It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review. I’ve written a lot about books I want to read, books with gorgeous covers, and so on, but I don’t think I’ve done a straight-up review in at least a year! This weekend, though, I read the entire Relentless series by Karen Lynch. I loved it so much, I just had to share it with you! Honestly, I haven’t loved a series this much in ages!
Relentless Series by Karen Lynch: An Amazing YA Paranormal Read
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The Relentless Trilogy begins with, obviously enough, the book Relentless. Lynch introduces us to the main characters that will star throughout the trilogy and begins building her incredibly rich, imaginative world. We learn that Sara has always been a little different than others. From Amazon:
Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.
Without giving too much away, we meet a lot of great characters in the first book. Sara, the main character, has the ability to heal animals and some supernatural creatures. Her best friend is a troll named Remy. Yep, a troll. Her other two best friends also turn out to have a major secret of their own. Then there’s Nikolas, a mysterious Warrior who is bent on protecting Sara at all costs, even if he drives her nuts in the process. Nikolas shares some shocking news about Sara’s heritage, sending her already crazy world into complete chaos.
Lynch somehow managed to craft a world that’s the perfect mix of vampires, demon slayers AND faeries, something I’ve really never seen done much before. Sara is such a well-developed character. She definitely has a mind of her own! I miss that in a lot of YA fiction, where the lead character starts out with an independent mind, but the moment a cute guy enters the picture, she can’t even breathe without making sure it’s okay with him.
Other reviewers on Amazon had a major issue with Sara’s independence, calling her things like “TSTL,” which apparently means “too stupid to live.” I can only think that these people have issues with strong women characters. Maybe they would prefer to see her act more “obedient” to the male lead? Sara does make some really bad decisions, but they’re HER decisions and she always learns from them. She also always has a good reason behind the decision. She doesn’t go off on her own for the sake of putting herself in danger to advance the plot.
The first book isn’t heavy on the romance at all, which I really loved. You can feel the undercurrents of it, but it’s not that “love at first sight’ thing that’s ever-present in YA books. It builds throughout the three books, reaching its full potential in the 3rd, Rogue. This makes it feel more realistic, less trite.
It’s hard to review the other books without giving spoilers away. You definitely need to read the three books in the right order. Thankfully, Lynch doesn’t spend a whole lot of time reiterating things from the first books. I think she expects that her readers started at the beginning and have a good enough memory that she doesn’t need to spend pages upon pages rehashing the previous books. She does give gentle reminders when she references something that wasn’t a major plot point, so you’ll never be lost.
I will say that Rogue was my favorite in the series! It’s only about 320 pages, but so much happens that it feels like an epic novel of 700+ pages, but totally in a good way. It’s really a non-stop action page-turner. I’m just sad that it’s over now. Lynch is apparently working on a novel that tells the story from Nikolas’ point of view, I’m looking forward to checking that out when it comes out.
If you love GOOD YA paranormal fiction with a strong female character and believable romance (as believable as a paranormal book can be), you definitely need to check out the Relentless series!
Have you read any good books lately? Tell me in the comments, I need something new to read now that I’ve finished this series!