Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Review: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

You know a book is especially good when you finish it in less than a day. Either that, or it's a really short book. And I think that's all the more impressive when it's a sequel, since most of the 'hooking' (think fishing) happens in the first book. I practically devoured "Sweet Peril", the sequel of "Sweet Evil" by Wendy Higgins (see my review here!), in a couple of sittings, eagerly sucking in all the wickedly delicious romance and crazy action--and I want more!

Six months have passed since Anna was nearly killed at the Dukes' summit. Six months of trying to appease the demon whisperers who keep tabs on her by polluting souls--even if it means earning an unwanted reputation as the school's party girl. And all the while there's Kaiden, the son of the Duke of Lust, never straying from her mind. When an unexpected angel visits her with an age-old prophecy, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, the son of Wrath, to seek Nephilim allies. Their goal: to win freedom, even if it means putting up a fight against the powerful Dukes.

Sequels are always great for character development. Sure, we get a picture of who the characters are in the first book, but it's in the sequel that we see them really grow and develop as people. Anna starts off in "Sweet Evil" as a naive, Southern girl who's nothing but a goody goody, but in "Sweet Peril", we see her as the strong yet reluctant daughter of the Duke of Substance Abuse (kind of a lame name, but okay). What I really like about Anna is that she's always honest with herself. Despite the fact that she hates the work that she has to do as a Nephilim, she knows her weakness for alcohol and drugs, and tries to resist those temptations. She's also honest about her feelings for Kai and Kope, which I think Ms. Higgins did a great job in developing throughout the novel. Instead of constantly second-guessing herself and ending up playing around with both boys' feelings, Anna remains pretty sure of what she wants, and thank goodness for that!

Speaking of Kai, holy moly, the heat of the romance in "Sweet Peril" would have shattered a thermometer. Kai himself is just such an amazing character--probably one of the more swoon-worthy guys in YA novels I've read about in a long while. His hidden vulnerability and his true feelings for Anna are so carefully (but quite obviously) masked under apathy, and I just loved the way we saw more of his true emotions and everything as the book progressed! I didn't exactly find myself falling for Kaiden in "Sweet Evil", but after what I read...count me in! Trust me, if you liked him in the first book, you'll be drooling and begging for him in the second. I just went back to my old review on "Sweet Evil", and saw that I'd written that the interaction between Kai and Anna wasn't believable. But after reading about how much he cares about Anna and a couple of steamy scenes (c'mon, you saw it coming), I was more than convinced!

The storyline of "Sweet Peril" was so full of exciting happenings that I couldn't put the book down. The tensions are definitely higher than they were in "Sweet Evil", I think, and it was especially exciting to follow Anna and Kope as they travelled to Damascus, Australia and London, and even more exciting to meet other Neph. Seeing the twins Marna and Ginger and the laidback and totally lovable Blake again was fun--I kind of want friends like them now! New characters like Zania and Flynn just added to the fun and spice of the already great cast of characters as well. So much happens in the book, even when, in a way, it's really just leading up to the final showdown in the next book!

"Sweet Peril" is a thrilling roller coaster of a ride, where you end up falling in love with the amazing cast of characters even more deeply, and just get caught up in the whirlwind romance and escalating tensions as Anna and her friends prepare for the imminent fight against the Dukes. I absolutely cannot wait for the final installment, "Sweet Reckoning". I'll just have to twiddle my thumbs and tear out my hair until next year.

Rating: 5/5

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