**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**
Dracian Legacy, Priya Kanaparti
At seventeen, Ren Pernell knows the meaning of tragedy.
But then, a year after losing her parents, Axel Knight walks through the door and changes everything. Strange creatures start to appear, her best friend suddenly finds her irresistible, and an undeniable, unexplainable bond with Axel threatens to drive her insane. She knows he’s the key. There’s something he’s not sharing, and she’s determined to find out.
Demanding answers, she finally learns the truth: everything she ever believed is an illusion. Caught in a centuries-old blood feud between races she never knew existed, Ren discovers her true destiny. She’s the chosen one, the Echo, preordained to end the bloodshed.
There’s just one catch--in order to save those she loves and a homeland she’s never seen, she’ll have to die.
With the clock running out, she’ll have to navigate a new world of betrayal, lies and deceit. If she can forgive, finding love even in the darkest places, she just might be able to escape the prophecy. But how much is she willing to sacrifice for a cause she didn’t know she was part of? And what will it take for her to be free? (source:goodreads)
Cover- Overall, yes it's pretty. But it's been done a lot, that whole dramatic close-up of the MC. At least the eyes are important; that blue flicker really is a trait of only certain important people within the novel, so there's that. The text is laid out well, too, so that everything can be both seen and read easily by the reader.
I didn't go absolutely crazy, though, and honestly because the cover didn't grab my eye that's why I held out on buying it (because, yes, people actually do judge books by their covers).
Narrative- Dracian Legacy is told in the first person, from the POV of our main character, Ren. I would venture to say that Kanaparti did an absolutely fantastic job with most of the narrative. Ren's voice was captured extremely well and I feel like I was constantly assaulted by what was happening in her head . . . which is actually a good thing. It was a really smooth read; Kanaparti's style seems to be one that's easy to read and pay attention to, and even easy to get back into in the moments where I was interrupted or came back after a few hours.
The one downside: I don't like exclamation marks in narrative. At all. I apologize because I'm really biased, but yeah. These instances always came up when we were given a direct thought from the main character, and I feel like it took away from the effect. I don't need to feel like the character is screaming at me to get when she's excited; the words, themselves, convey that. So this was probably the biggest (albeit petty) downside.
Plot- Last week I divided my thoughts into what worked and what didn't, and that helped loads, so I'm doing it again:
-I'm a sucker for romance (*coughs* done right), and Axel and Ren were totally swoon-worthy, so I loved their relationship
-The action. Oh my lord, the action was phenomenal, especially in the last half of the book ("the last half" -> keep an eye on that phrase, it'll pop up a lot). Ren's being basically hunted, and it's revealed that the majority of precautions that the Dracian's take in different situations is all for her. Understandable, and I'm so glad somebody finally realized that the super-important main character needs protection. Of course, that didn't stop Ren from breaking the rules (I'm thinking of Chicago, here), but that was totally human. I'd want to sneak out, too. And then the ending sequence was a fantastic battle in which Kanaparti did a really great job of showcasing multiple characters, not just Ren and Axel and Ren's brother, which I honestly thought was cool (and here I'm thinking Trinity). Once the paranormal part of the plot really got going, I was for the most part extremely sucked in (as in, I lied to my friends and told them I was writing when in reality I was reading).
What Didn't Work:
-The first half of the book, I almost put it down. Once Axel came into the picture, it was an overplayed love triangle between Ren, Axel, and Ren's friend, Dean. Ren and Dean's back-story was fantastic; I love that aspect of "I made a mistake and I want to fix it," especially now that Ren knows who she is. I just think that it was over-dramatized in areas, which made the first half of the book feel like a soap opera in novel form.
-I sort-of alluded to this in yesterday's post about plot flow: this book was a bit jarring in spots. When it came to the main plot points (ie, everything happening within the Dracian world) it was pretty smooth, although the Chicago scene I felt like could have been led into a little better (if you want to know what happened in Chicago, read the book *wink*). What got lost was what was happening in the human world. Suddenly there was a football game Ren went to (not actually in the story, but it was mentioned and I thought it was random), and then the Chicago trip (yes I'm back to Chicago). The first we hear of it is when Ren asks her brother if she can go to Chicago for "Pey's big day" (Peyton being Ren's best friend), and I had absolutely no clue what she was referring to. A little more detail would have been fantastic. So yeah, I think this one's actually more of a smaller pet-peeve than the first point, here, but it had to come up.
Okay, so truthfully it was the second half of the book that pulled me in and got me to continue reading. This is probably because I'm more of a paranormal fan than a romance; this book plays heavily on both. I'm a romantic at heart, but not when it's overplayed, so the first half of the book made me roll my eyes a little bit.
Overall, though, I thought about the book for a good few hours after I'd finished, and in a good way. I kept thinking about the action, and kept wondering oh my god what the freak is going to happen, like freaking eh. To put it simply, I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, which always happens whenever I'm invested in a plotline.
Seriously, though. That ending.
Characters- There is one thing I would like to point out before going further and saying how much I actually did love the characters: teenagers are not that horny. Some of the couples were constantly going at it with their tongues down each others throats, and I wasn't exactly buying it. As I pointed out above, the first half of the book has a somewhat of a focus on romance (well, it felt like that to me), so it all kind of fit. And consider that this book comes with a tag of 16+, so I expected a bit more of that kind of angle.
But no. Just no.
Despite that, I want to say that these guys kind of stole my heart. The Dracian guys were hilarious, Peyton was truly what a best friend should be, Ren was realistic (which is especially good since I was trapped in her mind for 250 pages), and Axel was totally swoon-worthy (and reminded me of why I'll never have a boyfriend, because nobody can possibly live up to the expectations that he set the bar for). The brother, Joshua, seemed a bit bipolar at times, but I'm attributing that to being super protective (the ending totally made up for it, though; he's fantastic).
I mean, I could try to come up with a monster list of criticisms, but the bottom line is that I laughed when reading a lot of their dialogue with each other; in a good way. Ultimately, they were all teenagers, given tremendous responsibility but also able to just have fun once in awhile and lighten the situations. Put simply, I wish I was best friends with all of them.
I definitely had my ups and downs with this book, and in some instances more downs then ups. While it played on more romance than I would have liked (and that love triangle that made me shudder), overall it was a pleasing read. I think the ending saved it. Like, my god. When's the second one coming out, anybody know?
Final Answer: 3.5 / 5