June 20, 2012

Book Review: FORBIDDEN by Syrie James & Ryan M. James

Book :  Forbidden
Authors:  Syrie and Ryan James
Publisher:  Harper TEEN
Category:  Paranormal YA Fiction

She should not exist.  He should not love her.

"You can't go back! I don't want you to give up everything for me!"- Claire
"Claire, you'll be happier without me.  This is your chance to be safe, to have some semblance of a normal life."- Alec
"I don't want a normal life. I want you."- Claire
"I want you too. But it's not realistic. It never was."- Alec

Claire is a smart young woman who reaches puberty late (read: period at 17) and with it comes psychic powers slowly, but surely, getting stronger as each day passes.  She can see both a person’s past and future with just a touch.  Afraid that her mother would make them pack up and leave town again, she decides to keep this a secret, telling only her two best friends: Erica and Bryan.  On the day her power manifests, she meets a beautiful boy in school, Alec MacKenzie. 

Alec is no ordinary boy.  He is a Grigori, an angel whose purpose is to find and if necessary, kill Nephilim, particularly The Fallen, or Nephilim gone bad.  But after years of serving blindly, he has gone AWOL and has decided to try being normal, which means living like a human and going to school as a teenage boy though he is more than a hundred years old.

Alec and Claire feel a pull towards each other that gets stronger when he saves the lives of Claire and her friends.  And eventually, she finds out the truth about Alec….and herself. 

Claire is a Nephila. Half angel half human. An abomination in the eyes of the Grigori.  The only one of her kind left.  And is in mortal danger.  Alec’s godfather Vincent, the angel guardian who taught him everything he knows, has been hunting her, and her Grigori father (whom she has never met), for years. 

But despite this and the fact that the Grigori are not allowed to love, Claire and Alec fall for each other.
Knowing she’s in danger, he tries to convince Vincent to leave Claire alone.  Vincent agrees, but only in exchange for Alec’s departure from her life forever.  But how safe is Claire when her psychic powers are growing stronger, and another power has yet to manifest itself….. a power that may make her stronger and more dangerous than all Nephilim and Grigori combined…..

Even though this book is quite predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Mother & son team: Syrie and Ryan James
The plot is good and the characters are engaging.  Written in both main characters’ points of view, it made understanding their dilemma and subsequent choices easier.

Of the characters, I particularly loved Alec for his emotional strength and faith in Claire, of course his Scottish accent (which I kept hearing in my head ala Sean Connery) didn’t hurt either. I also liked both Bryan and Erica for their funny one liners, though it baffles me how easy it was for them to accept Claire and Alec’s true nature.  One nice point in Forbidden is that a possible love triangle with Claire's classmate Neil wasn’t pushed too much.  From the moment Claire liked Alec, she just kept going in one direction and I like that.

Forbidden is a well paced read with no boring moments and a really fine ending.  I suspect the “surprise” character at the end would play a much larger role in the next installment.  In fact, I hope so because the brief part that person had was enough to excite me for the 2nd book which hopefully will come soon.

Forbidden is available at NATIONAL BOOKSTORE branches nationwide.

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