Author: Alyson Noel
Genre: YA Paranormal, Demons, Fantasy
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Source: Finished paperback provided for review by the publisher
Synopsis: Since arriving in Enchantment, New Mexico, everything in Daire Santos life has changed. And not all for the better. While she’s come to accept and embrace her new powers as a Soul Seeker, Daire struggles with the responsibility she holds navigating between the worlds of the living and the dead. And with the fate of her boyfriend Dace in the balance, Daire must put aside her personal feelings and focus on defeating Cade, whose evil plans threaten everyone she loves and the world as she knows it.
Don’t miss book three in Alyson Noël’s pulse-pounding Soul Seekers series!
☆: 4/5 stars – This is a series worth seeing through because it only gets better!
When I start a series and dislike the first book, my response is usually to not continue on with that series. Fated, the first book of Noel’s Soul Seekers series, was one of the rare exceptions because something about it told me further books were going to improve and become amazing. Some of that improvement showed in Echo, but Mystic kicks everything up a notch or five and makes my investment pay off. It’s genuinely enjoyable, well-plotted, and sets up what is sure to be a great finale.
In this third installment, the pacing is tight, Daire and Dace (and Xotichl, who narrates a few sections herself now and gives us an intriguing view into how she “sees”) remain distinct narrators, and the plot is always moving. Nothing short of business that MUST be attended to will keep fans from devouring the novel whole once they get their hands on it and get going. These characters grow on me more and more as I keep reading. Heck, I even believe in Daire and Dace’s relationship now! Then again, their relationship is in the background as the plot takes over and they work to get back Dace’s soul, stop Cade, etc., so that may help a little.
Noel’s fragment-heavy style still gets on my nerves, but it’s par for the course at this point and easily ignored in favor of the substance of the novel. There’s only one noticeably awkward moment in the prose: A scene in which Daire refers to a horse’s bridle and bit as a BRIDAL and bit. Homophones like that will fly right over some readers’ heads, but I’m not one of them. Still, it could be worse. Now that I’ve gotten used to Noel’s personal style, getting through her books happens almost as quickly as I devour lollipops.
Though I love Phyre’s character, the way she’s treated throughout the novel bothers me. The poor girl has been brainwashed from a young age by a father who would be a cult leader if he were more competent and part of that brainwashing? Making her believe she has her own destiny that plays into the fate of Enchantment and the world in general. Because Daire and Dace feel she’s deluded and her destiny is bull, they dismiss her as crazy regularly. Calling her crazy considering her situation comes off as very ableist and narrow-minded of two narrators I’d by-and-large liked. She gets a small shining moment during the climactic scene, but she deserves so much better.
Despite the above issues, it’s an easily consumed novel and more than enjoyable. I’ve got no doubt Horizon will be as good as Mystic, if not even better as Daire and Cade prepare for their final battle. November 2013 will get here sooner if I have to develop time travel technology solely for that purpose! (Oh, if only. I’m a word nerd for a reason: because science goes right over my head.)