Thursday, March 14, 2013

Entice by Jessica Shirvington

Title: Entice
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 438
Rating: 4/5 Stars

For me, reading Entice was a little bit like reading New Moon in that it had a lot of a character I had no real interest in (Lincoln/Jacob), but it was good and important in terms of story. More on that later…

Entice picks up shortly after Embrace ends, with Violet and Lincoln working together as partners and trying to repair the damage done to their relationship in the previous book. Shirvington wastes no time in getting the plot moving as the very first chapter introduces a dark force from Lincoln’s past that immediately begins to chip away at the fragile trust between he and Violet.

In addition to the drama with Lincoln, Violet’s world is further rent askew by the arrival of new Grigori – two trainers and three newbies like herself. They’re there for training – Violet has eschewed attending the Grigori Academy in her quest to have as normal a life as possible – but almost immediately they are faced with a larger Angel problem that Violet is sure ties back to Phoenix.

She’s right.

Chaos and heartache ensue and not everyone makes it out alive.

There’s a lot happening in this book. I tend to cringe at the introduction of new characters – especially an entire cadre of them – but Shirvington does a good job of balancing their influence and importance with the story she’s telling. I enjoyed the Grigori-in-Training, especially Spence who proved to be just as good a friend to Violet as Steph.

Moment of appreciation for Steph here – she’s truly the best friend ever and I cannot applaud Shirvington enough for allowing her to be in on the God Squad, as Steph calls it. I’d hate to see Violet try to maintain a friendship with someone who was constantly being pushed to the side and not understand why.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed Spence’s leap-before-you-look mentality as it made a nice counterpoint to Violet’s sometimes paralyzing overanalyzing. Did it get her into trouble? Sure, but it also saved the day and I think that’s what’s important.

Nyla and Rudyard were interesting (and admittedly a bit nauseating to this non-traditional romantic). I appreciated the example they became for Lincoln and Violet as they struggled with their unrequited love for each other. While what happens to Nyla and Rudyard is tragic, I can’t say I’m going to miss them.

In Entice Shirvington takes her already dense mythology to another level, bringing in references to biblical places and themes. I had an ARC copy of this and there’s no description on the back so when the entire company took off for Jordan I was more than a little surprised. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it initially (it felt contrived for some reason, overreaching maybe), but by the time the adventures in the Middle East came to an end, I decided that I had enjoyed it. I suspected the reveal about Violet’s rank in terms of the Grigori hierarchy and it was delightful to have it confirmed.

Also, kudos to Shirvington’s use of Judas. I really enjoy that type of historical twist.

Now, onto the triangle – which isn't so much of a triangle in this book as a couple with a third wheel. Phoenix makes three appearances here. Three. To say that that wasn’t enough is an understatement of epic proportions. While I’m fully aware of the fact that the way he messes with Violet’s head is not nice (also an understatement, I know) I find him so much more interesting and dynamic than Lincoln.

Lincoln and Violet – sigh. I tried to like them more because actively disliking characters/couples in novels is exhausting – especially when said characters/couples play such vital roles in the narrative. I just can’t with Lincoln. As a character, I find him boring, as I tend to do with all good characters. And that’s what Lincoln is. He’s good. He’s the type of Grigori that steadfastly believes in the Grigori rules and code and that all Angels need to be Returned – there is no grey area with him.

I also think he’s weak and hypocritical – demanding nothing but strength and honesty from Violet while lying to her and keeping secrets – and I hate the way that makes Violet feel. I really hate the way she beats herself up over what happened with Phoenix, not in terms of her own self-worth, but in terms of how it affects Lincoln. I don’t doubt for a second that Violet and Lincoln love each other. What I have a problem with is that their love doesn’t make them stronger – it’s too rife with jealousy, doubt and unspoken truths – it makes them both weak.

I lay all of the blame for that at Lincoln’s feet. He’s the older one, he’s the one with experience in the Grigori world and instead of being a rock, a true partner for Violet, he’s a whiney ball of feels and I just…ugh. I find that so unattractive, unappealing, unromantic and every other un you can think of.

Also, for the love of all that’s holy, why doesn’t Lincoln TELL Violet anything?

Cripes. Okay. I’ll stop because I could really write a novel about the many, many ways I dislike Lincoln and his relationship with Violet. I’ll just leave you with this – I sincerely hope that in the next novel Violet and Lincoln really do put their romantic feelings for each other on the backburner as they know that they should. I just want them to follow through on that mutual decision for about five minutes instead of immediately waffling.

I want more Phoenix in the next novel, too, okay? Thanks. ;)

Ranting about Lincoln aside, I enjoyed Entice just as much as Embrace. All of the other characters, especially Violet, are just as intriguing as they were in the first book. I’m particularly thrilled with what happens with Magda because I SUSPECTED IT ALL ALONG! HAHA! The lower rating is simply because I missed Phoenix and wanted more of him. I’m so very much looking forward to Emblaze.

1 comment:

  1. You are so making me want to read this series ASAP! I want to bask in the hotness of Phoenix! I want to meet Steph and Violet!

    OK, OK - I'll get into this series soon, Mariah! Great review!