Reviews

Stolen

stolen-goodreads-coverWho is Eliza Wesson?

Months after Nat and Wes said good-bye on the shores of the Blue, Nat is learning how to control and use her new power. She and her drakon are the last of their kind—and she’s risked her life for their reunion. When she receives a mysterious distress call, she races to help, soliciting the guidance of her new friend, the beautiful and aloof Faix Lazaved of the Blue.

Still heartbroken over losing Nat, Wes is racing cars on a New Vegas racetrack while his team is scattered and lost. When he finds out that his sister, Eliza, is being held in the golden domes of El Dorado, he does what he’s best at—running to her side—and gambles on luck to see him through one more time.

Magic, romance, and danger collide as Nat and Wes become entangled in a dark new adventure that leads right to the heart of the mystery of their frozen, broken world. They soon discover that the answer to both their quests lies in the same question: Who is Eliza Wesson—what is she capable of, and why was she stolen from her family so long ago?

This book was a pleasant surprise. The writing was a lot more comfortable to read and the characters didn’t make me want to kill them. The book is written by two different authors (like the previous one is) with the two main characters written by each of the authors. It felt like the authors had finally settled into the pov’s of their individual characters and were able to write them as separate people. Also the fact that they weren’t together for the majority of the book really helped. I am glad that I managed to finally finish the book and I am looking forward to reading the last one in the series when I have the time.

Like I said above, the characters were definitely a lot more comfortable to read. I’m not sure what it was, but I think that they felt like they had a lot more purpose and maybe it was because they (Nat and Wes) were apart, but they were a lot more focused on the end goal, rather than focused on the opposite gender who also happened to be attractive. Honestly that really got me in the previous book, how all of a sudden nothing was important because they had someone of the opposite gender who also happened to be attracted to them – because we like to perpetuate heteronormative behaviour, it’s just the best! (sorry that was hella salty) There was one line in this book that really got me. It was where Nat described Wes as appearing ‘sharp’ in his lieutenant’s uniform. It just really annoyed me for some reason. I mean, he’s 16 for christ sake. He should not have the audacity to look sharp, he should look like every other 16 year old that I know – and as a 16 year old I know quite a few – soft and not really looking like he could kill a man, which Wes clearly does if he looks sharp. And it didn’t read like he looked sharp in his suit, it read more like he was the prepared to kill a man kind of sharp. Sorry, this has turned into a mini-rant and I am not going to even start on Nat. I have another book to review (when I get the chance to read it…), I can rant then. I just have a lot of feelings about how these 16 year olds are being described. Sometimes I feel like authors should ask the age that they are writing how they would describe people, if they aren’t the age that they are writing otherwise it just comes off as too old or awkward.

The magic in this world is hella cool and we got to discover more of it this time round, which I am always for. I always appreciate a cool bit of world building, especially when it is the second book and there is room for development. Like lads, this system is cool but also hella confusing. The way that they authors introduce the new types of creatures is really weird. It kind of makes no sense as well. They expect you to know immediately who the character is and how their magic works without any prior knowledge or having been introduced to them or their kind before. Faix for example, I’m just saying that he really irks me. Like fam, I don’t think that I have felt this way about another character, i.e, I don’t know how to feel about him. Like he’s a chill bean up to a point and then all of a sudden his character just changes. I’ve noticed that a lot of the characters seem to do this. They don’t really have a good sense of character and that has made the book kinda weak. But that’s not the point. The point is that we aren’t really clear on Faix’s character until it obviously becomes a good plot point and then who he is completely changes. Like he was behaving like a decent person, albeit one who lied a heck ton to Nat, and then he met met Wes and him being a Drau came out and then he becomes this massive dick. Yes I understand that this is used as a plot point but it’s a really weak one if I am honest. Most of the plot points in this book are pretty weak. It’s kinda like Cruz has just stopped trying to make her books top notch and is just doing it for the money at this point. As far as I am aware, Johnson hasn’t written that many books so you would think that he would be putting 100% of his effort into making the chapter’s he has written the greatest they can be. But maybe I am wrong and as he is married to Cruz he is just using this as a chance to get his name on something and make some dollar from it at the same time.

I just realised how salty that last bit sounded and how off topic it was but I am going to leave it there, because this is my post and I can do what I want because #YOLO – you feel?

Overall the world building is pretty good in this book – as mentioned before. The world is developed more and they (being Wes and his cronies) get to visit more than one new place that is on land which is pretty sweet. We get some cool magic stuff with Nat and Faix which I can always appreciate and we even get to find out about the actual bad guy of the series. Who has now been made obsolete which is cool. Frankly I have no idea how they are going to finish the series because from the ending of this book it should be pretty chill. I am sure that there will be some other big bad that will turn up, but for now I would like to imagine that the last book is going to be a stress free dream of wildflowers and blue skies. Isn’t that the ultimate goal though. To live life to its fullest and kill some guys and then in the last book have a happy peaceful time where you get to fix everything and everyone is chill and calm. Well that’s my goal at least and I hope that everyone’s life is the third book like the one described above. Because then you would have the time to do what you want and to change lives. Anyway. Once again I have gotten off topic. But I just have really high hopes for the last book because they have been slowly progressing and getting better. I’m glad that it is a trilogy and that it ends at the third book, but at the same time I feel like if the series was given a couple more books then it would be able to improve greatly and be at the level that I know Melissa De La Cruz is able to write at. And it is a high one, given that she is one of my favourite authors. Sometimes authors have to have weak moments and not produce their greatest work for a series. I feel like this is her moment and I hope that it really is this time and not another because that would be sad tbh.

My main issue with this series is, if I am honest and I think that I said it in the review of Frozen is that I am too old for it as I am the same age as the characters which is probably why it is painful to read. Which isn’t the series fault, it’s mine, but it should be more accessible for every age range and not just 15 and under. Although in saying that, I should be able to relate a bit better because I am the same age as the MC’s?? I don’t know, this whole thing is really confusing and disappointing.

There is one thing that Cruz and Johnston have done well in this series and that is include the LGBT community without killing them off. Although as far as character descriptions are going, the POC are having a hard time getting in there and that saddens me.  But that’s hopefully going to improve. Also on another positive note, the book passes the Bechdel Test, at least as far as I can remember, which is lit.

I think that overall this is a good book that is part of a slowly improving series, although if you think about it, it is actually a fairly quickly improving series but I am not going to go back on what I was saying so it can be slowly improving for convenience. Because I am lazy that way. However the ending was a bit of a let down, unlike the previous book which I quite enjoyed the ending of – so there’s that. It felt a bit hurried tbh. And I am not about that hurried ending lifestyle.

I have to give this book 4/5 stars simply because of how much of an improvement it is on the previous book. It definitely has a lot more pros than cons and I kept wanting to come back and read it which was also an improvement on Frozen. Also don’t tell anyone I said this, but I wanted it to be a bit longer than it was because there was so much good drama that I didn’t want to end.

I hope that the book you are currently reading never stops getting better and that it is the book you want it to be and I am sorry that this review is such a mess but if you want quality content then this is just the way it is going to have to be.

Have fun and happy reading,

Chloe

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