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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross was minding her own business walking home one night when a mysterious stranger literally falls at her feet. This, she is certain, is a gift from whatever gods exist because it is the perfect opportunity to piss of her father. Nothing would make him angrier than to come home and find his daughter home alone with a total stranger. But the longer she spends in Kale's presence, the more she thinks there is something off about him. She's completely right. He is a Six, which is this novel's way of saying he has supernatural abilities. He's specialty? Death touch. One touch from him and anything living dies and literally dissolves into dust. Even better? He's escaped from a secret compound that uses him and those like him to do their dirty work and her father, Marshall Cross, just happens to be the ringleader. Denazen Corporation isn't a law firm as she has always believed. They seem to be the home office of evil incarnate and they are hellbent on getting Kale back. He's one of a kind and they'll be damned if they loose him. Can she keep Kale safe or will she be a casualty of his recapture?
Dez was a girl I loved almost instantly. She's tough and cool and completely confident. YA doesn't have may confident female characters. We get too many Bella Swan girls who are just so "ugly" but yet every attractive guy in a ten mile radius lines up to try to win her heart. I'm not the most confident person myself, but it's great to read about someone who is. She knows exactly who she is and she refuses to compromise that person for anyone. This is me, take it or leave it kinda of attitude that instantly had me rooting for her. Her determination to irritate her father was an intriguing idea for me. Most teen girls would be a weepy mess if it was obvious that their father doesn't really care for them. Not Dez. She takes it in stride and figures she'll just keep him continually pissed off so he is at least aware of her presence. She's just a bad-ass. How can you not love a girl who intentionally skateboards off a roof within the first chapter?
Then you have Kale...adorable, deadly Kale. This is a guy who has never been outside Denazen before. He's fascinated with everything and his fascination was incredibly endearing. He doesn't understand the outside world beyond the tiny sliver he has been granted and because of that it's hard not to sympathize with him. Plus there is the whole my touch kills people thing. It's not something he knows how to control. It's simply what happens. Even if he just accidentally bumps into someone, skin to skin contact is deadly. Can you imagine having to live with that? Can you imagine having to live with the knowledge that you've killed people accidentally. Or worse, that you've done it on purpose because Denazen commanded you to? I don't even really want to think about such a life. It's not hard to see why Dez falls so hard for him.
Then you have jackass Alex, the other point in the late-blooming love triangle. I'm not a fan. Even if he didn't do the bad thing he does at the end, I wouldn't be a fan. This is a guy who had Dez's love and he intentionally fucked it up. He cheated and he knew she'd find out and that it would break her heart. What the fuck kind of person does that? There were others ways to accomplish the goal you had in mind. And now? Dez is almost over you and you decide to pull this shit? Dude, Let. It. Go.
This is a fast paced little novel that keeps you guessing until the end. It's exceedingly well-written and addictive. Once you get about 50 or so pages in, it's impossible to put down. You have to know what happens next. Does Kale get captured? What is Dez's secret? Why the hell is Dez's dad such a jackass? DO KALE AND DEZ END UP TOGETHER?!?!? You find out all those answers and more. It gets 4 stars instead of 5 because love triangles annoy the fuck out of me. Seriously, that particular plot devise is unnecessary. It actually plays into the plot and story pretty well, but that doesn't change the fact that I hate them. It also has a mild cliffhanger....or maybe I just think it's mild because the next book is already out and I continue on the story as soon as my copy arrives in the mail.
The other small issue I had was that it was almost too fast paced. You don't get a minute to catch your breath and digest what's happening until it's over. On the one hand, that keeps you incredibly interested, but on the other, dude, breathing is kinda important. You're just hit with one event after the next with no space in between to really absorb how what's just happened will affect the plot. If anything, it's a good probably to have, but still, I almost wished it was slowed down just a twinge.
I'll admit that one of the reasons I wanted to read this was because it's the novel that Katy gushed about in Obsidian. At least, I'm pretty sure it is. Either way, that perked my interest and the description did the rest. This novel has lovable characters, an intense plot, and sizzling romance. What more could you want?