October 8, 2014

Latest Read: Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly

Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly
Publication date: Oct. 7, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Received ARC from publisher  (Thanks!)
Summary: The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel. On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel. In the crossfire between good and evil and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom? Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is. (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
Just when I think I've had enough of angels and vampires, a book comes along and reels me back in! Such was the case with Lailah. I'm very hesitant to pick up these kinds of books because I've read so many of them already. And good ones too. I didn't even realize what Lailah was about until I started reading so I was surprised. But what surprised me even more was that the author was able to put her own unique spin on the mythology and I was completely engrossed. Lailah has no idea who or what she is. But here's what she does know: she doesn't age, every time she dies she comes back to life, she sometimes gets visions of her past lives, there's no one who can help her and she constantly dreams of a man named Gabriel but she doesn't know if he's real (no surprise, he is!).

Clues to Lailah's past finally surface when she's caught in the middle of a crossfire between vampires and angels. Luckily she ends up with the good guys who consist of a group of repenting vampires, namely Jonah who dragged her into this mess unwittingly and the rogue angel helping them, Gabriel. As you can probably guess, this has all the signs of a love triangle and the author goes there. Normally I'm very anti-love triangle but it works here especially as the book progresses. Lailah has been floating through life without any sort of.. anchor, for lack of a better word. In spite of everything she doesn't know, she's strong and kind but understandably vulnerable. Through her relationships with Gabriel and Jonah, she starts to learn more about what she is and discovers some potentially terrifying revelations about herself. They each bring out a different side of her and each try to help her find peace with who she is or becoming. The author also uses this to do a lot of world-building in a way that doesn't disrupt the pacing of the plot. I think this can be difficult to juggle in the first book but the author does a great job. The world is so detailed and different that I can't wait to see where she continues to take it in the next books.

(Super minor) reservations
It was a little hard at times to know a character who doesn't know herself. The more I learned about Lailah, the more I liked her but there's a lot of internal back and forth. Which I understood! She's learning about herself, angels, vampires. It's a lot for her and for us as readers. But I'm looking forward to watching Lailah grow and I think by series end, she will be one pretty badass heroine.

Do I recommend?
I do! Even if you're sick of vampires and angels (like I thought I was), Lailah is just so interesting! I recommend checking it out.

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. OOHHH. I NEED THAT BOOK. NOW.

    Amazing review, by the way! :)

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  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, I really liked it too :) I love how Nikki put a spin on the original vampire story and I LOVE the love triangle, it's well done. Great review <3

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  3. Honestly, it's because you liked Lailah that I'm really considering giving it a shot! I really do like SOME angel and vampire books, but I'm pretty picky. Seeing that you really enjoyed this one, in spite of the many ways it could have been cliche, is very encouraging indeed!

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  4. I was so hesitant about this book! I'm so glad that you liked it, but I'm just a bit worried about the love triangle, they always give me bad vibes, and I hate them in any kind of book. Hmmm, I'll still give this book a shot, it sounds like something new in an overdone genre, which is brilliant! Great review :)

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