July 26, 2011; HarperTeen
Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.
But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.
So much for normal.(courtesy of Goodreads)
One of the hardest things for a first time author to do is to leave that debut status and become a sophomore author. It is hardest when an author's first novel is received to high acclaim. How do you top a great book? Kiersten White was in this position with Supernaturally. Paranormalcy was a refreshing change from the standard paranormal romance. Laugh out loud funny with a heroine who was sweet, snarky, and confident but also innocent and vulnerable. Add to that a host of paranormal characters and a kind love interest and you have a winning novel.
I'd love to say that Supernaturally outdoes Paranormalcy or even lives up to it, but I cannot. That's not to say it's bad. Certainly not. It is a wonderful book, but it's not special. I was disappointed to see it falling into the same formulaic mold that the majority of "second" paranormal novels feel compelled to fit: Happy love life isn't so great, couple emotionally or physically separates, third wheel enters, heroine gets into some kind of trouble, happy couple reunites happily. And there you have Supernaturally in a very bare-bones nutshell.
Evie has everything she wants - a normal life, a fabulous boyfriend, and best of all - a locker! Unfortunately, she realizes what the rest of us figured out long ago. Normal isn't that fun. So she accepts contract work with the IPCA, despite knowing the agency's dark side. But even her old hunting habits aren't as easy as they used to be. Especially not with Jack, her new colleague - or is he an enemy?
Evie continues to be a joy. She's not as funny as she was in Paranormalcy, but I still got a kick out of her. She has such a sarcastic, dry outlook on life - definitely someone I would want to be friends with. Plus, everything about her is cutesy and girly. I also like that her vulnerabilities are a big part of her character and the plot. She is desperate to really understand where she came from. She both loves and resents Raquel, the only "mother" she ever knew. She can't stand her ex-boyfriend Reth, the manipulative amoral fairy, but she also can't stay away. It makes Evie feel like a real person and also adds depth to a series that might otherwise feel lightweight. While Evie's decisions in Supernaturally don't always seem wise, they make a lot of sense when you understand the haunted side of her personality.
While I wasn't as pleased with Supernaturally as Paranormalcy, I think I understand its place in the series. There's a reason that the second book tends to be formulaic. Supernaturally further developed the fantasy world - the IPCA, Evie's background, the renegade paranormals. It pushed Evie further along the road of self-discovery and toward a more satisfying relationship with Lend. Ultimately, the series will have more depth because of Supernaturally's place-holding role. But it would be so nice to have a stellar second novel. They're too rare.
You must read Supernaturally if you loved Paranormalcy. It is cutesy and funny. The writing is clean and flows very quickly. You'll love Evie and Lend (the little you see of him). You'll also love Jack who is sarcastic and funny, in many ways the perfect guy for Evie. Kiersten's take on fairies, werewolves, and vampires is like nothing you'll read in any other series. Supernaturally is still a breath of fresh air from most of paranormal romance novels.
I wasn't overly thrilled with Paranormalcy but the one thing that saved it for me was Lend. When I learned he wasn't in the sequel very much, it put me off reading it.ReplyDelete
I didn't mind Paranormalcy so I'll still read this sequel. Anyway great review!ReplyDelete
Great review! I loved Paranormalcy, but have been wondering about this one. I just might have to check it out though - thank you for sharing! :)ReplyDelete
"Happy love life isn't so great, couple emotionally or physically separates, third wheel enters, heroine gets into some kind of trouble, happy couple reunites happily. And there you have Supernaturally in a very bare-bones nutshell. "ReplyDelete
Yep, I've ready many a second book that follows that exact course of events and it can be tiring. I do love Evie though, and usually as long as the characters are strong and interesting, I'm able to overlook a more formulaic plot arc:) I have this one on my shelf, I think I might wait until book 3 is out so I can read them in rapid succession. Super informative review Alison, thanks!
I felt much the same as you did on this one. I am hoping the third brings back that spark.ReplyDelete
I've heard mixed reviews about "Supernaturally" so I've been waiting to pick this one up. I'll definitely will get to it before the third book comes out. Sorry to hear there isn't much of Lend in the book. I loved him in Paranormalcy!ReplyDelete
Great review! I just read Paranormalcy a few months ago and I have to get this one soon. I heard it wasn't as good as the first but I still want to know what happens!ReplyDelete
Nice review! I still have this book sitting on my shelf. LOL! I loved the first book, and I'm want to see what happens next.ReplyDelete
I'm with you on this I felt the same way I loved paranormalcy, but supernaturally just didn't have that same spark. I'm hoping endlessly will put love I had for the series back.ReplyDelete
I have yet to read Paranormalcy, but I am still excited to read this series, but seems like I can wait until the last book comes out. I can imagine that it's hard for authors to avoid that filler book problem that most trilogies have.ReplyDelete
I own a hard copy of this series, but I need to get it on my NOOK. As soon as that happens I will absolutely dive in!ReplyDelete
I think you're exactly right in saying that maybe there's a reason that second books tend to be so formulaic. I think an exceptional author can mask that though in their second book, but it is difficult. I have yet to read this series, but I have a feeling I will love it and Evie just as everyone else seems to.ReplyDelete
I was so disappointed with this book after loving the humor, adventure, and romance of Paranormalcy. However after reading your review, I'm wondering if I was too hard on it and perhaps I should reread it with your points in mind.ReplyDelete
The sophomore slump phenomena is, I think, the reason that I've put off Supernaturally for so long. I still don't have a copy, but I'd like to read it someday. You say that fans of Paranormalcy will enjoy this one--well, I'm a fan--so I'd say I have to give it a go.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your review!