This weeks read was provided to me by YA Bound Books in exchange for an honest review.
Black Five by J. Lynn Bailey takes place in small town Mason where 17 year old Penelope (Penn) Jackson's life gets very complicated, very quickly. After a gruesome murder in town, events unravel leaving Penn questioning her entire upbringing. She discovers that her best friends since childhood, Kendra and Jesse are a Witch and Sentinel (a protector) respectively, part of her security detail since birth as she is one of only two known surviving Black Bloods from the land of Nightmerianotte. Not only was she born a Black Blood, but also a Five, or Sanguine. A precious bloodline who has the gift to heal, they are known as saviors. Only 4 other Fives have been born since the beginning of Nightmerianotte, all of whom have been kidnapped, whereabouts unknown. Whisked away and hid since birth, she has been under a protective spell that soon expires when she turns 18. The evil, murderous Vacavious (the other known Black Blood) has wrecked havoc on Nightmerianotte transforming it into a dark and desolate place, filled with fear, and his sights are now set on Penn as her protective charm expires. The only way to kill a Black Blood is at the hands of another Black Blood, making Penn Nightmerianottes only chance at redemption. Penn must assume the mantle of the Black Five, using her abilities of healing and mind melding to defeat Vacavious and restore Nightmerianotte to it's former state of peace. Black Five is the first of a planned series, and definitely kicks it off with a bang!
Overall, this was a really great story and fun read. Penn was a totally relateable and likable character, her struggle to accept and come to grips with her new found destiny was both honest and well paced. Kendra was such a loyal, fun, kick-ass side kick BFF, I always enjoyed her scenes, everyone needs a Kendra in their life. And what's a YA book without two dreamy heartthrobs for a good ol' fashioned love triangle? Church, the chiseled, centuries old vampire and Jesse the brooding dreamboat Sentinel. I had such a hard time deciding whose team I was on! (I still don't know to be honest- I love them both.) The fictional land of Nighmerianotte was well fleshed out and imagined. I can't wait to read more first hand in the next book as the adventure and battle changes scenery and moves into this arena. The cliffhanger ending left me seriously wanting more, and scared for at more than one beloved member of our groups life. I was left somewhat confused by the Epilogue, but I assume it will be explained in the next book. The dialogue could have been a little stronger in my opinion, perhaps not so stiff, but for a debut novel, it was a fantastic read. I will definitely be following along to see what happens next!
Head on over to J. Lynn Bailey's website to stay up to date with her work here.
That's all for this week folks!