Author: Carrie Jones
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Series: Need, Book 3
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*Novel provided by Abigail @ All Things Urban Fantasy for review
For more information please visit Carrie Jones's website.
Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that’s not quite how things have worked out.Entice, the third novel in the Need series by Carrie Jones, picks up immediately following the events of Captivate with lots of unresolved issues surrounding Nick's death and the hope that he can be returned from the mystical realm of the gods, Valhalla. Steeped in wonderful mythology and a myriad of creatures including Weres, Valkyries and Pixies this is a world that is both appealing and unique. But, while this wonderfully written series has always been a source of greatcharacters and intriguing plots this latest installment has also proved to be stagnant where development is involved.
For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he’s been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it’s taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla?
And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there’s that other small problem: Zara’s been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn’t just turned… She’s Astley’s queen.
The world Jones created in Need is still thriving with a plethora of predicaments arising from the world of Pixie. The unique perspective involving Norse mythology is a refreshing twist in a genre filled with superstition. There is a lovely tone of innocence and hope surrounding the novels of this series despite the ever increasing plight of that the characters come to find themselves in. Again, this is quite original when most novels try to play up the doom and gloom aspects. It sets a wonderful tone for the novel that makes you want to read it and lets you know that you won't be caught up in a lot of unnecessary angst. However, because of this the action and suspense of the novel also looses a lot of its impact as does any emotional appeal that the characters might present. Nothing feels immediate to the characters, thus to the reader, or to the plot. It simply becomes an adventure that Zara and her band of friends find themselves caught up in.
But, it isn't the world or the lack of action that diminishes the novel, it's the characters themselves. In Need we are introduced to a wonderfully eccentric Zara who recites phobias seemingly nonstop.She's cute and quirky and forms a hopeless romance with Nick. She may not be tough per say, but she makes snap decisions and accepts the consequences that come with them. In Entice she's no longer the Zara that we've come to know and love. Instead, she's very diminutive and hesitant to take action. She focuses on one goal, the release Nick from Valhalla, and doesn't really stop to consider the consequences of such a head strong plan to those involved or to her King, Astley. She comes off as overly selfish and the lack of growth really set me on edge considering how much she's been through. I definitely would have enjoyed more insight into her changing world and the emotions and feelings that comes with it. What I did enjoy was the growing romance between her and Astley. He's a very charming and engaging character who does everything within his powers to make her happy. And yet, even he comes off as sulking and overyly pouty. The lack of authority or power makes me question how he can rule over anything making the entire premise of this novel questionable. Even the dialogue is a bit overly simplistic for young adult characters and comes off as being extremely immature.
The plot development was good, but again, even this failed to really live up to expectation. Much of the story is spent trying to find the pathway to Valhalla instead of actually helping to steep the mythical realm in any sort of plausible light. It's more a dream world that's alluded to with very little detail given to the myths surrounding it. Add to that the foreshadowing of a war that isn't well explained or built up and there in lies so many of this novels problems. What I can say is that the novel is a quick read and I did enjoy the journey regardless of the feeling that little to nothing was ever truly accomplished. I think unfortunately that this can most easily be summed up by describing it as a shallow plot more geared towards build up for future novels then anything truly substanial in itself.
Overall, Entice was good but still didn't manage to achieve the impact of the debut novel in this series, Need. There's a lot that has yet to be explored and this instalmment came across as a very simplistic in regards to both emotionality and development. However, that said, I do still hold hope that this series will regain some of it's original charm and appeal and will definitely stick with it out of sheer optimism.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Scars