Author: Jennifer Quintenz
Publisher: Silver Tree Press
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
I’ve read so many young adult paranormal romance books that I admit to feeling a little jaded by the genre, yet I was pleasantly surprised by this story. It started out in a similar way to many in the genre with the classic teen-discovers-previously-unknown-powers-and-secrets-about-their-birth scenario but the book soon proved itself to be an excellent and unpredictable story with more depth than most.
Blurb: Braedyn is a normal girl just trying to survive high school with her two devoted friends, Royal and Cassie. Together they’re doing a pretty good job of shrugging off the slings and arrows cast their way by the popular crowd when a new boy, Lucas, moves into the house next door. Suddenly Braedyn finds herself falling in love for the first time. But as her sixteenth birthday approaches, Braedyn discovers humankind is at war with the Lilitu, an ancient race of enticing demons that prey on human souls. Her father is a member of the Guard fighting against the Lilitu – and so are the new neighbors, including her crush, Lucas. As her world starts to unravel at the seams, Braedyn learns the right answers aren’t always clear or easy.
The Lilitu are succubi, seen as inherently evil by most of the Guard, but are they? Or are they simply another kind of being who should have their share of our world? The author drew on the ancient Mesopotamian myths of Lilith and her offspring for this book, not just for the characters, but also on a subtle level to question the view of independent women as ‘demonic’ that this mythology has embedded in the Western psyche. Lilith is the one who refused to be Adam’s wife, causing God to create a new, and suitably subservient, wife for Adam ie Eve. Lilith then became known as the mother of all demons.
Thrall had all the usual attributes of a good book, well rounded characters with clear motivations, realistic dialogue, good pacing, interesting plot etc etc, but what I really liked was that, unlike many young adult books, good and evil were not clear cut. There were good and bad on both sides, and sometimes good people did bad things for what seemed like good reasons. Life is like that. Through these events, Braedyn comes to question the assumptions of people around her, and learns that she must ultimately rely on her own judgement.
It also has a beautiful father/daughter relationship, so rarely seen in books today, and the story makes it clear that unconditional love and trust make someone a true parent regardless of their blood relationship.
This is a story of friendship, first love and taking on adult responsibilities, but ultimately it is about empowerment and faith in one’s own strength and sense of rightness. I give it 5 stars and highly recommend it for anyone who likes young adult paranormal romance or urban fantasy. I’ll be adding it to the Awesome Indies list too.
Purchase at the Kindle US store
Review by Tahlia Newland