*Series: Illumine Series #2
Author: Alivia Anders
Pages: Paperback; 292
Release Date: July 7, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence; Mild Language
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Fans of the series, and new readers who love a darker story with a strong female protagonist.
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Essallie Hanley just wishes her life could go back to normal. But what's normal when you carry the burden of knowing you're a half-angel created for war, that the only person who can help you is a demon still waiting to kill you, and that your only chance for salvation lied in a boy who died in front of you?
If Essallie had turned her back on everything she'd learned, she could have made the most of her fractured life. That is, until Kayden told her that she's a ticking time-bomb; that at any given moment her blood could betray her, her veins burning her alive from the inside out until nothing but ash remains.
Desperate to find answers, and possibly find her only chance for survival, Essallie heads back for New York City, back to the place where it all began. With every answer comes a price, and with every price the risks and rewards become greater. But when Essallie soon finds herself the target of an unknown hunter determined to kill her, she's at wits' end. That is, until a fellow Nephilim named Ari steps in. But is Ari a piece of the puzzle to her salvation, or the promise of her demise?
After turning the last page of Illumine, I knew without a doubt that I'd be back for more. Despite a slightly rocky start between Essallie and I, by the ending all I wanted was to know what would happen next. I fell in love with the action, with the characters, and with the delicious tension that Alivia Anders builds up. I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of Obumbrate and dive right in.
What immediately struck me was how much Essallie shines in this book. I already knew she was a strong character who doesn't-need-your-help-thank-you-very-much. I love a strong female protagonist, and she fills that role! However in Obumbrate I was really able to see how deep her inner strength goes. After suffering a loss she should, by all rights, be completely down. I know I'd be in bed with cookies and pajamas. Essallie won't have it though, and instead she musters her courage and sets off to protect what's hers. I love this girl!
I also love the plot this time around. Essallie sets off on a quest for answers, and her journey to get them is wholly immersing. I read through this so quickly that I hadn't even realized I was getting close to the end. When I flipped the last page I almost cried. I won't lie. The fact that Essallie is so much more vivid in this book really made me want to keep reading more. I felt for her, I wanted her to succeed, and I won't deny that I shared some of her rage and anguish.
Then of course, there was more Kayden. Okay, yes, he's the bad boy. I can't help but feel a smug satisfaction every time he makes a sarcastic comment to Essallie. He's good at what he does! In Obumbrate though we start to see a different side of him. Honestly? I love him even more now. Plus there is a new character to pit against him. Ari, ah Ari. Such a wonderful guy. No spoilers here, but yum. Ahem.
Obumbrate gets a shiny four stars from this bookworm! There were a few minor grammatical errors, but nothing huge. I definitely enjoyed being allowed to dive deeper into the madness that is Essallie's life. There is nothing I want more than to get to the next book. Cliffhanger warning, because you'll want it too. More Kayden, more action, more Alivia Anders.
Books in this series:
Illumine (Illumine #1) - Review
Obumbrate (Illumine #2)
Riven (Illumine #3)