Jennifer Winter has a knack for finding trouble, but not even her superhuman abilities prepared her for death—and the rigors of recuperating from it. When her extreme rehabilitation thrusts her into the path of a criminal mastermind, she is dragged into a quest to discover her own mysterious past and the source of her extraordinary powers.
But she and her friends must stop an ancient conspiracy to control the supernatural realm that embraces her, before that world is utterly destroyed.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second book in The Grenshall Manor Chronicles. I LOVED IT!
Jennifer Winter is a wonderful character. I liked her very much when I first met her in Oblivion Storm. However, she was a bit of an enigma and I wanted to get to know her better. This story offers me that chance. She is a very driven person, with her own demons from her past. Severely injured in a fight against a dangerous foe from book one, she is now on the road to recovery. However, that challenge is nothing compared to the one she's about to face.
This is a fantastic continuation of the Grenshall Manor Chronicles. The story follows on from the first book, but rather than continuing to follow Mary, this story follows Jennifer Winter. She has amazing abilities and strength, but even that may not be able to stop a criminal mastermind hell bent on locating certain items to enable him to control the supernatural realm and beyond. Told mostly through the eyes of Jennifer, although Mary and Kara have their view points too, this story takes the reader on exciting rollercoaster ride of action, adventure, danger and fantasy. I was quickly hooked and found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as the intensity and intrigue increased. This story is full of twists and turns. Just when you think you've got the story sussed, along comes another twist to throw a spanner in the works! I must admit, however, that this story just didn't seem to gel as well as the first book. Maybe because it was more of a personal journey for Jennifer as she discovers where her powers come from, rather than an all out battle against good and evil, although there was plenty of that. I enjoyed getting to know Jennifer better through her backstory, but felt that the "evil" characters introduced were not as well utilized as they could have been in the present. The Grey Lady is a dangerous assassin, but doesn't see much action until near the end. Manta is a megalomaniac, determined to rule over the supernatural world; I felt he didn't feature as prominently as I thought he should. However, there is one character I didn't expect to meet, considering I thought them dead. Their appearance was a complete surprise and sent a shiver down my spine! I'll leave it to you to find out whom I am talking about.
I loved the introduction of another character called Christobal Sergides. He too, like Mary, is a guardian of a dark portal, but in France. He is a charming but lonely man. What his role will be in the next book of the series has me intrigued. I reached the end of the book with mixed emotions - happy about the outcome, but sad that it had finished. Where book one dealt with death, this book focuses on life, specifically nature/earth power. I am intrigued about what book three will offer. I can't wait to find out!
R.A. Smith has written a fantastic, fast paced and action packed sequel to his debut paranormal/urban fantasy. I love his fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful! I had never heard of R.A. Smith before, until a friend of mine mentioned him. But now that I have, I look forward to reading more books written by him in the future. He has found a fan in me!
Although this book is not aimed at the Young Adult age group as such, I think that this book would appeal to readers aged 16 upwards who love dark urban fantasy. I also highly recommend this book to adults who love horror, paranormal or dark urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton
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Author of the Grenshall Manor Chronicles, Russell A. Smith has enjoyed many an adventure both with pencil, paper and dice, and also in real life. Each has been a formative experience for him. A keen petrolhead, he has a long list of things he wants to drive, and the list grows longer every day.
Russell has enjoyed an eclectic career so far, with more interesting past jobs including
editing newsletters and magazines, and spending a small part of the year as a Tudor soldier and time traveller. These days Russell spends a lot of time on tour across the UK investigating various houses and even more drinking tea. As well as writing, he enjoys a semi-regular presence on the Book Worm podcast on Fab Radio International.
Russell currently resides in Manchester, UK, and can be lured out of the house with the promise of fun conventions, great music or exciting teddies.