Sunday, December 2, 2012

Burning Emerald by Jaime Reed

Title: Burning Emerald
Author: Jaime Reed
Publisher: Dafina
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Pages: 304 pages (paperback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: author website

Burning Emerald (The Cambion Chronicles, #2)Dating the most popular guy in school is every girl's fantasy. But to Samara Marshall, he's a dangerous force come to rekindle their tangled past. Only it's not her past... Samara faces a challenging senior year. Controlling her inner demon is a struggle, even with help from her Cambion boyfriend, Caleb. But her life takes a turn for the worse when the hottest jock in school begins pursuing her-especially since Malik's anything but what he seems. They share a connection from a forgotten past-a secret that could destroy her and Caleb.

As the attraction becomes harder to resist, Samara is now at the mercy of the demon within her. To break free, Sam must fight a battle where she is the enemy and the prize...and victory will come at a deadly price.


Imagine this: it's the early morning hours and it feels like it's forty-five degrees and not the sixty the weather channel says it is. You're volunteering in a relay race, but it turns out there's not much to do; you just call out encouragement when the runners come by. You're stuck there for four hours, so what do you do? If you're me, you take your Kindle and read. Burning Emerald was my choice for the night and I inhaled it like Caleb inhales sugary goods. I enjoyed Living Violet a few months ago as an affectionate parody and serious novel all at once, but the sequel really kicks it up a couple of notches.

Samara's direct, no-holds-barred voice returns and this time, it comes back without some of the more offensive things she said in book one. Her new "roommate" Lilith forms into her own character and she's starting to grow on me. Caleb's absence for most of the novel sucks, though. On the bright side, Burning Emerald is everything I could ask for in a sequel: a novel with stronger conflicts, a deeper exploration of the nuances of Cambion life/society, a stronger plot now that the set-up is out of the way, even more engaging characters, and so much more.

The love triangle. I was half-excited for it because I'm a natural crackshipper and shipping her with the new/evil guy Tobias came naturally to me, half-scared because few authors write bearable or enjoyable love triangles. Imagine my surprise when Reed writes a compelling, properly conflicted triangle! Here, it's so much more than two guys liking the same girl. It's one being tied to the girl's succubus, the other being tied to the girl herself, and the girl being pulled in both directions against her will.

My only complaints are about the pacing. Toward the middle, it wanders around like a lost child and staying tuned is a bit difficult once advancements of the plot start happening. Then once the story gets going again (with literal bangs), the ending just sort of happens. There's no real climactic scene.

But that ending. THAT ENDING. Thank goodness an ARC of the third book Fading Amber is waiting in the wings or else I might smash my head into something out of frustration. All signs point to the Cambion Chronicles ending (if that is going to be the last book; not completely sure) with a bang and that's just how endings should be.

4 stars!

What am I reading next?: Fading Amber by Jaime Reed