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Series: Strange Angels #2
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
She’s no angel…
Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)
Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there’s a big problem—she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide…
Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?
First of all, I think I should address the fact that I wholeheartedly had set myself up to be severely disappointed in the content, direction and substance of Betrayals in comparison to Strange Angels. The premise didn’t hold any kind of promise for me: a solitary female surrounded on all sides by males (against her will), a fucking boarding school for
Christ’s sake all intents and purposes, the mention of “cute boys” and “social suicide” as if it were some kind of goddamned high school sitcom… [The summaries on these things just really do this series (so far) no justice whatsoever.], etc. However, I will say that I leave Betrayals much more impressed than I expected to.
For one, the hardheaded Dru. She’s still obnoxious, but in much lesser portions. I think a large contributor to this attribute of hers would be her refusal to go to classes because no one is teaching her anything she doesn’t already know. I found it incredibly bratty of her to ditch based on those reasons alone… She’s still a little dense as well, but also less so than in Strange Angels. I like that little by little she is becoming more aware of herself, however it seems to detract from her attention to her situation.
She has so many opportunities to find out things about the Real World she claims to know so much about having learned from her father the hard way, and I hate that St. Crow didn’t find Dru should’ve been knocked off her high horse by a few rungs for her holier-than-thou attitude she’s gained from those experiences. So unnecessary to be so air-nosed. And then the nerve of her to find Graves’ use of his knowledge unpalatable!
Speaking of Graves—this kid continues to suffer from Dru’s racial expectations/abuse, but again on a lesser scale. I don’t know what it is about him that I favor so much. He’s way too good to her. She doesn’t deserve a friend (or otherwise) like him.
Beyond the characters, the construction of Betrayals seems flanked by bunny trails that Dru follows in her mind like she has ADHD and short-term memory loss. Aside from random ideas that get brought up and put back down (i.e. the lion statues moving?), she’s told several times that she’s in a version of the schola Christoph meant to send her to, not the real thing, and yet it comes as such a surprise to her; she’s told several times that she needs to refrain from bleeding all over the place to keep the student body from wanting to drain her at once, and yet she actively engages in a scuffle with one because off what? Hurt feelings? And then Graves has to rescue her.
Lady Anna kinda came out of left fucking field, too! I was half-tempted to think she was lying when she appeared on-set because… really, what the fuck? And why the opposition? A full-blown svetocha, presumably the only one in the region or some shit, and she just has to be a suspiciously snide yet beautiful character? Honestly.
But I have to give credit where credit is due because no matter where I was in the story, I always wanted to continue. It wasn’t what I was expecting in any aspect except for the prose—by golly, the prose. St. Crow has a way of wording that makes me think there is hope yet. The heavy reliance on relation, imagery, the senses… I mean—just—
eyes awash with feral phosphorescence
Seriously?! Yeah, I dig that shit.
Sometimes it gets a little thick, harder to swallow, but never so thick that I felt the need to roll my eyes (not that I can recall).
So all in all, I’d say this was a success. And if there was any doubt I enjoyed this book, all I have to do is remember the fact that I took months to finish it only because I didn’t want it to end. For real. That’s saying something. I have a fucking 620-book backlog, and I didn’t finish this audiobook, despite there being like 5 lined up right behind it, because I wanted it to last.
I may not want to give this 4 stars based on principle alone, but I’m gonna. More like 3.5, but… 4. Because, I mean, really, what the fuck?