I don’t read a lot of Young Adult books anymore but I made the right choice when I agreed to review Initiation. One of the things that attracted me the most about this novel was Imogen’s PG-16 attitude towards sex and violence; the warning on the cover is justified! Granted, this story has nothing on most Paranormal Romance books but it definitely stands out in the sea of YA fiction That, and the cover is absolutely stunning! I’d even go so far as to say that Bonfire Academy is the demon equivalent of Hogwarts.
I was quite taken aback by the gruesomeness of some of the scenes in this novel; a main character almost dies, body parts get ripped off, etc. Not exactly what I’d expected from a tame story about a paranormal high school with a sappy teen love triangle. However, as you know, first appearances can be and often are deceiving. I wish more YA authors followed Imogen Rose’s lead; if they did I might actually consider reading the genre on a more regular basis again. I for one liked the violence in this book. Demons aren’t known to play nice and I’m happy that the author didn’t sugar coat their true nature. It made the story believable.
Even though this book excelled in many areas, it still lacked in others, specifically in the back story department. Perhaps it’s because this is a prequel and I missed out on the details by not having started with the Bonfire Chronicles instead. The first few chapters of a novel are usually a bring-readers-up-to-speed type deal. Unfortunately that all important summary never poked its head out so I found myself wondering about the demon monarchy, the political relationships between preternatural breeds, the characteristics of the various supes, etc. This information was in no way crucial to the story line but it would have helped clear a few things up and added to my overall enjoyment of the book.
Initiation‘s plot is the gift that keeps on giving. There’s the mystery behind the unprompted shifter attacks, Cordelia and Jagger’s “synching” problem and then Faustine keeps disappearing, literally. Right in front of everyone’s eyes! That last one was a real head scratcher and Imogen leaves readers hanging until the very end. I also liked how the characters struggle with control. This little tidbit is often overlooked in paranormal fiction. New vamps aren’t exactly known for their restraint and I’m happy that Rose chose to incorporate this fact into her book. I couldn’t help but smirk every time Faustine or Cordelia would sprint to the cafeteria to wolf down a steak in order to avoid taking their hunger out on their classmates.
The ending left a little something to be desired. The story just kind of abruptly stops. Perhaps it was intended to be a cliff hanger but didn’t quite make the grade. Regardless, Initiation is an outstanding book that might quite possibly be responsible for reigniting my love of Young Adult fiction.
|Recommendation:||Great for book lovers who like YA but who also enjoy steamier romance not typically found in high school.|
|Like this, like that:||The Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep, the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins and the Demon Trappers series by Jana Oliver.|
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada