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Rashika, The Book Owl

So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).

The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens

The Kingdom - Amanda Stevens

And so I finished the second book in this series and discovered hope for finding unique books in the urban fantasy genre.
The End.

Although technically speaking this isn't really urban fantasy, it's more along the lines of gothic. 

I read the first book in the series a while ago and I fell in love. 

At first I was reluctant to start the second book in the series because Devlin wasn't going to be a big part of it. But after a while I started craving dark/gothic books. 

At this point, I've read so much urban fantasy/paranormal that most of the times whenever I read something along those lines, I am mostly reading for mindless entertainment and don't have much hope for discovering something amazing. They are fun but they don't do anything for me, they don't remind me why I love reading.

There are so many cliches out there and most of the characters in these books are so similar. It's like reading the same story again and again a hundred times.

So I decided I needed something different before I forgot what it felt like to read a great book, one that blows your mind into tiny pieces and leaves you there trying to put your mind back together.

And so I picked this book up hoping to be impressed. And I was. I was more than impressed and this comes as a surprise to me because I thought I'd miss Devlin too much to enjoy this book.

I think one of the reasons I am so in love with this series is because of our main character. It's rare for me to wholly appreciate a female lead. I am someone who tends to look for faults and so most of the time even if I say I like a female lead there will be certain things that annoy me about that character.

However Amelia is different, she doesn't hide behind sarcastic lines. There are so many female leads that are sarcastic and deep down they hurt and they'll take it out on the world. But Amelia doesn't. Things are not wonderful for her, she sees ghosts but she cannot acknowledge them, she has spent her whole life trying to make sure they don't know she can see them. That makes for a hell of a life. This whole ghost-seeing drew a wall between her and her parents, her dad can see them but even with that they have a cliff between them. Despite this she isn't angry at the world. She is actually a smart woman with an actual sense of self-preservation. She doesn't just throw herself into random situations without at least acknowledging the consequences. Of course that isn't to say that she sometimes does go into bad situations against her better judgement but sometimes curiosity does get the best of all of us.

As I mentioned her relationship with her parents is somewhat strained, of course she could hold this against her parents but she realizes that they love her even with all the secrets that they keep from her so she doesn't try to push them out of their comfort zones and demand the truth. 

She is also very honest with herself, which I can admire. Of course that isn't to say that she sometimes tries to hide from the truth. Some of the things that happen are awful so I don't blame her in the least. 

In this book we meet a wonderful canine companion for our awesome female lead, Angus. Dogs always make things better don't they? So did this dog. Although I wish he had gotten that shower that Amelia kept on promising him. :P

Quaint was the word that came to mind, and it was only on second glance that one noticed the deteriorating vital signs of a dying community—boarded windows, sagging gutters, the stopped clock in the beautiful old tower.
The author does a great job with the way she presents Asher Town, it's really creepy and since I love creeepy I am very happy.

I think the plot was also really good. There are things that are obvious right from the start but in a subtle way. Predictability usually annoys me if the main character is the last one to catch on but I believe that in this case it's predictable because the main character suspects some of the things in her subconscious mind. She does have great instincts and actually pays attention to what her gut is saying. 

This book brings in a potential love interest in the form of Thane. In the last book Amelia ran away from a potential relationship with Devlin because she realized how much that could harm her. So they aren't actually in a relationship at this point, however she is in love with him.

Thane is a character similar to Devlin in some ways but not nearly as intense. The way the author plays out their relationship is interesting and the way she closes their chapter even more so, this is how I wish authors would play out their love triangles. This ISN'T a love triangle, I repeat THIS BOOK DOESN'T HAVE A LOVE TRIANGLE because there aren't two love interests, Devlin isn't in this book so you cannot count him. What I mean by my statement is that I wish authors would end things as nicely as Amanda did and clear things up for both the people instead of just making a female lead cut of the other love interest. 

The ending to this book is great. It's perfect. I rarely say that. I always have issues with endings. Of course this is the second book in the series but it can be read like a stand alone (although I have no idea why anyone would want to not read about Devlin). But I love how the author can tie up all ends and leave us in anticipation of the sequel without using a dramatic cliff hanger.

I wish I could write down all my feelings about this book but it's hard to put what I want to say into words so I am going to end this here.