Series: Guards of Shadowlands #2
Release Date: October 29th 2013
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
In the week since Lela returned to Rhode Island as Captain of the Guard with Malachi as her second in command, local news has been dominated by chilling sightings of human-like creatures running on all fours. Lela knows there’s only one explanation: the Mazikin have arrived in the land of the living.Needing to maintain the appearance of a normal life for her foster mother, her probation officer, and her classmates, Lela returns to Warwick High along with Malachi. At night they secretly hunt for the Mazikin nest. To assist, two new Guards from very different parts of the Shadowlands are assigned to Lela’s unit, including the bad boy Jim, who repeatedly challenges Lela's authority. Lela struggles to keep all her Guards on the right side of the law, but their mistakes come at a terrible cost.As one painful revelation follows another and the Mazikin start targeting those closest to her, Lela finds herself more vulnerable than she’s ever been, wanting a future more than she ever has. With an enemy determined to separate soul from body, one question remains: how much is she willing to sacrifice to protect those she loves?
“The human capacity for self-delusion is limitless,”
Where do I start with this book? Nowhere. My feelings are all over the place. This was one of my most anticipated sequels of 2013 and it took me a while to get around to reading it. I went into this book with high expectations, especially after having my mind blow by Sanctum, and things didn’t work out. Where Sanctum told a story of friendship and loss, Fractured told a story of… teenage drama, until it didn’t. Until the last 20ish percent. By then it is USUALLY too late for a book to redeem itself but Fractured somehow did. I forgot that I had spent the last couple hundred pages in rage. I was biting my nails.. whimpering.. hoping that my beloved characters would get the chance they so badly deserved.
It started off really well. We got introduced to new team members, who had a lot of potential. Malachi and Lela’s relationship kept on getting better and better. The only thing that was bugging me was their sudden popularity boost in school. Until well Malachi had an accident and decided he wanted to cut things off romantically with Lela.
Don’t get me wrong, he had a better reason than most of the teenage guys who try to pull that off. He wanted to be able to concentrate instead of having to worry about her safety all the time. He thought that his feelings for her were affecting his ability to be a good guard and to a certain degree it was true. It pissed me off that he thought he could just turn a switch off and his feelings would go away. It pissed me off that the two of them essentially messed with the feelings of two innocent people that did not deserve it. Lela, at least was honest, Malachi on the other hand.. not so much. How do I stay pissed at him though? How do I when he didn’t actually go out of his way seeking someone else? How do I when he says something like this?
“I believed I would be a better Guard if I felt nothing for you. I was good before I met you, and I wanted that back. It didn’t matter how much it hurt me. I believed I had earned every moment of unhappiness with all my mistakes.” He lifted his fingertip, gazing at the crystal drop in the light. “I’m so sorry for causing you pain, Lela. I’ve missed you every second … the things we had, that we could have had. All the times I could have comforted you. Encouraged you. Touched you.”
I guess that’s why this book ended up redeeming itself, in spite of the what Malachi pulled, in spite of the mess that was their relationship, you could see that the two loved each other. Like really loved each other. It wasn’t some infatuation or obsession. It was just sweet, swoon worthy love.
Henry was a great addition to the team and I probably would have liked Jim if they hadn’t brought Tegan into this mess. I’d rather the humans not be involved. I wanted a badass team of guards who didn’t get into teenage drama. They went to school, played a part but aside from that, that was it. They didn't have relationships with people. They hunted those evil Mazikins. I didn’t want to see Jim fall in love when we all know it was never going to happen. Perhaps I expected a lot more action. With that said, I have to say, we did get plenty, it’s just that the teenage drama made it so hard for me to focus on the sheer awesomeness of the action involved in this book.
The Mazikins are some of the best antagonists ever. Their strategy. Dear god, I absolutely LOVE that twist that Sarah threw in. That was what I had been waiting for and it was one of the other factors that redeemed this book for me. The Mazikins aren’t stupid. They won’t give themselves away. They may be new to this world but they are manipulative and seeing that they’ve been around for a while, they’re PRETTY DAMN CLEVER.
I also have to give the Guards credit. The kids in this book actually understand undercover. They live in a world where kids use technology and things like facebook and texting so yeah these guards will have to learn those little things to fit in with the crowd.
The ending fractured my poor heart (pun intended). Well the moment right before the ending. The ending was a déjà vu of sorts and I am curious to see how things will go.. well less curious and more downright eager because damn people my ship needs an HEA and I want to beg and plead Sarah to tell me if everything is going to be all right but I don’t have the guts to do so.
My final verdict, after quite a bit of pondering, is that this book was enjoyable. It was an action and angst (teenage drama) packed sequel which may have let me down but it was not downright disappointing. I’d advise fans who have read the first book to NOT read this until the 3rd book comes out. Too much heartbreak. Excuse me while I go re-read the ending to the Sanctum to make myself feel better.