Wednesday, April 10, 2013

YA book review: Jessica Rules The Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica Rules The Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Paranormal YA*Hardcover/eBook: 320 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (January 10, 2012)

It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?

I loved Fantaskey's first book, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, and had to read this to find out what happens to Jessica and Lucius. I thought it started out a bit slow as we see Jessica/Antanasia's life as vampire queen. Luke wasn't involved in the story as much as I would have liked since he spent much of the story behind bars. This is Jessica's tale as she grows from a doubtful young female wannabe ruler to confident woman-in-charge. 

 "Lucius and I locked eyes, and although I wanted to use my new power to set him free, I forced myself to say, "Luati-l."
Take him away."

In Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jess's struggle turns inward. After Lucius is taken to the dungeon to await his trial for a murder he didn't commit, Queen Jessica has to change from shy American hiding behind her strong husband to a ruler their people need and can support.   She also needs to clear her husband's name and prove he didn't murder anyone. Helping out, of course, is her trusty best friend, Mindy, and Lucius' cousin, Raniero. 

As vampire fiction, I expected more action. What I did enjoy was the narrating by Mindy and Raniero. They added much needed humor at points where Jessica's self recriminations slowed the pacing down. As the young queen grows stronger within her own skin, the story became more involved. I found this second book to be a quick, satisfying read but it wasn't as charming or as engrossing as the first in this series. Fantaskey's writing was smooth and fluid and kept me involved in the lives of her characters. Fans of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side will not be disappointed.

Rating: 3.5

Cover comment:
Pairs along nicely with the first book cover. I like it.

Book source: 
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I still haven't read the first book, but I'm glad you found the sequel enjoyable.

    Great review!