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Diabolical (Tantalize) Paperback – February 12, 2013
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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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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.
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.
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. Lucy's a plot point and that's all there is to it. The parts that really didn't make sense were at the end, which means I can't be especially specific. I just want to state for the record that what happened to Kieren and Zachary at the end was completely absurd. Especially Zachary. In what way does that make sense? Argh!
Okay, I want to end my review with something more positive, so I'll go back to the beginning of the book again. As I've already mentioned, Miranda's chilling in the Penultimate, where she can watch over whoever she wants to via a device called the monitor-com until she's ready to pass on to Heaven. (For those who are interested, this is very similar to a vision of the afterlife I wrote about in a short story. Funny that.) The setup is pretty cool, and I do love theories of life after death.
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Zachary has earned his wings back and is now the GA of the only whole souled...Read more