Welcome to Rachel McClellan as she travels the blogosphere in support of the second book in her Fractured Light series hosted by AToMR. Fractured Soul continues to story of Llona as she's shipped off to boarding school at the behest of her aunt to learn the way of the Auras and how to "appropriately" use her light power. You can find the entire tour schedule at the AToMR website to follow the Fractured Soul tour in its entirety. Rachel is also giving away 5 hardcopies and 10 e-book copies of either Fractured Light or Fractured Soul. You can find the entry form for the contest at the end of the post.
To learn more about the series or Rachel, you can find here:
Released February 12, 2013
Llona will do whatever it takes to protect her new found friends and home, but the dark plot that is threatening Lucent Academy, a school that’s supposed to be a safe place for Auras, may be too powerful for even Llona to defeat. This fast-paced tale of love, loyalty, and overcoming the darkness will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!
Back in August, I was lucky enough to take part in Rachel McClelland’s blog tour for the first book in this series, Fractured Light. It was a pleasant and quick read thought I’d had some issues with various writing quirks. This second book in the series was equally as good while showing a significant growth in the author’s writing capabilities. The shifts in perspective and other issues I’d had with the first volume weren’t in this second book or at least not to the point where they jumped out at me. This made it an enjoyable read and distraction on an otherwise boring business trip.
SPOILERS FOR FRACTURED LIGHT AHEAD
At the end of the first volume in the series, Llona killed the big bad with her Auran power, but not before getting bit. Her boyfriend/protector got in trouble for teaching Llona how to fight using her light powers, and she and her friend May are being shipped off to a private school for Auras run by Llona’s uptight and traditional aunt. All seemed like it was going to be okay if not a bit stodgy and full of cliquish teenage girls being Mean Girls towards Llona and her Fury friend.
Fractured Soul has a lot more going for it than just being a fish-out-of-water tale of a girl finding herself in a school full of teachers enforcing 1920s morals and values after being traumatized by her mortal enemy. Llona is having to fight against herself and the poison left inside of her from the bite she’d suffered at the end of the previous volume. She feels something dark growing inside her that demands freedom, nightly runs through forbidden forests and occasionally punch asshats in the nose. Combined when her light throwing powers, Llona has turned into kind of a badass, regularly holding her own in fights that she accidentally stumbles upon.
I really enjoy how McClellan writes her fight scenes and now that Llona has even more crazy fight skills, the book is filled with pages full of tension momentum and action that leaves you at the edge of your chair. Her ability to write action so vividly is not wasted as much of this book is action-packed and full of new bad guys. This excitement bleeds into the slower parts of the book, so I never got bored. There were moments when I got incredibly frustrated by character actions, mostly from Llona’s aunt Sophie being incredibly oblivious to things happening right in front of her.
I feared a love triangle was developing when Liam was introduced with Christian reappearing soon after, he being the guardian who taught Llona how to fight in the previous book and fell in love with her despite rules and regulations about… whatever. Despite his shortness and bluntness, I really liked Liam and wish there had been more of him in this volume. He seemed to realize the strength in Llona from the start and didn’t treat her like she couldn’t protect herself.
An entire other race of creature people are introduced, called the Lizens – humans with scales and gills, who serve the Auras more like indentured servitude. It seemed like the story only scratched the surface of the history behind these new type of people and I hope more is learned about them later on. Tess, who befriends Llona and becomes an accomplice in adventures, has a quiet strength and is a great counterweight to the fiery and impetuous Llona.
Without spoilers, I have to say that the final battle was fantastically thought out and paced. It seemed to fly by, only to end with an event I never saw coming. McClelland is making it known that nothing is off-limits and nobody is truly safe in this world she’s created. She has expanded her universe and has put plot lines in place for a third book in the series to expand the world even further while Llona digs up the secret histories of her people and how they ended up in their current situation. I don’t know if this is meant to be just a trilogy, but if it is, the third volume has a solid set up for an exciting end.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review as part of the blog tour. Opinions are all my own and possibly muddle and babbly due to the amount of cough syrup I'm currently on.