Reviewed: May 23, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Book Two of Prophecy Trilogy
Rating: 3 Stars
Length: 109,500 Words
Formats: Kindle, Nook
The second book in Heaton's Prophecy trilogy picks up almost directly after the upsetting cliffhanger of the previous book. Unlike some series, this trilogy does not contain stand alone books, and the exposition here is virtually non-existent. If you have not read Prophecy: Child of Light, I wouldn't recommend you try to start this one. In this book, Prophecy is shaken by the mistakes made in Child of Light, and feeling very lost and small as she struggles in Valentine's absence. Along with the surprising help of the new lord of Trenebrae, Venturi, who has sworn to protect her...despite her being responsible for the death of half his family's warriors and his lord and sire, Prophecy marches ever onward, determined to rescue her love despite the obstacles that keep popping up, and still set on being the savior, not the destroyer, of the world.
Two books into the Prophecy trilogy, and I can assure you, just about everything is. Awkward, I mean. No, I'm not criticizing or expressing my feelings about the book (though that's coming), I'm saying that the word "awkward" has popped up so frequently in both this book and the previous one that I'm getting the feeling it's a preferred adjective. Unfortunately, the problem isn't that it's used so often. For me the problem is that because it's used so often, it limits the variety of the descriptives and left me with a very repetitive and one dimensional impression of characters reactions. But now I'm getting ahead of myself...
I tend to agree with the other reviewers to a point. I think Prophecy: Caelestis & Aurorea is a bit better written than Prophecy: Child of Light. I can't really say, however, that I liked it more than Child of Light, because in fact, I didn't. One of the things I enjoyed so much in the first book was the slow development of Valentine's character - the changes he goes through as he turns from centuries of service and family dedication to do this rash thing by following his instincts. I found his particular journey and the developing relationship with Prophecy to be compelling.
This book loses most of that, and instead offers up a potential rival for Prophecy's affections in the character Venturi. I'm not going to criticize the author's artistic license, because that's not my place. I'll simply say that the quagmire of the emotional triangle that was developed here was not to my taste. I personally found it a bit disturbing and it didn't leave me feeling much sympathy for Prophecy.
I know I'm particularly hard on the female heroines in my books. Most books I read, if I can get through them just able to tolerate the female lead, I consider it a good day. I haven't been crazy about Prophecy from the beginning of the series, but I liked where I thought she was going, who I thought the character was developing into. For a good portion of the first part of this book, either while she was with Venturi or while she was making her way to save Valentine mostly on her own, I was forced to realize that without Valentine to hold my attention, I just don't like her. I think she's far too unschooled, impetuous, and immature. She's lucky that she seems to breeze through things with little to no true conflict and that she's been given all kinds of power and foresight, because she doesn't appear to have much inherent sense. And I don't understand how this young girl - who hadn't even ever left her family house or hunted just weeks ago - is so easily and with so little effort able to command such powerful magics and defeat such powerful foes when the odds and numbers are so drastically against her. It's a bit unrealistic.
All in all, I thought the plot of this book meandered a bit too much, especially at the beginning, lost its focus for the first half, and had too much emphasis placed on developing some sort of odd love triangle that just flat out turned me off and made me lose a lot of respect for Prophecy. I can't say I disliked it, really, because there's much about this journey that Prophecy and Valentine are on that I like very much, but I didn't like it as much as the first book. For me it lacked in intensity, and while the technical writing skills and grammar issues were less prevalent here, I'm still left feeling like overall, this book was just...awkward.
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