Jessica Rules the Dark Side Hardcover – Jan 10 2012
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Review"Will keep teens riveted until the last page is turned."--VOYA "Fantaskey’s grasp of teen obsessions and realistic dialogue will keep readers satisfied."--Booklist
About the Author
Beth Fantaskeyis the author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jekel Loves Hyde, and Buzz Kill. She lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. Visit her website at www.bethfantaskey.com .
Top Customer Reviews
When Lucius is blamed for the mysterious death of his uncle, he's taken away and thrown into a prison where nobody will supply him with blood. Now, all alone, Jessica must take control and be the leader she was meant to be in order to clear her husband's name and maintain order - before it's too late.
I was so glad to see this one in my mailbox! It seems like I've been waiting ages for the sequel to Jessica's Guide - three years, in fact. After the awesomeness that was book one, the wait for this one felt like an eternity. But you know what? It was totally worth it.
Lucius... what can I say? You're just as dreamy as I remember you were (don't tell anyone, but I always liked you better than that Edward guy anyway). I really enjoyed the shifting points of view - they helped me understand a lot better and get to know the other characters a bit more. I really liked that the plot was so unpredictable, too - there's nothing worse than knowing who did it within the first 50 pages and having to read 200 more before the other characters clue in. This one kept me guessing until the very end!
Without a doubt, my favourite quote from this book was: 'But I know something of suffering, and I learned a long time ago ' both by experiencing violence and by anticipating it ' that fear is the worst kind of grave, because it buries one alive.'
I definitely recommend all paranormal YA lovers pick up a copy of Jessica Rules the Dark Side as soon as possible - if you've read Jessica's Guide already. If not, pick up a copy of both the next time you visit the bookstore! Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First 50 Pages: One of the first things that I noticed with this book is that it was immediately much darker and less teenagerish then the first book. In the first book, there was so fluff and I couldn't really find that in this book. Everything is much more serious this time around. It's in Jessica's hands to save her husband from his execution, so there was a level of suspense right from the start which I really enjoyed. A woman that has to save a man? That's a big change from other books with similar plot lines! I love strong, dependable female characters!
Plot and Characters: There are alternating Point of Views in this book between Jessica and Mindy, a feature that I really enjoy, but not everyone will. As for the plot, Jessica has to be able to stand on her own two feet and adjust to live as a ruler of vampires. In the first novel, as the reader we are left with many unanswered questions and this book fills in those gaps. Once again, Jessica does a complete transformation throughout this book that I just loved reading about.
There were a few differences that I noticed between this book and the first. For one, there isn't as much romance as the first book. I'm okay with that, even though the romance in the first was one of my favorite things. There is a good explanation why the romance was sizzled down, since you know, it is really hard to have romance when one character is imprisoned for a good part of the book. When you do find the romance, it's electric! You know how people say that with time, the heart yearns more? That's a pretty good way of describing it. I love the romance between Jessica and Lucius, although I'll admit, it is rather odd to find a married couple in a young adult novel!
It was also really nice to hear more from Mindy and Raniero in this book. Their POV's were also added into the mix, and while I didn't care too much for Mindy in the first book, I actually liked her character in this one. They are more of a side plot then an actual part of the storyline but I don't think that they detracted me in any way from the main storyline. I enjoyed their parts on this book and their romance made up the slight lack of romance between the main characters. I thought they were very interesting!
Final Thoughts: This book didn't disappoint me at all. It is on par with the first novel and I may have even liked it a bit more because of its darker themes. It felt like an exchange. While the first book was loaded with romance, it didn't have much suspense and action. While the second book doesn't have a ton of romance, it makes up for it with suspense and action. I think Beth did a great job with this book and I can't wait until I see what she comes up with next!
There is a reason why romance novels end with a wedding, sometimes followed by a few pages of honeymoon shmexing (don't expect it in "Jessica Rules the Dark Side," it's a very young YA novel). When the lovers are bound together for eternity, when there are no more misunderstandings and tension, how do you continue writing about this couple and keep things hot and dynamic between them? Only a few authors can pull off a relationship that is as exiting post marriage as it was during the dating phase. Unfortunately, Beth Fantaskey is not one of those authors.
As you probably remember, "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" ended with Jessica turning vamp and then marrying Lucius in a series of extras posted on Beth Fantaskey's website. So, they have their HEA, what is next?
Next is a conflict related to some conspiracy to keep Lucius from his rightful throne and Jessica's problems with accepting her new royal status. The whole affair is pretty tepid and frigid, if you ask me. The mystery is very one-dimensional, with hardly any suspense. And the hotness of Jessica/Lucius antagonistic flirting is, as expected, gone.
What lightens up this otherwise dull and slightly angsty sequel is a secondary romance between Jessica's best friend from Pennsylvania Mindy and Lucius' cousin Raniero, delivered via 2 additional POVs. Their story should have been the focus of the followup to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.
Although Mindy sounds surprisingly hick-ish in this novel, Raniero compensates for her deficiencies with his amusing Buddhist/hobo/surfer attitude. These two have chemistry, they provide comedic relief, they are interesting. Jessica's and Lucius's problems should have been secondary to Mindy/Raniero romance.
I wish someone had given Fantaskey the advise to write a companion novel about Mindy and Raniero rather than a direct sequel to "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side." But alas, nobody did. Very unfortunate indeed. Give this book a go only if you are willing to be bored and skim over all Lucius/Jessica parts to get to more enjoyable Mindy/Raniero scenes. At least this was much better than "Jekel Loves Hyde."
Fantaskey moves us to Romania where there truly is no concept of safety. Jessica is doing her best to prove to Lucius that she can be a Princess, but she's having trouble abandoning her American and vegan routes for a lifestyle of brutality and blood-lust when it comes to being vampire loyalty. She's barely eating and has begun to hallucinate and have frightful dreams from the stress. And then the unthinkable happens. Claudiu is murdered and everyone points their fingers at Lucius. With her husband's trial date inching closer and closer, Jessica is forced to solve the murder mystery before she may have to carry out her first vampire destruction...that of her husband.
I did enjoy the mystery in this one. We were able to slowly watch Jessica bloom into a Princess with confidence instead of a scared girl that doesn't feel like she belongs. While I had the murderer pegged about half way through the book, Fantaskey made sure the tale was entertaining and full of twists and turns that I didn't fully expect. Jessica enlists the help of Lucius's most trusted ally, an ex-master assassin that turned to Buddhism and surfing to qualm his extreme bloodlust, and takes us on a really interesting journey of discovery.
The characterization in this novel is what made it for me, though. It's told between four alternate point of view's: Jessica, Lucius, Mindy, and Raniero, affectionately referred to as Ronnie by Mindy. At first, I thought that this would be really confusing, but Fantaskey handled her unique writing style beautifully and used the alternating views to her advantage by slipping us every possible detail and hunch that she could. Lucius's speech, as always, provided a lot of comic relief, but Raniero's speech was ten times funnier despite his eventual seriousness. Mindy also played a large part in comic relief. Fantaskey wrote her specific chapters in a special voice that not only made you laugh, but had you feeling the intense protection that Mindy felt for her best friend despite the fact that she suddenly became a vampire princess. It was also really nice to witness exactly how Jessica transformed from the shy, questionable Princess to a vampire with so much confidence she practically already looked like a Queen.
All in all, this was a really great installment in Jessica's story. The ending was satisfying, though it did leave me with a few questions. It makes me curious about whether there will be a Jessica #3 on the horizon. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, funny vampire tale that does stand out from many of the rest. However, you must read Jessica #1 and I recommend reading the wedding novella before reading this one. The novella truly helps to bridge the gaps between the two stories better. Jessica's story is truly one of pure entertainment.
The secondary romance is interesting and I for one wonder where Ms Fantaskey will go with this. I hope it will not exclude Jess and Lucius as I would like to continue watching them mature.
A very good read by a very good writer.
In the 1st book the main characters were the primary focus, but in this book it is not so prominent. Mindy was an added addition, and point of views were switched to her as well. The 1st book was amazing, and even though the second book was not as good, if you ready the first one, you are more than likely to read this book. For fans, the book could have been better, but it was an okay ready, and if you've read the first, you should read this book as well.
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