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Plague of Death*

New Challenges and Choices

Van and Paley are back. Van, after all that she went through the previous book, is a different girl than what she was before in many ways, yet still in others, she is that vulnerable and not-always-making-the-best-choice girl that she was back then. She has much to contend with in this book: the fact that she and Brux can’t be together because he’s her protector, her stepmother’s new boyfriend, her guide who pops up at the right moments but talks in riddles, the rougher part of the Living World she is exposed to, and of course, her new mission.

Van is taking her role that she must play for her people very seriously. She’s working hard to train her body and get better control of her mind and emotions. This doesn’t always work. She feels a darkness within herself that she doesn’t like but doesn’t know to handle. She is definitely more serious in this book, though she still acts like a teenager at times, especially when she’s with Paley. This author does seem to have a good insight into the way that a teenage mind works, especially when that teenager has so much going on and so much riding on her. At times, Van takes stupid risks, just like the last book.

While I would definitely recommend that the first book be read before this one, the author does an excellent job of pulling in little facts and tidbits from book one so that if you start with this book, you won’t be at all complete loss. Although to fully understand this very complex society and its two worlds, I would strongly recommend reading the first book before diving into this one.

I look forward to further adventures in this well-built world of realistic characters.