Book Review: Gold
By: Talia Vance
Published By: Flux
Publication Date: September 8, 2013
Page Count: 408
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal, Celtic Mythology
Silver, the first novel in the Bandia series, was on of my top 2012 reads so I had extremely high expectations for this one. I'm happy to say that Gold was even better than Silver and has clenched a spot on my top 2013 reads list. I love the lore in this series. It's reminiscent of Greek mythology, but still unique. The bandia, sons, and gods will clash in the ultimate battle, but who will be victorious? Just like in Greek mythology, the lines between good and evil blur and blood will run.
To avoid spoiling anything from the first novel, you should stop reading this review now if you haven't already read Silver (and go buy the book and read it NOW). It is impossible for me to share my thoughts on this one without mentioning things that happened in its predecessor. I will keep spoilers for Gold out of this review.
Wow. That was seriously the first thought that entered my brain when I polished off the last sentence of this one. Gold is an emotional roller coaster with a side of violence. I honestly didn't know which characters would live and which would die until the very end. My heart is broken, but is it odd that I'm okay with the way things ended? Life isn't about the perfect fairy tale romance lasting until both people draw their last breath simultaneously. Life is messy and unpredictable; people we love leave before we're ready for them to go. In spite of the tears shed, I applaud Vance for not sugar coating the ending. I don't know if there are more books in this series, but if this is the end of the road, I'm okay with how things ended.
One thing that really surprised me about this one was the relationship between Brianna and Blake. Their forbidden romance was something that I loved about book one and I wanted nothing more than for them to be together again in this one. Both of these characters have changed and grown since we saw them last in Silver. As a result, their relationship is extremely different this time around. I won't say more, but I never saw it coming and it did take me some time to settle into the new way of things.
Brianna and Blake aren't the only characters who change. Austin is still arrogant, charming, and handsome, but he also has a sense of humanity about him in this one. He feels more and expresses emotions far more than he ever did in the first novel. I adored this Austin.
In addition to the characters, I also loved the fast pace of this one. You can feel the apprehension in the air as the time of the battle approaches. Everyone is preparing and deciding which side they will support.
I could go on and on about this novel, but it would spoil too many things. I loved every moment - even the painful ones. Well done, Talia Vance, well done.
One Last Gripe: Even though I've made peace with the ending, it was still brutal and stomped on my heart.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the evolution of the characters.
First Sentence: Ireland is magic.
Favorite Character: Austin
Least Favorite Character: Liam
Descended from an Irish demigod, Brianna has fled to Ireland to escape destruction at the hands of her sworn enemies, the Sons of Killian. Taking refuge at the estate of her former nemesis, Austin Montgomery, Brianna discovers a rift in time that opens to an era before the feud began.
Wrestling with her newfound feelings for the more innocent Austin, Brianna begins to wonder if she can alter the past. But when Brianna and Austin learn that the Sons are raising an army of mythical beasts, the pair will need to use their magical strength in the present to avoid a tragic end.