Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mortal Defiance by Nichole Chase

Title: Mortal Defiance
Series: Dark Betrayal
Author: Nichole Chase
Previous Books in Series: Mortal Obligation
Length: 3659 Kindle units
Rating: 3.5 stars

Refresher: Vampires from outer space. Ree and her five guardian-friends are all that stands between them and the annihilation of the whole planet

Apparently the only thing that people remember from my review of Mortal Obligation was that it contained vampires from outer space. This has apparently led my sister to believe that it is like Plan 9 from Outer Space, which is unfair because Mortal Obligation is much better than Plan 9. There are no tipping cardboard tombstones, and Bela Lugosi does not die in the middle. Really, the fact that the vampires are from space in the Dark Betrayal trilogy is incidental to the plot. So I’m a little sorry if I over-emphasized it in the last post. Clearly I still liked it well enough to read the second one.

I enjoyed Mortal Defiance rather more than I did Mortal Obligation, especially since it had more of a plot and lacked the numerous introduction-of-the-mythology scenes of the first one. As noted above, the mythology is a bit absurd, so everyone is better off thinking of it as a general good vs. evil.  The book lost a few points toward the end, because the characters had to explain the mythology for the benefit of their parents.

Paden still has a ridiculous name, but he has decided to be less wishy-washy, which is definitely an improvement. Roland also comes to a decision regarding his feelings for Ree, which leads to exciting drama and competition for highest kill count. And it seems that there may be a secret, spooooky connection between the two boys.

The one thing that felt off in the novel was the “missions” that Ree and her friends went on. They go out investigating vampire activity, but at each point they observe that this is not the “final battle” that they are waiting for. I don’t understand why, since they know who all the players are, they don’t just skip ahead to this final battle. I mean, I understand they need time to train, but I would think they would do that from a safe distance. And they might want to engage in some reconnaissance/test battling to judge the enemies’ weak points. But I would think they would only send a few of them out to investigate, rather than the whole team. I especially think they would like to leave Ree well out of combat. They can’t count forever on the bad guys not taking her out because they are waiting for the cosmos to align and declare it time for the last battle.

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