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The Chronicle of the Three: Armor-Bearer Paperback – January 19, 2017
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"Once again, Tabitha Caplinger has woven together a book that is so easy and fun to get lost in...Armor-Bearer is a fantastic continuation in this trilogy that is filled with addicting writing, lovable characters, and an emotional, action-packed plot line." - Under the Book Cover
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I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. In addition, I have already ordered three copies!!
If you thought I ranted and raved about how much I loved Bloodline, then get ready. It's been a while since I've quite literally accidentally read half of a book in one sitting, but that is exactly what I did with Armor-Bearer. I was left needing more of this world after finishing the first book, so I opened up my e-reader and before I knew it, I was halfway through this book. Oops. It only took me two sittings to finish this and by the end, I was crying.
Armor-Bearer picks up shortly after the end of Bloodline and the very first chapter is filled with questions. The quirky little family of Zoe, Claire, Maggie, Daniel, and now Lucas are patrolling the city for demons and pouting their way into various hot breakfasts. With the shadows creeping progressively closer, Zoe worries that she doesn't have what it takes to fulfill her destiny. Can the group decipher the ancient text of the Chronicle to learn its secrets before their enemy can bring their fears and doubts to life?
One of my favorite things about this book was the introduction of Lucas as a member of the family. In Bloodline, Lucas is a proselyte and the main antagonist. At the end, Zoe saves him and shows him kindness and love when he had none. In this book, he joined together with Zoe and the rest of the team to help fight off the demons that are slowly invading Torchcreek. Lucas is definitely the dark humored one of the bunch, but he was so fantastic. He had his moments of wondering just why Zoe decided to save him and why they want to have him around, but he was also incredibly funny and sassy in his own way. Also, his friendship that develops with Maggie was hilarious, and I adored each and every interaction those two had. With Maggie being a ball of energy and Lucas being very calm and, well, not Maggie, the two of them actually mesh together so well and make for some very loud and obnoxious laughter while reading this book. Lucas definitely took the secondary favorite character spot, with Maggie still holding number one!
In Bloodline, we got a lot of Zoe and her story and how she's dealing with being a Daughter of the Three. With Armor-Bearer, we get a lot of Claire and how she's dealing with potentially not being Chosen like she thought she was, as well as some past issues coming back to haunt her. Quite literally, actually. My heart genuinely broke for Claire at several parts of this book and I really just wanted to reach out and give her a hug. She really goes through a lot and you can tell that things are starting to take their toll on her. As the group dives deeper into the books they got from Father Callum and tries to figure out more about the Destroyer that is supposedly gaining more power, they discover that Claire is in fact the Armor-Bearer, which is basically the guardian of the Daughter. This book definitely seems to throw a lot at Claire, but she's one of the strongest characters in this series and she's able to fight and bounce back from some of the low points she experiences.
With this being the second book in the trilogy, there's a lot of buildup to the inevitable "big battle" that is going to happen. The Destroyer, also known as Abaddon, spends a lot of this book trying to invade the thoughts and dreams of our group of heroes and break them down. He even takes things into his own...claws?...and shows up at various points in a form that the group doesn't expect.We are also introduced to another proselyte named Meredith and discover that she was a descendant of the bloodline that Zoe is from, but she ended up not being Chosen. I thought that was an interesting twist and wondered, along with Zoe, if there were others that were descendants that were not Chosen and just what happened to them. If the mental barrage from Abaddon and the sassy, evil proselyte isn't enough, the shadows are also becoming more and more frequent, making everyone aware that the "end" is coming sooner than they might realize. With all of this evil being thrown at them left and right, and doubt slowly creeping in, it's amazing that no one cracks and completely falls apart. But that's what I love about all of these characters- no matter what challenges come their way, they stand together and are constantly motivating and caring for each other.
Once again, Tabitha Caplinger has woven together a book that is so easy and fun to get lost in. As I said above, I read half of this book in one night accidentally. It was just so good that I didn't want to stop! The writing is beautiful and flows so nicely that you find yourself turning the pages and just completely immersing yourself in Zoe's world, not really concerning yourself with when the chapter will end but simply following the story and seeing what happens next. The plot, characters, and everything in between was written so very well that it's almost impossible not to love. It's not often that you come across a YA book that isn't filled with obscene language, intense sexual content, and a fair share of annoyingly stereotypical characters, but Armor-Bearer breaks that mold. Tabitha manages to create a wonderful story without the language, sex, and cookie cutter YA characters that you'll effortlessly devour and find yourself craving the next installment soon after finishing the book!
Armor-Bearer is a fantastic continuation in this trilogy that is filled with addicting writing, lovable characters, and an emotional, action-packed plot line. Be sure to pick it up when it releases in February 2017!
While engaging in spiritual warfare, there are plenty of nightmares and restless nights going on. Coffee helps and love drinking it, but all the coffee in the world won't help the exhaustion so JUST KEEP GOING!
No matter how overwhelmed/stressed/frustrated/inadequate you feel, there is a Maker and you are important to Him. Your comfort isn't a priority, but He will never leave your side and every sacrifice is worth it when you're fighting for His kingdom. This truth might get blurry when you're sleep deprived, but when you need the reminder, He will tell you.
Even demons have a purpose in God's unfailing plans for His Chosen ones.
You're never alone even in your darkest moments.....He's right there with you and in your weakness is when He shows up the most.
You're NEVER too far gone for Him to rescue you....case in point, Lucas. You may not understand the Maker's timing and His strategy, but He always makes a way where there is no way and replaces despair with hope (this is not quoted in the story, but it is illustrated throughout the plot and it's my way of summarizing it). The dark side hates this!
Even the TINIEST light is ENOUGH to stop and even destroy the darkness/shadows! Same with the Maker's truth, the shadows cannot defeat you when you speak that truth.
It's VERY important to have an Aunt Claire when you have been chosen to slay demons! Okay, so that's not true but she is such an awesome character and had to mention her :) She is capable, strong, petite, feisty, and fiercely protective of her niece and her niece's friends. She thinks she is broken because of tragedy that has happened in her life and she has misunderstood her purpose at one time or another, but she is so important to the story and she is just one example of how family can be key to the healing process when going through confusion caused by spiritual warfare. She's an awesome cook, she will do whatever it takes to protect her niece, she is compassionate, and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fighting the good fight! I have hopes for her love life, am in total agreement with Maggie there, but overall I'm just grateful for women like her who are diehards in their faith life :)
When you have been called to slay demons, it's important to always be prepared. This is more than having a couple of blades hidden in your boots, though, it's also trusting the Maker day to day and finding peace in His presence. Prayer, meditation and reading the Word are also vital but none of these activities are mentioned in the story so that readers of all backgrounds relate to its characters. Even if I don't full agree with certain parts of the story, I think it's brilliant how unconventional the author is in her storytelling and she fully gets your attention with these wonderful characters.
The darkness does not fight fair, but even the smallest amount of faith can mess up their plans.
Don't forget to eat breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day and it will strengthen you before starting any battles against demons.
"I can't be the only one who thinks this is a bad idea." Lucas leaned against a barn with his arms crossed over his chest.
Other comments......there are two characters who are raised from the dead in this story, even though I felt uncomfortable with that part of the plot, it didn't take away anything for me and as the story transpired I was able to understand why it was written like that. Loved how Lucas is now fighting for The God Squad AKA Team God AKA Demonslayers :) There were also new characters introduced, it was a pleasure seeing how they all fit into the story. Maggie is the BESTEST friend ever written, she supports her friends in their battle moments, but she also reminds them they must participate in community activities and have fun in the midst of their crazy, paranormal lives!! Her and Zoe eagerly want to see Claire have a healthy love life/romance and are protective of her this way, so cute!! It was lovely seeing how the title was explained in the story and I guessed what the third book's title will be, that's so cool :) I'm a sensitive reader and the demons/shadows described in the story were not creepy to me at all. The story focuses on the important messages of being Chosen, Loved, Never Alone and each of the main characters are loyal to one another and refer to each other as family.....always willing to help out and sacrifice for one another when the battle intensifies, all of this is brilliantly written and brings hope to the reader no matter what their faith is. I truly look forward to the third book and I have been blessed so much by this trilogy! I recommend reading Bloodline first, I would not consider Armor-Bearer a stand alone.
Thanks to the author and publisher for the review ecopy provided, all thoughts and comments are my own.
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I love that Armor-Bearor easily transitions from the first book in the series, Bloodline.Read more