Thursday, October 11, 2012

Entangled by Nikki Jefford

Title: Entangled
Series: Spellbound
Author: Nikki Jefford
Length: 4167 Kindle units
Rating: 3.5 stars

The Plot

Identical twins Graylee and Charlene don’t always get along, but they’ve managed to coexist pretty well - at least until they have to coexist in the same body. When Graylee dies, her mother performs a spell to bring her back to life, but she accidentally brings her back in Charlene’s body. Now each twin only has possession of the body every other day, and Graylee has to find a way back into her own body before whatever killed her strikes again.

The Good

Overall, Entangled was a well-written and engaging novel. The premise was certainly unique, and it was interesting to watch Graylee and Charlene fight over their single body. The notes they leave and the tricks they play on each other are quite entertaining. I don’t know what I would do if I suddenly occupied one of my sisters’ bodies every other day, but I suspect the result would be similarly chaotic.

Sigh. This is yet another time when I am having a hard time turning what I liked about the book into many words. But, really, I did love the whole part where they were trying to get along and share the body, which was about half the book. It was very amusing.

The Bad

I had two major problems with Entangled: the beginning and the end. I agree to review books about 2 months before I actually read them, so by the time I picked up Entangled, I had long forgotten what the premise of the novel was. So I’m reading along about Graylee’s life and her problems with Charlene and how she doesn’t know Raj likes her. Then, about a third of the way through the novel, she wakes up, and it’s two months later, and she’s been dead all this time. I felt like this shift was too sudden and that it rendered most of the book up to that point completely irrelevant. I mean, your sister blocking your witch powers pales in comparison to being dead, so I think the book could have lost at least half of the stuff before that point and been better off.

I don’t want to say too much about the end because of my eternal desire not to give spoilers. (That’s a lie. I love giving spoilers, but I realize this is déclassé.) But the ending was unsatisfying. The villains in the piece do some extremely atrocious things, and I really don’t feel like they get the proper comeuppance. I also don’t think that the heroes take things as seriously as the events seem to warrant.

The Romance

We establish fairly early on that warlock Raj is in love with Graylee, but she is mostly just scared of him because he got kicked out of the coven years ago for setting his house on fire. Even his mother abandoned him. Now, of course any reader is going to be wondering whether he is really that bad or if he’s just misunderstood. Unfortunately, we don’t really get any feedback from Raj in this regard. Like, he doesn’t do anything horrible, but he doesn’t make any attempt to cast off his reputation. I really don’t have a feel for who Raj is.

But, then, I really don’t have a feel for who Graylee is either. We get a lot of information about who Charlene is, but Graylee seems to define herself as not-Charlene. Which could say a lot about her emotional state, but also makes me unable to predict her actions in any way. She could basically do anything from devoting her life to service to homicide, and I would have no means of saying, “Wait, that’s just not something Graylee would do.”

Will I read more?

I was actually surprised at the end to find out that there is a second (and third) book in the series. I didn’t love the ending, but it seemed self-contained. But there are a few loose ends left open at the end of the first book, maybe even the comeuppance that some of the characters so rightfully deserve. But I think that I am most likely going to skip them.

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