I've written several reviews on Kelley Armstrong's 'Otherworld' series of books and in them have made no secret of the fact that Paige and Lucas remain my all time favourites and Eve and Savannah the two I've so far found hardest to connect with.
Well, this book has moved Savannah way back up the ratings for me. She's less whiny and self-opinionated and far more comfortable in challenging herself. Savannah was never written to be anything at all resembling a normal teen, albeit supernaturally gifted. She was always presented as the raw power and future that a coming together of witchcraft and sorcery, with a dash of demon could ever aspire to be. Armstrong has, over several years of books, cleverly enabled the princess of prima donna's with a chip on her shoulder and sackful of insecurities to grow through all of the teenage angst, impetuosity and cruelty that self-interested youth has above all other considerations. Finally, as we saw energing from her by the end of the last book, Waking the Witch
she starts to mature, to think of others as well as herself. Start to realise that the world does not revolve around her, but that others - outside of her immediate family and circle of fellow supes - might well have as much right to life and as they are human might even benefit from a little supernatural help.
Savannah hasn't become another character altogether, the prima donna princess is still there. The girl with all of her insecurities is still there as is the daughter of Eve who has an almost demonic ability to remain dispassionate at the most gruesome and often terminal situations - and Armstrong does a fantastic job in making sure we see that - but Savannah has started to challenge herself. The author cleverly and (occasionally) subliminally uses a whole series of her characters as the supporting cast here to prompt, nudge, cajole and challenge Savannah to dig deeper within herself to find her inner strengths, and to .... grow up.
The plotline is a lead into the next book. So do not expect to have a big reveal at the end of this book. What you will get is the foundations for 'The Big Battle' and it's going to involve not just Savannah, but Elena and Clay, Hope and Karl, Eve and Kristof, Jeremy and Jamie, Cassandre and Aaron, and Savannah and Adam as well as Paige and Lucas. There are cameo's for all in this book, nods to all of their particular relationship idiosyncrasies, and they all feed a dual storyline - supernaturals are looking to 'come out' and the immortality-questers are back!
Running throughout it all is the romantic undercurrent. Everyone knows Savannah has loved Adam since she was twelve. Clay and Cassandra confirm it to her in the book. What we don't get from this book, though, is clarity on Adam's true feelings - no inner Adam soundbites yet *insert dreamy sighs* - but this book ramps up the temperature nicely. So much so, I actually let out a squeal of frustration at the end of the book that Ms Armstrong could leave me hanging on a snog.
This is by far the best Savannah book. It's also truly deserving five stars for the quality of writing, exceptional continuity and intriguing cliffhanger. I'm desperate for more!!!