Author: Kiersten White
Pages: 336 pages (hardback)
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperCollins/HarperTeenRelease Date: July 26, 2011
Pages: 336 pages (hardback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it (because my bookstore is awesome and had the book shelved early)
Evie finally has the normal life she's always longed for. But she's shocked to discover that being ordinary can be... kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she's given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.
But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie's faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there's a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.
So much for normal.
Evie's been enjoying the normal life, her locker (which is still totally awesome), and her relationship with her boyfriend Lend for six months now. Six months of no Reth, Raquel, or IPCA business. Then Raquel comes for a visit and Evie gets attacked by a sylph. Raquel asks Evie for help because the IPCA is so short-handed and that's it's changed from what it did before. Unsatisfied with her completely normal life, she agrees and starts to work with an irritating young man named Jack, who will do flips whenever possible--and she keeps all this from Lend. Then Reth returns, saying he can tell Evie about the past she still doesn't know much about. So much for normal.
Oh, Supernaturally... This is not going to be an easy review. Just as I did with Paranormalcy (which I loved), I read it all in one sitting. But Supernaturally is not as good as Paranormalcy was. Let's just say it had the sequel blues and the middle-book-in-a-trilogy blues.
Just as Evie is frustrated living a completely normal life after growing up among the paranormal, readers are similarly frustrated by Evie living her completely normal life. Part of what made the first book so fun was Evie's IPCA adventures where she bagged and tagged vampires and now that she's living a normal life, it's gone. Evie and the reader alike miss those adventures and the book really starts improving once she's doing IPCA work again.
Upon reading more and more of the book, I was shocked to find myself disliking Evie. In the first book, she was great. Here? She makes a lot of stupid decisions, mostly regarding her relationship with Lend. Speaking of which, what happened? Lend lost so much of his charm, and his relationship with Evie fell flat. Thankfully, she faced consequences for her actions instead of walking away scot free, but I don't think she was punished enough.
She doesn't get out of this book without a lot of development. Considering that I would have quit the series if she hadn't gotten out of her "my boyfriend is mad at me! Helping other paranormals that need it is pointless!" and "I have no future if I don't go to the same college as my boyfriend!" moods, this is good. Those points were where I was most irritated and it was such a relief to see her grow beyond that. The last thing I want is another boyfriend-centric heroine, especially one I once considered awesome. She went through such an emotional roller coaster ride and the text reflects it well in both how it is written and how it takes the reader on a similar ride.
As unsatisfied and frustrated as I was by the characters, the writing was still good, making me smile and giggle more than a few times. On occasion, the writing was even impressive. There were two particular passages that made me go, "Wow, that was kind of cool." One is too long and full of spoilers to quote, so I'll give you the other:
"I didn't have long to wait. A woman, taller than the rest of the faeries by at least a head, glided forward. And in that moment I knew beauty and terror were one and the same, inseparable. How could anything less consuming than true terror ever be beautiful? Her hair swirled like black oil, dark, rainbows undulating as it cascaded down her back. Her eyes were pure black against the alabaster of her skin, her violet lips full, cruel, flawless. Anything that fell from those lips would be pain and pleasure, inescapable, irresistible.
Here, then, was eternity. I would go to her--I had to go to her. In a world ever shifting, ever dying, she was an absolute, she was gravity, she was everything. I wanted to be lost in her forever (Supernaturally p. 267)."
New characters appear (by the way, that irritating guy Jack needs a swift kick in the pants, as much as I understand him) and then fade into the background; subplots pop up once or twice and aren't resolved or even mentioned again the rest of the book. Touching on all of this slowed the book down and without resolution (in this book, at least), it feels like it was for nothing. I felt the expansions on Evie's world and past worked, though. Information about her, the Faerie Realms, and more being dangled in front of me like a carrot is what kept me reading.
I'm still on board for Endlessly, the final book of the trilogy, but I won't be looking forward to it with the same fervor I awaited Supernaturally. Two forgotten plot points about elementals disappearing and some of Evie's paranormal co-workers acting strangely will surely be central in Endlessly's plot. (And hopefully, there will be more Reth. You can't imagine my frustration at how little of him there was when that magnificent creep was one of my favorite things about Parnormalcy. I say NO to having him be a romantic interest, but YES to having more of him in the book.)