Haven Terra is still recovering from an internship that brought her literally to the brink of hell when a trip to New Orleans leads to more trouble. Graduating early from high school leaves the spring semester free, so Haven and her friends Dante and Lance head to the Big Easy to volunteer with community service projects. But their true mission becomes clear when they run across an enclave of devils known as the Krewe. New Orleans is a free-for-all for these shape-shifting devils, who are more reckless and vicious than any Haven, Lance, and Dante have encountered. And they soon discover their French Quarter housemates are also angels-in-training, and together they must face off with the Krewe in their quest for wings. But Haven’s resolve is tested when Lucian, the repentant devil with whom she was infatuated, resurfaces and asks her for help escaping the underworld. Can he be trusted? Or will aiding him cost Haven her angel wings—and her life? Thrilling, romantic, and full of surprises, this gripping sequel to Illuminate takes the battle of good and evil to the next level.
Thank you to Harcourt Children’s Books for this ARC! This title is now available.
Note: This review WILL contain spoilers for the first book in this series, Illuminate. Read my review of that one HERE.
I did it again. I don’t know why I did it again, but I did. I got really bored in the middle of Illuminate, but I had such high hopes for this one that I just had to try it out. I basically just got more of the same.
The book starts out with Haven, Lance and Dante graduating early. They decide that instead of just hanging around til college starts, they’re going to go on this volunteer thing to New Orleans. A change of setting is just what they need after everything that happened in Illuminate. Clearly, they don’t understand that these guys just shouldn’t do internships.
The book takes a really long time to get to something we already know: everyone else on the trip is an angel-in-training. Until that point, they moseying around New Orleans, being good Samaritans and meeting creepy people. I couldn’t really see anything different between the demons the trio fought in Illuminate and the new troupe of demons, except for the fact that these guys were shape-shifters. That isn’t really a big deal, plot wise. From there, the plot continued to follow suspiciously closely to the first book. Haven realizes something’s wrong, she and Lance and Dante investigate, they save the day. Less fire in this one, though.
Another big problem I had with the first book is that little all knowing voice that would pop up and tell Haven exactly what was going on. In this one, Haven has TWO of those sources: the angel trainer, who’s gotten with the technology age and gone to a cell phone text, and Lucian, who can’t leave this one house because that’s where he can appear in ghost form, who’s always leaving her letters explaining just what’s going down in the underworld.
Haven and Lance also have these cliché middle book relationship problems that seem just disjointed. In the end, it just seemed like a plot device so Haven would actually go hang around Lucian a little bit longer. I didn’t buy it. On the other hand, Dante gets a real romance and it’s ADORABLE.
I left this rating at 3 stars, though, because this book DOES have a lot more action in it then Illuminate. There are a lot more magical powers (though Haven loses her original powers because her powers are growing, what?) and action in general. It made a serious attempt to move faster than the first book, which I can appreciate. In places, it was actually a really fun ride. The characterization still continuously falls flat, however, and the deus ex machina really needs to quit. If you enjoyed Illuminate, give this one a go, but don’t go out of your way to get into this series.