Author: Karen Lynch
Series: Relentless #2
Pub. Date: December 9th 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Rating: 5 STARS
The anticipated sequel to Relentless by Karen Lynch, Refuge delivers on all fronts as the next installment in this fantastic paranormal YA series.
After the disastrous events at the end of the last book, Sara has moved to Mohiri headquarters in order to keep her family, friends, and herself safe. Thrust into this new world Sara must learn to fight and control the powers that come with her unique heritage, at the same time the Master who will stop at nothing to get her begins putting into place a sinister plot. In this unfamiliar place Sara will make new friends, experience profound betrayal, loss, and even unexpected love.
Sara is officially the kind of heroine I adore – strong, caring, selfless, yet still possessing faults that make her completely relatable. She’s willing to admit her own weakness, and is not afraid to cry if everything becomes too much. In this novel we get to see her flourish in a new environment, watching as she finally meets her fellow Mohiri and begins to develop her skills and unique Undine powers. Sara is particularly unique in that she, unlike some of her kind, isn’t as quick to judge based on heritage, a trait adorably portrayed through her relationship with the hellhounds. The secondary characters were all well fleshed out and given unique personalities, my new favourite being Sara’s unlikely friend Jordan and her own special brand of kick-ass.
In this book Lynch continues to build the world she created in the first novel, extending it into the Mohiri and even parts of Faerie as Sara learns about her heritage. We meet all manner of new creatures, from the guardians of the nearby Lake to a disgruntled Wyvern, each new discovery more fascinating than the last. The writing style is simple yet descriptive, managing to flow well and creating a vivid mental image of the events described. The plot itself was tight, moving forward at just the right pace and unveiling key aspects in the build-up to the final confrontation at the end. Action was present in droves, with plenty of fights against demons, vampires, witches and more. Although events at the Mohiri estate could drag slightly at times, this book certainly does not suffer from ‘filler’ syndrome, and is a worthy installment in its own right.
The romance aspect of this book is something that has been building for a while, and has been highly anticipated by myself and other followers of this series. In the first novel Nikolas and Sara’s relationship was one mainly of protection and tentative friendship, yet in this second installment we see their feelings bloom as Sara is (seemingly) out of danger. Some may be annoyed by how clueless Sara is for most of the book, however I found it understandable and it only made the realization that much sweeter. We also discover something major in regards to their relationship in this book; something I had suspected yet was thrilled to discover was true. For those who enjoyed their dynamic in book one, I am certain that you will love the direction the romance takes in book two.
This series continues to be one that surprises and delights me, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA/Fantasy novel. I look forward to reading the last book in this trilogy, Rogue, when it comes out at the end of this year!