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Diabolical (Tantalize) Hardcover – January 24, 2012

13 customer reviews
Book 4 of 4 in the Tantalize Series

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Editorial Reviews


Runs full force on the fires of hell and the sword power of heaven... The ultimate showdown is a Harry Potter-worthy battle between good and evil-but with a welcome dose of devilish humor...Demonically inspired by Stoker's DRACULA and divinely imagined into the present day, the series blends supernatural adventure with real adolescent preoccupations, from homework to hormones.
—The Horn Book

If the HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT series conceived a child, DIABOLICAL would be it. This supernatural story takes place at a mysteriously dangerous boarding school... Think Hogwarts. But move over Jacob, there is a new werewolf in town named Kieren. His girlfriend, Quincie, is a vampire and his best friend, Zachary, is a fallen angel who lost his wings when he revealed himself to a human teen and fell in love with her. Together, this menagerie of magical creatures pretend to enlist at this spooky academy in order to protect another friend, Lucy, who has recently enrolled and whose life may be in peril due to the supernatural shenanigans that occur... For readers who are thirsting for more dark, paranormal fiction, this novel fits the bill.

About the Author

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the acclaimed and best-selling author of Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed as well as Tantalize: Kieren's Story, a graphic novel illustrated by Ming Doyle. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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Product Details

  • Series: Tantalize
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780763651183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763651183
  • ASIN: 0763651184
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,097,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kale on January 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Heaven and Hell collide in Smith's latest tantalizing installment Diabolical.

Zachary has fallen. He's fallen far from grace, fallen short in his duties, and if he doesn't get his act together he'll end up taking a final fall into that eternal inferno. Zachary maybe an angel belonging to the Order Guardian but he's not particularly good at it, GA probably isn't his calling.

So when word comes down that his girlfriend's bestie is in danger, he doesn't hesitate to break all the rules. Zachary, Kieren, and Quincie are crashing purgatory's prep school in hopes of saving Miranda's best friend Lucy. But the stakes become higher as he realizes that there are a few more souls worth saving attending satan's schoolhouse, and Zachary isn't willing to give up any of them without a fight.

It defies all reason in my mind at how under rated this series is. Diabolical like it's predecessors are more interesting and better written than a lot of it's more popular shelve mates. Again Smith puts a new spin on the arcane giving limbo a modern update and hell an earthly campus. All of our favorite characters are back plus Smith has added a few new players, that I am hoping will become more of a feature in future installments.

Somewhere between deliciously devious menus and heavenly memos lies Diabolical. It's a smart, fresh, and witty take on the whole paranormal YA scene and if you haven't given it a try, you are solely missing out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa A. Palmer VINE VOICE on January 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Book #6 Read in 2013
Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith (YA)

This is the fourth book in a young adult paranormal series. I read this book in a day so I guess that is telling of the fact that I love this series. In this book, the main focus returns to Zachary and Miranda. Zachary is a fallen angel who is earth bound and is the guardian angel of Quince, the vampire with the soul. Miranda is Zachary's true love and she is in a sort of heavenly limbo--reconciling herself with the evils that she did as a vampire queen. Since she can watch over those still on Earth, Miranda sees that Lucy, her best friend, has transferred to a new school that is sending off creepy vibes. She gets a message to Zachary to go and save Lucy. But to do so, Zachary puts himself and his friends at terrible risk. This school is hell. . . . literally.

I do not know if this series will have a book 5, but I hope it does. This series features great characters who have flaws but also great strength, interesting plots that involve good action and romance and the ability to keep readers hooked from beginning to end.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Installment four in Cynthia Leitich Smith's gothic series returns the reader to the format of book two, which, for those who haven't read it, means that the story is told from multiple points of view. For the first time, Kieren gets to 'speak,' along with Miranda, Zachary and Quincie. Yes, that's right. Miranda, my superfav (hint: this is sarcasm) is back.

The story is just as readable and fantastical as the previous ones. If you enjoyed them, I imagine you'll like this one too, especially since you'll actually get a happy ending. Unfortunately, the story is marred by numerous plot holes. Honestly, I think this would have been better had she ixnayed the happy ending.

So much of what happened here is not believable within the context of her own universe. For example, why is Miranda in heaven? This of course, I knew before, and was not entirely cool with, but mostly accepted. Now, though, she's sitting in the Penultimate, a sort of purgatory for Heaven which I'll talk about more later, surrounded by all of these people she killed. What really made me question Smith's decision here was not so much the evidence that Quincie was a completely freaking awful person/eternal, but the fact that not one of her victims is really mad at her. In every case, she saved them from a terrible fate one way or another. Bull.

Along a similar vein, how does Harrison end up in Heaven? This seems like the equivalent of the belief that, no matter what you've done previously, if you're killed after confessing your sins, you get heaven. Umm, why? The one plus of more Harrison in the book was finding out that he is super gay, which was kind of amusing.

The frame story, where they're going into the school to save Lucy, also continually seemed fabricated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MaryAnn on January 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As soon as I started reading, I was once again fully immersed into this hauntingly beautiful world created by Cynthia Leitich Smith. I personally think that you can get by without reading the other three books from the Tantalize series as Smith does a fantastic job of explaining the backstory with each character. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have read them because you'll have a more in-depth knowledge of the characters histories.
We are once again reunited with characters we have grown to love in the previous books of this series, and this particular book did not disappoint. True fans of Cynthia Leitich Smith will immediately fall in love with this story. With her classic back and forth point of views presented in each chapter, we are treated with a clearer understanding of what is going on in each character's mind, and see what sort of struggles they are trying to get through. We are also introduced to a few new characters that the readers will come to love, as they do the original cast.
Even though Zach and Miranda are not "physically" together, you can see through Smith's beautiful writing how much love they still have for each other, even in the afterlife. By having Miranda "report" from Penultimate (somewhere between earth and heaven), we are able to see what is going on in the story from a bird's eye view. I love that Smith incorporated this style of writing in the story.
There were various points throughout the book where I actually gasped out loud, and my eyes did a little bit of a bulging out thing, and my mouth hung open! It was so creepy, and gross and intriguing all at the same time. Even through all that, I couldn't turn away. I had to keep reading. Like seriously....snakes coming out of the mouth? Ewwwwwww! Must keep reading on...
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