ARC Review: “Gold” by Talia Vance

GoldGold (Bandia #2) by Talia Vance

Goodreads | Amazon

Descended from an Irish demigod, Brianna has fled to Ireland to escape destruction at the hands of her sworn enemies, the Sons of Killian. Taking refuge at the estate of her former nemesis, Austin Montgomery, Brianna discovers a rift in time that opens to an era before the feud began.

Wrestling with her newfound feelings for the more innocent Austin, Brianna begins to wonder if she can alter the past. But when Brianna and Austin learn that the Sons are raising an army of mythical beasts, the pair will need to use their magical strength in the present to avoid a tragic end.

Four stars

Thanks to Flux and NetGalley for this eARC! This title will be released September 8th.

WARNING: This review WILL contain spoilers for book #1. Please see my review of Silver for more!

If you read my review of book one, then you know that I died in all the right ways during Silver. I had so much fun with the action and the sexiness (both books have a PG-13 rating for sure), and I was completely depressed when it ended. When Gold popped up on NetGalley, I hit the request button so hard I thought my mouse would break. Whatever I expected out of Gold, though, was not what I got–but in a (mostly) good way.

When the book started out, I was completely confused as to how we got Brianna to Ireland. It takes a few pages to come out that Brie was being chased by the Sons–included a furious Blake–after she was accused of setting fire to Blake’s house at his sister’s birthday party. Yes, at the beginning of the book, Blake and Brie are broken up, sorry guys. Joe sends Brie to Ireland to stay at the now abandoned house of Austin Montgomery, who Brie sent to the underworld for 1000 years a few months prior. But, lo and behold, Brie can’t stay out of trouble long. Austin returns, Brie finds a portal to a time when Danu is still alive and a new god rears his ugly head to try to control the world. Oh, and it looks like Blake’s moving on and Brie might be starting to realize it’s time for her to do the same.

I’ll be honest, basically the entire reason that I docked one star from this review was because of the first half of the book. A lot of the events require a large suspension of disbelief. I had to ride out a few moments where I was shaking my head going “I DON’T THINK SO,” whether that be for character actions or very convenient plot devices. I’m still not entirely sure how Austin got out of the underworld 998 years early, or why Brie started falling for him besides the obvious lust she was going through, but I rode through it, convinced that Talia would pay me back for it later.

She did.

I did NOT expect Gold to tackle the kind of problems it tackled, but I was SO HAPPY it did. Once the second half of the book gets going, it GETS GOING. Just the convoluted timeline she was juggling, with Brie going back into Austin’s past and Austin trying to wait for those things to happen in Brie’s present, could have caused the story to fall flat on it’s face right there and then. But it DIDN’T. Instead, it worked beautifully and made me smile and also want to cry. 

Brie and Blake’s relationship also squeezed my heart in ways that I never would have imagined. My expectations, of course, were for cliches and loud declarations of love and blah blah blah. I never, ever, have high hopes for love triangles, so I was terrified about the whole Blake-Brie-Austin thing from the get go. But Talia instead decides to use Brie’s complicated love life to explore why you love someone, how you learn to love someone, and how sometimes you have to learn to let go. The amount of growth Brie goes through because of these relationships is astronomical, and I couldn’t have been more pleased. 

In the end, this book was riddled with moments where I was confused or found something a little too convenient, but this is one case where I–Ms. I-Focus-Completely-On-Plot-All-The-Time–was not focused on the plot at all. What made this book for me was the emotions of the characters and everything they were going through. This isn’t even limited to Blake-Brie-Austin. If you follow my Twitter, you know the FIRST thing I did after finishing was RUN to Twitter and BEG Talia to tell me there was another book. (Which there is, but it’s still a thought bubble only. Whatever, I’ll hold on to that.) The ending of this book made me want to cry in all the right ways.

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