Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: Black Five by J. Lynn Bailey

No one ever accused Penelope Jackson of being normal, nor did they suspect the dark secret she kept. A dangerous web of deceit and secrecy unravels when news of a stranger’s death puts Penn on a collision course with the very person she’s been hiding from her whole life. Her fragile world is shaken to its core with the sudden arrival of Vacavious and she soon discovers the bizarre and magical world surrounding her seemingly ordinary life.
No one is who they claim to be, including those closest to Penn. A mysterious security detail emerges from the shadows scrambling to protect her as powerful forces await the fall of her protective veil on her eighteenth birthday. 
Penn prepares to fight against unseen evils before it’s too late. The world of Nighmerianotte and its population depends on her survival, for she is the Sanguine.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3 Stars

Every once in awhile I try to go into a story without reading too much about it. I saw the summary for this on NetGalley and thought it sounded interesting, so I went ahead and requested it without looking on Goodreads or any other sites. It isn't that these sites would have swayed my decision to read Black Five one way or the other, but I would have been prepared for this overwhelming sense of meh.

While I was reading the book, I kept waiting for something to happen that would blow me away, something that would set this story apart from any other YA book. A lot of YA books have similar plot or share tropes that make them sound really, really alike, but the good ones usually have something to make them special.  Black Five didn't deliver on this.

The writing was fine; it was enough that I would consider reading another work by the author. As far as wanting to continue with the series, though, I doubt that any forthcoming books would rate high on my waiting-for list.

Penelope felt like a stereotypical heroine from a YA novel in that she discovers this hidden magic about herself after living a difficult life. Her mannerisms felt stiff, awkward. I'm not sure I believed in her as a character at any given point.

Like I said, the plot was decent, the writing allowable, but I don't think I'll be clamoring for any more Penelope adventures, though I wouldn't say no if the book crossed by my desk.

Music Recommendation

The dark theme and the beat reminded me a lot of what I thought Penelope might be going through, growing up as she did.

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