Silver (Bandia #1)Featured
ARC received from Flux Books via Netgalley
Release Date: 9-8-2012
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Sizzling, Surreptitious, and Spellbinding
“My life is a series of cruel ironies. The pretty girl no one sees. The horse I have to sell. The kiss I can’t keep.” -ARC, Location 205-206
From the moment I read the blurb of Silver, I had been waiting (impatiently) to read it! Then Talia told me it was on Netgalley and I have to admit…I did my happy dance—the dance that makes my toddler laugh, that makes my dogs start jumping up and down, and that makes my husband roll his eyes and mumble something about books being more important than oxygen for me. And in that moment—I might have given up a few breaths to be one of the first to read this book!
The idea of Brianna binding her soul to her mortal enemy just mesmerized me, and I will say that Talia did not let me down! One of the best things about this book is there isn’t chapter after chapter of set-up that you have to wade through to understand the world. The action starts in Chapter 1, and I have to say one of the best scenes of the book occurs in this chapter—the scene where Blake discovers who Brianna truly is. It’s sinister, but in a sexy way, and you can just feel the magic in the way Talia describes the scene. I felt like time froze and I was swept into their world to watch as both of their destinies crossed. AND I love the duplicitous dialogue here. My fave you ask? Said by Blake: “’Where have you been hiding?’ His smile is lethal.” Ohhhh…goose bumps!
I always enjoy seeing different mythology in a book, too. I absolutely love when mythology interwoven into the plot, but usually, all we see is Greek mythology. Every once in a while you see Norse mythology, but I have never read a YA book that has Celtic mythology in it; and it was intriguing to see something new and different. You don’t need to know much about the culture either because what you need to know is explained briefly without dragging down the action or dialogue.
One of the great things about this book is it keeps you guessing—which is something I really like. It may drive some people crazy that they are never able to tell who they can trust, but I think it adds to the suspense. I will say that I am still a little on edge because I don’t know who to trust!!! I mean, they’re mortal enemies; so who you can trust and who is good and who is bad is always going to be muddled in the shadows! I bet Talia is smiling mischievously knowing the torment she is putting us through…shame on you Talia! Keep it up!
The best character in this book is Jonah—a Son of Killian who has his death grip aiming for Brianna. He was such a jerk that I wanted to find someone that looks like him and give them a good old-fashioned you’re-an-a** rant. I have a feelings we’ll be seeing more of his jerkiness in the next book. Yay!
Brianna is your typical heroine who is struggling with the realization that she is something more than human. I liked her, although I will admit that I was not blown away by her. I wanted her to have more of a memorable personality—an aura that would strike you as someone with a great destiny awaiting. But, really, she just felt like a normal girl—which many people will like because they can relate to her. I, on the other hand, tend to like my heroines with a little more flare and a little more self-esteem (even if it only comes after gaining their powers). I’m hoping we will see her character develop into a don’t-mess-with-me-unless-you-want- to-be-called-“Eyepatch”-for-the-rest-of-your-life type of heroine. But, that’s just me—I tend to like the overbearing, kick your butt gals.
Now for Blake—the eye candy (or is it mind candy since it’s a book?). He’s the mortal enemy of Brianna, a Son of Killian who has pledged to do away with any daughter of Danu; yet, when their souls are bound together, it awakens something within him that makes him see Brianna as something other than a threat. I really liked Blake’s passion, but at times it felt unrealistic. I mean, he’s been trained his entire life to hate anyone like Brianna, yet his feelings for her change so quickly. I totally believe this is possible, but I wish we would have seen more scenes with him so we could see him struggle with his decision and then eventually fold. Plus—we would have gotten more scenes with him which I’m sure all the girls would love! Blake is mysterious and stealthy and protective of Brianna. He is definitely swoon-worthy. I’m hoping we will see A LOT more of him in Gold (the sequel)—and hopefully we can see a deeper, more personal side to him.
I enjoyed the romance in the novel, but I wish there was more! I definitely still wanted to trade places with Brianna at times, but I’d categorize the romance as a spark. I want to see a full out blaze! And the scene where their souls are bound—I wanted more! There was already one mature conversation in the book, so it would have been great for her to keep with the mature theme and given us a few more details!
What a debut for Talia Vance! Full of mystery and intrigue, betrayal and romance; Silver is a definite Must Read for lovers of paranormal romance!
Content Warning: I would rate this Mature YA for one scene near the beginning. I was kind of surprised by this scene because to me, the only reason it was there was to show how much of a jerk Jonah is, but I would have rather seen another way to show that he’s jerk and kept that scene out so more teenagers could read it.
I’ll leave you with one more of my favorite quotes from the book!
“The truth has never seemed clearer to me than it does right now. We cannot change the past. We cannot change our future. The ending was written the moment Blake kissed me on the beach.” ARC, location 2652-2653
Ever since the incident that caused her family to move, Brianna Paxton has lived a life of anonymity. She’s smart and pretty, but not enough to help her stand out among her peers or to catch the eye of any guy. It’s like she almost doesn’t exist to the her male counterparts, like they stare straight through her, that is when they even happen to look her way. But all that changes one night at a party, where the one guy that Brianna would kill to be noticed by, Blake Williams, truly sees her for the first time. In an instant, a thousand-year-old secret comes bubbling to the surface and a war long buried, but far from over, is reignited.
With deadly enemies and tangled souls comes bloodlust and lust-lust. With hearts on the line, figuratively and literally, will an ancient battle to the death seal their fate long before they’ve had a chance to test the strength of their confusing, but blossoming relationship or does Brianna’s destiny prove to be the key to ending this war once and for all?
Okay, I have to give credit where credit is due. When I first picked this book up, I’ll admit I was at my limit on female protagonists never being noticed, always invisible, except for, you know, every guy in the history of ever in that book. So yeah… I may have went on a mini rant on Goodreads about it (Forgive me, Talia!). Anyhoodles, I bet you’re asking yourself now, what relevance does this even have, Christina? Well, I’ll tell you. Ms. Vance is a freaking genius and totally made me put my foot in my mouth because she had a legitimate reason for Brianna always being ignored by guys, AND I ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ADORE HER FOR IT! Of course, I can’t tell you the reason, but there is one, and I just didn’t want you to get frustrated like I did and be a jerk.
The author manages to pull the readers into this enthralling book mainly because of the multi-faceted characters that emerge throughout this story, providing ones you’ll love to love and ones you’ll love to hate. Each character, even the secondary ones, are so well developed and unique, that you’ll find yourself compelled to turn the pages to find out what new layer you’ll discover as the story unfolds. Each character has a role to fill, and I felt a connection to each of them and their purpose in the story.
I’m a huge fan of reinvented mythology or tales of mythological beings set in present time, but I’m not well read on Celtic/Irish folklore. I quite enjoyed unraveling the curse of the Bandia and the Milesians and the war that has been brewing between them for thousands of years. Ms. Vance did a magnificent job of teasing the readers, letting out just enough information at the appropriate times, revealing secrets long sealed at the perfect moment to make an impact, all while keeping the reader just as curious as the main character herself about who she is and why her world is suddenly so confusing. Usually I’m not one for suspense, but I found myself more intrigued and glued to what was happening in the moment, rather than racing to put the puzzle pieces together out of aggravation with the need to know everything. I loved the pacing of the story and having that feeling of being on the edge of my seat, and felt every detail was connected to the next, making the story as a whole one of the best, most original plots I’ve read in a while. There’s unimaginable depth and surprises around every corner, and I found it extremely difficult to put this book down.
Lastly, this author can write some sizzling chemistry. You feel the spark and attraction between Blake and Brianna, the need of intimacy between their bonded souls. I often found myself rereading the passages where they were together because you feel their chemistry set the page on fire. It’s so good.
I rarely ever go back and reread a book immediately, but I did with this one. On the first read, I would have been hard-pressed to find a problem worth mentioning at all, but I did come across something that stuck out to me a little more the second time around. The hot and cold action between Blake and Brie can be a little frustrating at times. The intimate, more sincere moments they share can quickly boil over into a heated argument, and I found myself a little more noticeably agitated about it on the second read-through. Of course, it’s easy to dismiss this as a true problem because you have to remember that even though their souls become bound– which means they’re undeniably connected to one another on such a deep level– that all Blake has ever known is the stories he was told while growing up. No matter how he feels about Brianna, a part of him isn’t able to take her at face value because she’ll always be the enemy to him.
Though it wasn’t left with a cliffhanger ending (THANK GOODNESS!), the author did leave it wide open for the series to continue. I can’t see what adventures await us and to discover how this will all play out, particularly how the relationship between Blake and Brianna will grow. I need Gold (Bandia #2), like, yesterday.
As a huge fan of Greek Mythology, it was no surprised that the Irish Mythology from this book enthralled me. The mythology and the world Talia Vance has created is refreshing and very interesting. However, it does feel like the author was in a rush to write out her story and I truly think more time could have been dedicated to details of the paranormal aspects. As a descendent of Danu, an Irish goddess, Brianna is considered a Bandia and must learn how to manage her new and destructive powers, all on her own. Especially controlling her attractiveness and appeal from anyone surrounding her because being recognized and noticed might not be in her best interest. Since the book left me wanting more information on the Bandias, I found myself searching the Internet for more details. My search didn't reveal much so I'm assuming the author elaborated quite a bit on the myth surrounding Danu and truly made it her own.That being said, I hope we learn more about the Bandias in the future books.
I think a lot of the book's appeal comes from the fast pace and the easy flow. Never a dull moment, the story is very youth oriented because of the gossip and teenage quarrels, but it adds so many interesting bits. Conflicts between Brianna and the group of men set out to destroy all the Bandias also creates interesting action that's sure to please any type of readers.
One last thing I want to mention is Brianna's love of horses. Obviously horses are a symbol of Irish culture and her dedication to horses was a great way to foreshadow her Irish roots. I think small details like this make novels so much more complete and enjoyable. For a debut, I think SILVER was well written but I really hope to get more information about the world of the Bandias in the future release. SILVER will surely be stacked on many shelves this fall because it's a debut YA novel you don't want to miss. Let yourself be enthralled by the Bandias and I'm sure you won't regret it!
An advance reader's copy was provided by the publisher.