THE CRUCIBLE by B.A. Blackwood

THE CRUCIBLE

From the "Siren Song Trilogy" series, volume 2
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this second installment of a YA series, a teenager has an inexplicable link to an enigmatic crystal that Lucifer’s fallen angels desperately covet.

Seventeen-year-old Ariel Robinson is in love with Michael, who’s one of the Descendants. They’re the half-human offspring of the Exiles, fallen angels who have since gone straight. The fallen angels still on Satan’s side are the Enemy, who currently pose a threat to Ariel. They want the Piece of Home, a crystal that sticks to Ariel (even if she attempts to discard it) and burns anyone else who touches it. So Michael assigns Ariel a bodyguard: his ex-fiancee, Rosamund, who patently despises the teen for stealing her boyfriend. Ariel tries to live a typical teen life, attending classes at Montana State University, but it isn’t long before some of the Enemy abduct her. She luckily receives unexpected help along with the ominous news that the abundance of Enemy spies means that Ariel can’t trust anyone. In a concurrent plotline from 16 years earlier, lawyer Lucian Castlewhite, who’s also a Descendant, is defending someone on trial for murder. That trial—as well as its verdict—ultimately connects to the present day and, surprisingly, may put Ariel in more danger than she’s already facing. Blackwood’s (Siren Song, 2012) fantasy novel is generally lighthearted despite the Enemy’s perpetual menace. For example, Ariel’s lamebrained abductors apparently have to resort to written instructions in the midst of her kidnapping. Many of the characters are entertaining and vibrant, particularly Ariel’s goblin cohort, Barnaby, and her suitemate/best friend, Samantha. But romance is minimal, and readers, at least in this installment, will see few indications as to what made Ariel fall for Michael. But the tale is running at full tilt by the final act, which features twists aplenty, from the trial’s defendant (unnamed for much of the story) to a potential betrayal. A smashing cliffhanger and lingering questions will surely leave readers impatiently awaiting Book 3.

A breezy, winsome fantasy sequel populated by a delightful batch of characters.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-9904367-1-3
Page count: 253pp
Publisher: Flights of Fancy Publishing House LLC
Program: Kirkus Indie
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