Monday, March 3, 2014

[Early Review] - Til Death (Fractured Souls #1) by Kate Evangelista

Release Date: March 4, 2014
Published by: Entangled Teen
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sixteen-year old Selena Fallon is a dreamer. Not a day-dreamer, but an I-see-the-future kind of dreamer. Normally this is not a problem as she has gotten pretty good at keeping her weird card hidden from everyone in her small town. Except from her best friend Kyle and her grandparents, of course. But when Selena dreams of her own rather bloody death, things get a little too freaky even for her.  Enter Dillan Sloan. Selena has seen the new guy in a different dream, and he is even more droolworthy in person. Beyond the piercing blue eyes and tousled dark hair, there is something else that draws her to him. Something…electric. Unfortunately, Dillan makes it more than clear that he does not feel the same. They just met, so why would he act like he hates her?  When Dillan and Selena are forced together one weekend to work on a school project, Selena prepares to be ignored as usual. But when she stumbles across a few undead in the backyard, Dillan comes to her rescue and reveals a whole lot more. Not only is he part of a society that hunts otherworldly creatures…she is too. And she is being targeted by a force bigger and darker than anything she ever imagined. Despite her death dream, Selena is not going to give up easy, especially when she discovers that Dillan might not actually hate her after all.

Til Death by the wonderful Kate Evangelista is the first book in a promising new YA series.  Magic, ancient warriors, special powers, evil villains and romance all combine to set the stage for this story.  Although there are some issues with the story, I think this is a solid beginning and will be looking forward to upcoming books in this series.

Selena Fallon appears to be a normal, high school aged girl.  She lives in a very small town in Wyoming and has lived with a secret for her entire life.  The only people who know about her secret are her best friends, Kyle and Penny.  Although she has dealt with this secret for some time, her experiences with it seem to be increasing.  I like that Selena is basically a normal girl in the beginning of this book.  She is trying to find a job to make money for college, hanging out with her friends, studying, and she has just broken up with a handsome jock.  Her troubles begin while trying to deal with her ex-boyfriend who still wants her.

In walks Dillan Sloan.  "Mr. Rock-and-Roll-National-Geographic."  Dillan is arrogant and rude when we first meet him.  He is also powerful and intelligent.  His chiseled good looks draw the attention of everyone in his high school, but Dillan has no use for any of them.  That is until he meets and shakes hands with Selena.  I liked Dillon's arrogance, but I'm always a sucker for that type of character.  You can tell that underneath his tough facade that he's just trying to find his way in his new world and to make the right decisions.  Sure, he's a jerk, but an extremely redeemable jerk.  Dillan is dealing with his own demons and with some funky things that are happening in the small Wyoming town.  

Dillan becomes more and more fascinated with Selena, mostly because of the charge he feels when he is around her.  While working on a school project, Selena comes into contact with some really bad supernaturals.  Dillan becomes more amazed when Selena is able to handle herself and with each passing day, he becomes more and more affectionate towards Selena.  Selena is often confused by Dillan's actions and his words, but she would be kidding herself if she said she didn't find him interesting.  As they spend more time together, and learn more about one another's backgrounds, they come closer and closer together.  One thing I loved about Dillan is his absolute absence of anxiety with Selena.  He may be nervous about the evil he chases, but when it comes to Selena and his feelings towards her, he makes no apologies.

One thing that I didn't like about this book was the way it was told.  Kate Evangelista is a fantastic writer.  I've always enjoyed her writing style.  This book, however, fell a little flat for me.  It is told in dual points of view, which would normally not be a problem for me.  Selena's chapters are told in the first person, yet Dillan's chapters are told in the third person.  I would have enjoyed this much more if both points of view were told in the first person.  I applaud Kate for taking this risk, but it was difficult for me to jump back in forth.  There were instances in Dillan's chapters where the book would read, "He said ....."  "He did ...."  A few times I had to reread to make sure whom the "he" was; Dillan or another male that he was interacting with.

As much as I enjoy Evangelista's writing style, I thought the plotting of this book, especially in the beginning, was a bit slow.  We meet and begin to understand the characters of Selena and Dillan, but I think there was a bit too much of that.  This book dragged for me for about the first third, but it definitely picked up after that.

I think this is a good start to a new series.  It has an interesting premise and characters that I genuinely like.  I will be looking forward to the next book in this series to see how Evangelista expands this world and uses her characters.


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