The world’s most famous teenagers suffer through more convoluted twists and trials in this sequel to Juliet Immortal (2011).
Having killed Ariel Dragland (who hosted the soul of Juliet Capulet) and Ben Luna to protect them from the evil friar and the Mercenaries of the Apocalypse, Romeo Montague finds himself trapped in a rotting corpse, stripped of his Mercenary powers but still burdened with centuries of sin. Juliet’s nurse, an Ambassador of Light, offers a chance for absolution: travel to an alternate reality and turn a still-living Ariel Dragland away from evil by making her feel loved. Romeo again possesses abused and abusive bad boy Dylan Stroud, but he now woos only scarred and scared Ariel Dragland, as Juliet is stranded elsewhere. The love story blooms slowly, molded by artificial deadlines, hyperbolic characterization (Ariel may be evil incarnate) and space-time paradoxes. Jay’s reuse of materials from the first book inevitably creates a sense of déjà vu, while the alternate-reality gambit occasionally recalls a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Rapid shifts in perspective and Romeo and Ariel’s dizzying fluctuations between good and evil render their loyalties and motivations unclear. But Romeo’s reformation and Ariel’s transformation from tortured outcast to radiant beloved should appeal to some readers.
The combination of torrid teen romance with space-time travel doesn't save this Shakespearean spinoff. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)