Monday, April 18, 2016

Review: Death Wish by Megan Tayte

Ceruleans I
by Megan Tayte
Heaven Afire
YA Paranormal
305 pages

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint? 

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense. 

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need. 

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death. 

To believe the impossible. 


The cover and title pulled me in on this one; there's just something wonderfully eerie about the combination. Throw-in the paranormal twist, and this promises to be a nice read.

Between crashing waves, water and thoughts of death--that's where Scarlett finds herself. Depressing and grabbing, and when the heroic rescuer dives into the mix, the first hook sits. Scarlett is trying to come to terms with a heavy past. The way she goes about it is a little different, which makes her that much more intriguing. She's a very independent 17-year-old girl, head strong and more vulnerable than she'll ever admit. Her bravery makes her easy to cheer for, even when it's sometimes her biggest fault.

The story is told from Scarlett's point of view, allowing her thoughts and fears to come to life. But she isn't the only character who gains depth. The side-characters have their own stories, personalities, fears and dreams, making each one pop off the page and gain as much life as Scarlett herself. 

Scarlett's first goal is to discover the reason behind her sister's suicide, but the layers of secrets surrounding the death run deep. There's a delicious, thick fog always hanging in the background, which never comes quite to Scarlett's grasp, and this keeps the mysterious tension high. 

Although there are hints at the paranormal aspect in the plot, these are very sparse during most of the book and first begin to really unfold at the very end. Most of the story is spent on Scarlett's emotional problems, the romance and the characters around her--which was an easy mix to fall into. The steady pace and character depth held a mysterious contemporary flare. The paranormal part peppers in but doesn't unfold in its glory until the last chapters, This means a cliff-hanger ending with the feel that the story was just gaining speed when it hit pause: unsatisfying but still the need to know what happens next.

Summed up: This is an engaging read with characters to fall in love with. The paranormal aspect is kept at a mysterious level with unfolding answers first at the very end. YA romance fans will love every moment, and YA paranormal fans will be completely drawn in but might feel as if the show was just getting started when it ended. The book, however, was one that couldn't be put down until the very last page, and I'll definitely be grabbing book two to see what happens next

And here she is. . .

Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul ¬– recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in a village of Greater Manchester. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Megan walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

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