Monday, June 1, 2015

Sisters of Blood and Spirit

Lark and Wren Noble are twins who are very different. Lark has white hair while Wren has red hair. Lark is more sarcastic while Wren is more sunny. Lark is alive while Wren died when she was born. They can communicate and see each other, but no one else can see Wren. Rumors abound as they grew up when Lark's imaginary friend never went away and it stopped being cute. Lark attempted suicide, was saved by her friend Mace, and was sent to a mental institution for her supposed delusions. She's back and a bit traumatized and more jaded, but better than ever. Now, Mace needs her help. A group of his friends stupidly pissed off an old and very powerful ghost at a dilapidated mental institution and desperately need their help. Can Lark and Wren beat this powerful ghost or will they die trying?

I loved Kady Cross's Clockwork Century series, so I had to read her new supernatural book with a modern setting. The strength of the novel is in the sisters. Lark and Wren are fully realized and have very different outlooks on life. Lark is snarky, sarcastic, introverted, and kind of cold. Some might find her unpleasant, but I understood where she was coming from. Most view her as a crazy freak and don't care to get to know her. She recently went through a dark patch where she tried to kill herself and ended up in a mental institution. There, she had herself almost convinced that Wren was a delusion, but came through stronger than ever. Now, she has to lay low and keep attention from herself to ensure never returning to that awful, ghost infested place. She owns her mistakes and learns from them. She can be a bit reckless, but she's crazy brave and willing to fight for those she cares for. The power she shares with her sister is strong and not fully understood by either of them. Not everything can be Googled. I liked that they learned their limitations and abilities over time through experience.

Wren is a bit different. She obviously can't talk to a lot of people and has minimal contact with other ghosts because of her close bond to her sister. Loneliness is pretty familiar for her. Then, she suddenly has a few more friends and a living boy who both likes her and can communicate with her. Wren is definitely more friendly, warm, and much less jaded than her sister. I felt for her because she doesn't really have a life of her own. She can explore the Shadowlands and meet other dead people, but she chooses to stick close to her sister and the land of the living. It simply isn't enough to have only one person to interact with. Wren also has a dark side that she rarely indulges in, but it's definitely disturbing and she relishes in it. She hides it from Lark and it'll be interesting to see how deep into it she's willing to go in future books.  

The story itself is pretty cool. I liked how Cross wasn't afraid to delve into some darkness and gore, but it was fairly predictable. I expected some wrenches thrown into my expectations, but was a bit disappointed. I also didn't really like many of the human characters beyond Lark. Mace kind of seemed sleazy because he clearly has a crush on Lark, but also has a girlfriend. That girlfriend (her name escapes me) is insufferable. If you thought Lark was a bitch, this girl takes the cake. She's mean for absolutely no reason and stays that way. The writing for Lark and Wren is so good, but this girl is super flat and every time she showed up I wanted to throw the book across the room. Kevin the clairvoyant was mediocre and the other human characters just kind of jumble together in my mind. The cover really bothers me. The concept is good, but the photoshop looks awful.

Overall, Sisters of Blood and Spirit was a fun book. I always like dark stories with fun characters. Everything was not always gloom and doom. Cross brings in humor to lighten the mood and break up some of the heaviness. The ending is satisfying without tying everything up too neatly and I would eagerly pick up the next book.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

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