Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Book Review - Lailah

Title: Lailah
Author: Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga (Book 1)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: 20 Oct 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1250051516

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, love and hate, 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.

My Review
One of my colleagues at work told me about this book, she was really excited for it's upcoming release and had heard really good things about it. She ordered a copy and showed me it online. I agreed that it looked and sounded quite cool so I put a request in too. 
The request came in for her but as she hasn't been in for a few days I thought I might as well read it first, I had just finished another book so knew I had time to fit it in. 
Lailah isn't human but she doesn't know what she is, she can't truly die - each time she comes back and starts again only retaining odd memories of her lives before. The one constant between each life is Gabriel, a face she sees in her mind and that warms her heart, she doesn't know who or what he is but she knows he is everything she needs. 
Then she meets Jonah, a vampire in need and she helps rescue him, but ends up deep within his world and in danger. There is a war coming between the higher vampires and the second generation that goes deeper than anything you could imagine, and now Lailah is in the middle of it. It turns out that Jonah is working with Gabriel, so Lailah finally gets to meet him and suddenly everything feels right, but secrets and dark plots emerge and Lailah must decide for herself who she can really trust and find out once and for all just what she really is.
I wanted to love this book, I was quite excited for it - I had caught my friends buzz but to be honest the book fell a little bit flat. Don't get me wrong, it is still a good book but it did have it faults for me.
There seemed to be an awful lot of backstory and padding, it took a while to get to the point, there was just a little bit too much detail that I felt could have been condensed to let it all flow that little bit better, and for a while it was a bit repetitive - Lailah would be 'rescued' by Jonah and Gabriel etc, realise she was bringing danger to them or that she was in danger from them so she would run away, she would then get attacked by something and be rescued by Gabriel etc. Then the cycle would repeat. She kept trying to run and ending up in more danger, yes it was a slightly different reason each time but I wanted to shout at her and tell her to just stay put for once.
However there were also some very good parts that got me reading faster and wanting more, some very good battle scenes and the character development of Jonah, Brooke and Lailah herself was great to  read. And I liked the way the author described the angels and their link to light and darkness (Heaven and Hell), it was very well set up and clear that a lot of thought had gone into making the world of the book.
This was the sort of book that when I did pick it up I would read 100-150 pages at a time and make good progress but when I put it down I wasn't desperate to pick it back up. I would find something else to do, but when I did pick it up again I did fairly enjoy it. It just didn't have that 'must have' quality to it.
There are some very well written and exciting action scenes and I liked the sense of mystery and intrigue throughout, I did enjoy it but it isn't something I would rush to read again. I'm torn as to whether to read book 2 when it comes out, I'm not sure how curious I am about what happens to them all, although the ending of this one was very good.

If you are into Paranormal fantasy then you may love this book and it's worth giving it a try, but it didn't quite hit the mark with me.

My Rating
This was a hard choice, Average seemed a bit harsh but I didn't Really Enjoy It so in the end I had to go with the lower grade but it was tough.

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