abuse.  When kids suffer abuse at the hands of their parents, they are often alone and weary of getting close to others.  They cover up for the abuser and blame themselves for their own mistreatment.  I found this aspect of the story is what changed it from being just another "girl finds out she has superpowers" story into something more.

The author created wonderful chemistry between Kade and Cole.  As they get to know, and trust, each other they form a tender relationship.  Cole is more than an arrogant pretty boy.  He has daddy issues of his own to deal with.  I hope Kade will help him confront some of those problems in the next book.

Another thing I liked about the story is that most of the other characters had a mix of qualities and were not all caricatures of good or bad people.  I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next book in the series!

Source: NetGalley
Release Date: November 30, 2015
Format:  eARC
Recommendation: A fun read for lovers of YA Fantasy!
Will I read more from this author:  Yes!

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  1. Ooh, I haven't heard of this book before but it sounds really good :) I'm glad to hear the author added something new to the book, giving it more depth. Thanks for sharing and great review!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  2. Thank you, Zareena. I really enjoyed this book for the added depth, and for the fact that the female, Kade wasn't a damsel in distress, waiting for a guy to save her.


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