Eternal by C.C. Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls: After Dark Book #2 (2/4)
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on October 28, 2014
Genres: [Young Adult] Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
4 Stars, Reread March 12, 2015
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I kind of feel bad because it’s been so long since I’ve written a book review. I’m already a slow reader and an even slower one in the midst of school. But I haven’t really had an excuse because I’ve been on my spring break for the past week. Lately, I’ve been reading what other bloggers have shared more than I have done actual reading, so I thought it’d be appropriate to write a review of my latest reread before I lose all rights as a book blogger.
In this installment of the Shadow Falls: After Dark series, Della begins to learn more about her new powers as a reborn vampire. She’s much stronger, swifter, and even more badass than the last book. Della continues to unravel the mysteries in her family history, including learning about her murdered aunt and estranged vampire uncle. In the process, a ghost continues to bother her (yes, apparently, these reborn vampires are limited necromancers as well) with visions and clues to an underground vampire unit, where young fresh-turns are used as slaves. And even worse, she’s assigned to work this case with Chase, a vampire she’s bonded with that shares these ghost visions. Della’s attracted to him but the perpetual lies and secrets makes her dislike him. Like in Reborn, there’s more issues with family, mysteries, and love interests (yup, plural, but don’t worry, the love triangle doesn’t dominate the plot).
What I liked about this book was that Hunter probably read some of her fans’ reviews about her last book and took their advice. Della was an evolving character but she was inconsistent with her language in Reborn. Sometimes she would use a lot of profanity, other times she used middle school expressions. It really threw me off and I’m sure other readers as well. In this book, Hunter made Della’s character more believeable with her speech. Along with the more consistent idiolect, Hunter’s writing style improved in comparison to the last book. I’m not sure whether she felt more comfortable writing a sequel in comparison to starting afresh with a spin off series like she had to in Reborn or what, but whatever the reason she needs to stay this way until the end of the trilogy.
The overall plot this time was more unique than the last. Della was already trying to search for her uncle and knew of her aunt’s existence in the last book, so that was nothing new. And, to be frank, the whole mystery of how the reappearing ghost was connected to the overall case was pretty obvious. However, I did enjoy the idea of an underground slave system and mystery of finding the missing fresh-turned teens, because that was the unique plot readers were waiting for. This twist also allowed readers to further understand about the bond Della and Chase possess.
In my review for Reborn, even though I had so many complaints, I still gave the book 3 stars. At the time, I couldn’t put my finger down on why I still enjoyed the book so much even when there were so many flaws. And I finally found my answer after rereading this one. At first, I thought it was because of Della’s spunky and independent character (since I’m a sucker for strong heroines), but I realized I just liked the realistic humor of how the teenagers and their friendships were portrayed. Hunter manages to make her teenage characters appear real and entertains her readers.
A growing author doesn’t grant fan service to become a better writer. Instead they learn to cultivate better skills on how to write and develop better future characters and stories through reading the constructive criticism of others. Somehow C.C. Hunter clearly grew as a writer between these two books (and, definitely, between her debut ya series and this spin-off), maybe through the fans’ and reviewers’ critique, I don’t know, but I saw the evident changes in writing and creativity between the two novels. So I think this one deserves 4 stars, 1 full star more than Reborn.