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Book Reviews

Review: “Emblaze,” Jessica Shirvington

October 15, 2011

I received this book for free from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Emblaze,” Jessica ShirvingtonEmblaze (The Violet Eden Chapters #3)
Written by Jessica Shirvington
Published October, 2011 by Hachette
414 pages
Provided by: Hachette Australia
Genres: Angels & Demons, Urban Fantasy
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five-stars

Once again Violet Eden faces an impossible choice … and the consequences are unimaginable.

Violet has come to terms with the fact that being part angel, part human, means her life will never be as it was.

Now Violet has something Phoenix – the exiled angel who betrayed her – will do anything for, and she has no intention of letting it fall into his hands. The only problem is that he has something she needs too.

Not afraid to raise the stakes, Phoenix seemingly holds all the power, always one step ahead. And when he puts the final pieces of the prophecy together, it doesn’t take him long to realise exactly who he needs in order to open the gates of Hell.

With the help of surprising new allies, ancient prophecies are deciphered, a destination set and, after a shattering confrontation with her father, Violet leaves for the islands of Greece without knowing if she will have a home to return to…

Emblaze is, quite simply, not to be missed. Once again Jessica Shirvington manages to delivers to the extreme – with perfectly rounded characters, relationships and a thrilling plot! Exciting twists and turns will make the third instalment in The Violet Eden Chapters quite possibly the best book so far!

First of all, I have to thank Jessica for sending me one of her author copies to me. I’m such a fan of the series and to have shared this journey with her and the characters – from the release of book one – has just been amazing. I feel so privileged!

That being said, I find my jaw dropping each time I read each new instalment of Violet’s story. I get caught up within the plot and the intricate characters as soon as I turn the first page, and it’s as if I’ve never left Violet’s world despite the six-month gaps in between the release of the books. I don’t know how I’m going to survive a year until the fourth book, Endless, is released.

Emblaze starts with a different viewpoint; this time from Violet’s mother at the time Violet was born. We learn a lot about her birth and get given hints as to the deal Evelyn made with the angels. At this point, I’m dying with curiosity! The opening certainly shook up things for the rest of the book.

We dive quickly back into the action, however, when we resume the story with Violet. Our favourite characters are back – including Spence, yay! – and I’m once again torn between love and hate with Exile, Phoenix. He’s come such a long way since the first book, Embrace, and it’s been such an interesting ride. Violet and Lincoln have evolved, too.

Which brings me to their relationship. I absolutely adore it and I firmly believe it’s one of the best I’ve read in YA recently. There’s just so much tension, and it’s palpable to the reader. It’s been AGES (read: since I started reading YA years ago) since I got that warm, tingly feeling when reading about characters, but Violet and Lincoln always reduce me to a blibbering mess! I just love them so much and I cherish every interaction they have upon the page.

The Violet Eden Chapters also has a great back-up cast of characters; including Spence, Steph, Griffin, Salvatore, Zoe, Onyx, Dapper… the list goes on! If you haven’t become attached to this group of characters by now, there is seriously something wrong with you. The characters play off one another perfectly; we have the best friend relationship between Violet and Steph, the snarky/fun relationship between Violet and Spence, the mutual respect between Griffin and Lincoln… the list goes on.

Plot-wise, Emblaze takes us on an amazing journey. In Enticed, the crew travelled to Jordan. This time they’re off to Greece – Santorini – to be precise, to stop Phoenix from unleashing Lilith in his quest to belong. You can be sure there are many twists and turns along the way, but Greece provides an interesting and fresh backdrop for the characters and the problems they face.

One scene in particular stuck out for me; the one with The Keeper of the Island – Irin. I had planned to finish with the chapter for the night, but upon reading it, I found myself quickly charging through more than I had planned. I don’t want to giveaway any spoilers, but you may find yourself fanning your face with the book in an effort to calm down.

We’re also introduced to a new Grigori – Josephine – who rubs the whole crew, especially Violet, the wrong way. She’s the head of the Academy and her addition to the story only creates more drama and tension than ever before. Violet faces new threats, ones closer to home, now that she’s around.

I don’t want to give too much away about the ending, but it was utterly PERFECT. You know how sometimes books lead up to this ‘huge battle’ and then it kind of just fizzles out within the space of one chapter? Emblaze doesn’t fall like that at all. We’re given endless action; one that is warranted, not boring and needless. The final chapters are a heart-stopping ride and fans of the series will be glad it lives up to its predecessors.

As for the final twist in the story – the appearance of a new character – as well as the final few lines of the book, well, I cannot WAIT to see where it heads. My only regret is that the fourth book, Endless, may well just be… well, the end.

Recommended to: Fans of the series will LOVE this. If you haven’t started the series yet, what are you waiting for? Get on it immediately! I also wanted to point out that – FINALLY – this series is available on Book Depository, and is out with beautiful, new overseas covers!
Buy the first book, Embrace, here!

About Jessica Shirvington

Jessica Shirvington is an entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for Foxtel and Fox Sports. Married for twelve years with two beautiful daughters, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels.

1 Comment

  • Reply Jess October 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    SFJSKLRJESIOJER I freakin’ loved this book! Definitely lived up to my expectations. I finished it within two days haha! I sent you a text telling you more of my thoughts, btw ;)

    Loved your review! Pretty much agree with everything you said :D

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