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Arcadia's Curse (Arcadia Series Book 2) Kindle Edition
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With an unparalleled talent that draws her readers into her stories and her characters lives, Ms. Ryan gives us the smashing sequel to Arcadia's Gift. Again, each character is well rounded, to the point that I truly feel like I could take a turn on the street corner and meet any one of them. Better than that to me though, was how the plot line of AC was put together. The build of the story is a slow burn, like a fuse curling through an empty storehouse ONLY to find out that the fuse is attached to ten tons of fireworks. Holy Climax, Batman!
Arcadia is learning about her gift, learning who she can trust and who she can't, making new friends and new fantastic enemies. Though the story is built around Arcadia and her psychic gifts, the way Ms. Ryan has written and explained the story, it all seems not only plausible, but highly likely. A fantasy that is real is something every reader wants. And Arcadia's Curse does NOT disappoint. Well done, and hurry up, I cannot WAIT for the third book!
In general, I'm realizing there's a certain quality to books I really love, that's difficult to put into words. I know part of it's voice, but it feels like more than that to me. It's more like a kind of presence inhabited by the books, that tip the fictional worlds into the quasi-real for me...where I believe in the characters in a whole different way/level. Unfortunately, this is a difficult thing to pass in a review (or a sales blurb, for that matter), but it is the one thing that tips a book for me from a "yeah, it was good" review to "HOLY CRAP I LOVED THIS!!"
I need to find some way to articulate that "thing" whatever it is, because to me, it's what I"m constantly in search of as a reader and seemingly never find as often as I would like.
Anyway,...all of that being said, that "thing" is definitely in Jesi Lea Ryan's writing and books. I LOVE this series...she's made a life-long fan of me already
Cady is a fantastically strong female lead, and I greatly admire her. She grows immensely as a person in the novel - beginning as someone who can't stand not to take care of those she loves, no matter the cost to herself, and ending as a young woman who is putting her health (both mental and physical) before others. After all, you can't take care of other people until you can take care of yourself.
But, like all good characters, Cady is also flawed. She has massive communication issues, but when you've been through what she's been through, you can hardly blame her. Also, her strong desire to protect her loved ones is a strength and a weakness, and this quality is woven into the story very well.
Cady's brother, Aaron, plays a bigger roll this time around, and I really love their sibling relationship. I feel like these relationships are often ignored in most books, so it was nice to see them grow closer after the loss of their sister.
Arcadia's Curse also introduces a few new characters, and I was pleasantly surprised that I instantly liked all of them. I was used to the cast from Arcadia's Gift, but Bastian and Alejandra were brilliant, and I love the way these new friendships developed.
The story picks up not long after the first book dropped off, and Cady is pretty miserable with her new empathy abilities. She selflessly allows her boyfriend to behave recklessly since they both know she can heal any injuries he gives himself, despite the fact that healing him completely drains her. In his defense, he doesn't really know this, but these two have communication issues. Cady's primary life goal becomes finding away to continue her education without going mental with her empathy. The bigger plot arc was also very well thought-out. It builds slowly, so you have time to really get to know the characters and care about what happens to them by the time things hit the fan.
Loved it, can't wait for the next one!