{Blog Tour Review} EMBRACE and ENTICE by Jessica Shirvington

Who Will You ENTICE?
So my actual tour stop date was in September, but is only going
up now for various reasons. I'm sorry about that!
O P E N I N G   H O O K:
I HELD THE DAGGER IN MY RIGHT HAND, the hilt heavy and intricately carved, the blade long and slim.  The sharp point made an impression into the tip of my index finger--just enough to sting.  I twisted the hilt slowly and watched the point pirouette on the pad of my finger. 

My dagger--the dagger I'd used to kill a vision of myself.

I put it down beside me, not wanting to touch it any longer but unable to hide it away. 
(Page 1, US ARC edition)
Check out a guest post with Jessica Shirvington from the Get Ready to EMBRACE blog tour when she stopped by A Backwards Story earlier this year! 

While I haven't always had a good relationship with angel novels, Cynthia Hand's fantastic UNEARTHLY trilogy made me give the sub-genre a second chance.  I decided to participate in the blog tour for Jessica Shirvington's The Violet Eden Chapters when Sourcebooks Fire began bringing the books State-side earlier this year.  While the series still can't top UNEARTHLY for me, it does rank higher than the other angel books in the YA genre that I've read.  The first book, EMBRACE, starts out slowly and is mostly a set-up for future books, but the story really gets its wings on its way into ENTICE. 

I would recommend reading EMBRACE before ENTICE in order to get all of the backstory, espcially since ENTICE  has little recap to bring readers up to speed.  The novel centers around a girl named Violet Eden who, upon coming of age at seventeen, discovers that she is a Grigori.  The way one becomes a Grigori is very specific and unique:  "If a child loses either parent within their first twelve days of life, the aura around that child provides a gateway for an angel to impart a portion of its essence.  Both angels of light and dark, from all ranks, are able to give their essence to humans--and along with it, many of their unique abilities and strengths" (page 69, US ARC edition).  Once they're seventeen, they can choose whether or not to embrace and become a Grigori.  Shirvington had developed an intricate mythology for her angels, and details some of what went into it during a guest post earlier this year entitled Angels Have a Pecking Order.  Her unique vision is one of the strongest things going for both EMBRACE and ENTICE.  I love seeing all the different types of angels, and learning more about their powers and abilities.  There's so much to explore in this world Shirvington has built for us.

In EMBRACE, I was annoyed by the love triangle and the irrational way Violet went about her decisions, though Shirvington found a way to explain why she went this route by the novel's end.  ENTICE has less of this issue, which balanced the characters more and made me like Violet a lot better.  It was also intriguing to see the way the decisions she made in EMBRACE haunt her, both in ENTICE and upcoming titles in the series.  Violet has grown a lot from her mistakes and become stronger.  She's more accepting of herself and her destiny now, though still stunned when she finds out the truth of the role she'll play in the future.

There are more answers in ENTICE, as well as new questions, and big revelations may or may not come as a surprise depending on what type of reader you are.  I'm personally really good at guessing things based on little given information, so it's always hard for me to tell if something is truly predictable or if it's just me (which is often the case...!).  ENTICE also has more of a cliffhanger-ending than EMBRACE, dropping new knowledge on readers and leading them toward the third book, EMBLAZE, which is currently available in Australia, but coming to the US and UK in March 2013.  After seeing the way the book ended, I went onto Goodreads to see what future books in the series would be about and was surprised to find out that there will be a total of six books altogether after expecting it to be a trilogy or quartet!  I don't know if I can take six books of the back-and-forth will they/won't they that Violet and Lincoln like to put us through.  Times like this make me wish that more books took the approach that Veronica Roth has with her Divergent Trilogy, where the characters get together early on, then work together to solve their problems and stay together.  It's  healthier, and it doesn't drive me completely crazy.  Then again, a lot of teens experience the back and forth of turmoil in their own high school relationships, so I do try to keep this in mind when I read YA.

Overall, ENTICE is the stronger of the two novels currently published in the US, which leads me to believe that each book in the series will be a stronger, steadier read than the last.  I had many mixed emotions while reading EMBRACE, though Shirvington anticipated the way readers would react to many of her decisions and gives reasoning behind the bigger ones in a way that makes them easier pills to swallow.  I love the fact that she deals with the repercussions in the next book and doesn't gloss over what Violet has gone through, but forces her to evolve and adapt.  While Violet still isn't my favorite character in YA, I anticipate her becoming stronger and more grounded by the series' conclusion, which will make her that much more endearing to readers.

Did you know?  Last month, the CW announced that it was working with Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Television to adapt EMBRACE for a television series in 2013! (source)
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Lately, there's been a common series theme to have each book be a different color.  As a huge fan of purple, I'm glad to see the color make its way off the first book, EMBRACE, and onto the second one, ENTICE.  The color is deeper and darker, but so is the novel. 

I also like the way the smoke crossed over, especially in the titles for both books.  It's gorgeous to look at, especially when it drips from the "R" in EMBRACE and the "N" in ENTICE. 

I'm also a fan of the way the designer attempted to showcase the unusual things happening to Violet's arms with a tattoo on the cover, though it's not quite what I personally envisioned.

This cover doesn't hide the fact that the series is about angels, so readers will know exactly what they're picking up when they see these covers.
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  ENTICE
Author: Jackson Pearce
Release Date: Out Sept. 4, 2012 [US]
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Received: For Review

Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengeance of exiled angels.

Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever.

The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.

ENTICE is the second compelling book in The Violet Eden Chapters