Eden-South by Janelle Stalder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
*Sitting in Stunned Awe*
*Trying to regain the ability to communicate*
I don't know if there are words enough to describe this series accurately. It's exactly what YA fantasy should be like, an amazing array of characters- so there is bound to be at least one that a reader can really identify with and love. It has a heavy helping of violence and touches upon adult themes, but I do not feel it's out of reach or too much for a younger audience.
The story so far has spanned across three amazing books, and keeps surprising me more with each one. There is always some elements that are a bit more predictable, but the ones that you don't see coming (like in this book) really warp your noodle. It can be more of a challenge to keep so many subplots and characters together to keep each book, and the series as a whole, cohesive. The Eden series, and Eden-South really succeeds with this task, and knocks it right out of the park.
Another absolutely stunning thing about these books, just when you've 'assigned' someone as a 'bad guy'- you've accepted it in your head and are ready to 'hate' that character... *BAM* Everything is turned on its head, and you feel for that 'bad' character. In the first book, I was so conflicted because I loved the 'bad' boy the most. This book cements that, and continues this practice with other 'bad guys'. Very rarely have I see this technique pulled off to the degree it is in these books. Except for Aziz, that man (or whatever he is) is a snake and I can't see anything redeeming him in my eyes.
One thing I noticed, a bit different with this, is although Aiden is a HUGE unifying character across the books, this particular book is not really his story. I would instead consider this to be Elisa's and another character's story (I don't want to define the other character, as I feel even that knowledge may be a bit of a spoiler and I wouldn't dream of hindering anyone's enjoyment of this installment of the series.) We still continue with many of the beloved characters and the tension between Wolf and Elisa is taken to an entirely new level.
If you've enjoyed the series so far, this part of it cannot be missed. It was my favorite thus far in the series. Run out as soon as it's available! It's a great book, and series, for older and YA audiences alike!
I received an ARC directly from the author.
No compensation was received, and my thoughts on the book are entirely my own.
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