When I first read it I was speechless, humbled, and honored that a writer of her talent would not only take the time to read and write a review of Aurora Sky, but go to so much depth.
I met Rachael online last spring. I was really excited when I read that she wanted to relocate to the San Juan Islands - where I live! I was further delighted by her Lights On outreach program donating and bringing awareness to local and global humanitarian and environmental efforts.
I lucked out further getting to meet her in person in October for a book signing on Orcas Island (check out her husband's video of the event). We got a chance to grab lunch and dinner and take a 4-mile hike around Mountain Lake together and talk books and writing. One of the highlights of my whole year.
Rachael Wade is amazing. Check her out if you haven't already!
And enter the Bloody Christmas Giveaway if you haven't. I'll be gifting one of her books to the winner, along with books from Thomas Winship and Ada Adams. Score!
"On the way home from school, I stared out the bus window dreamily. The world outside no longer existed. I lived in my own world and I liked it there."
That's my favorite line in the book. It pretty much sums up Aurora's character, in my opinion. And as a writer, I can relate to it.
So, where to begin...
This is officially my new favorite YA paranormal series, and I really don’t like a lot of paranormal YA with the exception of Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux and Covenant series. I guess when I say “not much paranormal YA”, I really just mean vampires.
I’m a Twilight fan.
I wrote my own vampire series.
I love vampire films.
So, yeah. I’m tired of vamps at the moment, no matter how much I love these classic monsters and the million different ways they can be re-created.
Which is why this book was completely refreshing!
It was all the mystery and romance found in Twilight, except it was MUCH sexier, and all around...better. Way better. On top of that, it’s a slayer series, so if you are a geek like me who loved shows like Buffy, then this will be right up your alley. There's action, blood, and violence, oh my.
Okay, back to the reasons this series rocks...
Aurora Sky. First, that name says it all—how badass is that name? Even better than the heroine’s name is her character. She’s strong, believable, and not at all wishy washy or “I’m so cool, and I know it.” One minute, I really believed she was this scared teenager who is thrust into this situation that she totally doesn’t want any part of, and the next she’s trying to blend in and just be a normal teen at school. Then she’s believable when her feelings are hurt because she’s lonely, her so called “friends” start treating her like crap, and she can't quite seem to fit in anymore. So she starts to do what most teenagers do when they feel singled out...she rebels. No one really takes the time to even stop and consider how she feels about the traumatic event she went through. So she gives Aurora a makeover, which involves a little something like this:
Kill first vampire
Kiss a boy
Obviously, these things don't change much for Aurora. They don't make her feel alive again or make the pain go away.
But enter the next reason this book rocks, and Aurora starts to come to life again...
Fane. When Aurora starts to rebel a bit, she flings herself straight into Fane Donado’s arms. Oh, my my my. Where do I begin with Fane? He had me at this description:
He had one of those disastrous looks that captured my attention--like Edward Scissorhands. (This is only my favorite movie and character of all time, so I'm a bit biased here.)
And then these lines:
"Don't worry, Aurora Sky. You don't have to invite me home." His teeth flashed when he grinned. "Yet."
Fane lowered the cigarette and pointed it at me. "I do like your legs." Despite the cold, my cheeks heated and were quite possibly the only warm part of my body. The cold had officially gone to my brain.
"These pasty things?"
"Pale. Ivory. Silk." Each word was like a caress. "Your skin is a thing of beauty."
Fane was not Scott. He'd eat me alive.
The setting. How often do we see vampire hunter stories take place in the beautiful, cold, dark, and snowy wilderness of Alaska? Yeah, not often. And the way it’s written, it’s completely entrancing. I felt like I was there, and so removed from the world. The descriptions were fabulous. The setting was perfect for Aurora’s character. As she finds out what’s happened to her and what she has to do, her surroundings mimic her mental state—they are numb, desolate, and stark. Yet there’s this cold, still beauty all around her. She even compares it at one point to "walking on the moon", and I could feel that myself, could visualize it all. I just loved the contrast and parallels there. Awesome stuff. I admit I am also a bit biased when it comes to the setting because I love that region of the world and think it’s gorgeous. Oh, and I used to work at the Arctic exhibit at Sea World haha. So...I have a fascination with the terrain, wildlife, aurora borealis, and just that environment in general.
Before I go all fangirl (too late, I know) and ramble on some more, I'll just say...read this book! Fane is no Edward Cullen, and Aurora is no Bella. I'm already dying for the second book. Unfortunately it looks like I'll have to wait a while for book 2 to come out, but I'll be first in line when it releases.