Friday, April 12, 2013

Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith

When “slipped” angel Zachary and his werewolf pal, Kieren, are summoned under suspicious circumstances to a mysterious New England boarding school, they quickly find themselves in a hellish lock down with an intriguing assortment of secretive, hand-picked “students.”

Plagued by demon dogs, hallucinatory wall decor, a sadistic instructor, and a legendary fire-breathing monster, will they somehow manage to escape? Or will the devil have his due?

Best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites heroes from the previous three novels in the TANTALIZE series — including Zachary's girl, Miranda, and Kieren's love, Quincie — along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell.

While the previous books in Cynthia Leitich Smith's Tantalize series were captivating because of their romantic Gothic tones, I found Diabolical to be flat and humdrum, lacking Cynthia's typical flare for the paranormal. I had a really hard time connecting with the story, and the constant change in point of views was distracting. You would just acclimitize to a characters tone of voice, when suddenly it would change. I thought that this was supposed to be Zachary and Miranda's story and their HEA, but more time was spent on developing (new) secondary characters. Although I enjoyed them thoroughly, I would have liked to see more of Zachary and Miranda together, instead of just the last few pages of the book. And while Quincie and Kieren are an intergal part of the story, again, we hardly see them together. Despite my small qualms, the book is fast paced and filled with page-turing danger that kept me desperate to find out what would happen next.

Miranda has repented for her sins as an Eternal (vampire) and now awaits Zachary's return to Heaven, in a sort of inbetween place for souls. But Zachary is stuck on the mortal plane until he can redeem himself, his new assignment is to watch over Quincie. But when he receives word that Miranda is worried about her friend Lucy, he drops everything to go and rescue her. Lucy is looking for answers about Miranda's disappearance and in doing so finds herself in a gateway into Hell posing as a private school. When Zachary, Quincie and Kieren become trapped in the school, it's up to Miranda to convince the Sword of Heaven to rescue her beloved and his friends.

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