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Review: Spells (Wings #2) by Aprilynne Pike

WARNING: If you haven't read WINGS, book one of the Laurel series, then it would probably be a good idea to stay away from this review.

S p e l l s (Wings #2) by Aprilynne Pike

"Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?"
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Source: borrowed/Public Library
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Next: Illusions (May 3rd 2011)

As I mentioned in yesterday's post for WINGS, I was left feeling nearly the exact same way when I finished this book as I did its predecessor. Weird, huh? But, it's true. So, still I remain torn toward this series. On the one hand, I think I actually love this series which is why I'm pursuing each installment, but on the other, I'm almost surprised that I picked up the sequel...

It's the essence of the world-building, I think, that stops me from putting down this series altogether. It's too rich, too fascinating, and totally engrossing for me to let go! Thankfully, in SPELLS, more of Avalon is involved, and everything I learned in WINGS was expanded upon. I felt like I learned tons more, while simultaneously feeling as if there's still so much yet to take in and discover. So, it continually piques my interest. I got to see more of the magic of Avalon, learn about its people and customs, and catch an awesome glimpse into faerie inventions, potion-making, etc. I marveled at it all.

But, I was sad to see it go less than halfway into the book. I wanted Laurel to stay for far longer! Avalon is so much more enticing, so much more riveting than any other aspect of Laurel's life. While I understood her wanting to go back - she was, after all, raised in the human world, and is accustomed to it, loves it - but I needed more time in this mystical otherworld. And then, to have her come back to all that ensued made me feel even less satisfied.

I like both covers this time around.
Unfortunately, I still couldn't bring myself to like Laurel. There's just something about her that completely irks me, and that sucks considering she's the heroine I'm stuck with throughout this series. Maybe I'll learn to like her later on (one can only hope, right?). And what really got my goat, was Laurel's constant moving back and forth between the two worlds. As Tamani cleverly put it, she gets the best of both worlds. She stays with David in the human world, but runs off to be with Tamani - however innocent her intentions - when she has the whim. And it ticked me off, how much she tried to keep the two worlds from crashing into one another so that she'd never have to make a choice. The fact that she was shattering Tamani each time she left him, for whatever amount of time, made me *gulps* hate her. I really couldn't stand her for about the entire second half of the book. It's like, *smack-smack* MAKE A FREAKING DECISION ALREADY, YOU SELFISH GIRL. Furthermore, make the right one. And what kills me more: the fact that she knows very well she's in love with him, and he her.

And because I'm such a Team Tamani girl, I have to say I enjoyed David less in this book. Perhaps it's because I'm always a sucker for the underdog, but I didn't feel for David as much. And in so many ways, I feel that Tamani can do and be so much more for Laurel. Can provide so much more. Granted I still had those awe moments when David and Laurel were together, but it was nothing compared to the Whoa! reactions I have when I see Laurel and Tamani as a twosome. But, I still have hope. In the end, I have a feeling, Tamani will be the one she stays with. (Let us pray. *crosses fingers*)

Sticking close to characters, I must say I have considerable new love and interest in both Jamison and Chelsea. Jamison is this wise elder Winter faerie - one of the last of his kind among three - and he always finds the time to explain things to Laurel, as well as advise her. And the things that come out of his mouth captivates me. His wisdom moves me, and so, now, I thoroughly heart the dude. As for Chelsea, Laurel's other best friend, I have to admit that I wanted to see more of her between both books. She has an incredible personality, super funny and quirky as she is. I'm excited to find out if she plays more of a significant role in later books, due to the latest developments in this one. (I almost wish that she was the heroine. Is that totally bad of me?)

Moving on, the plot was constructed nearly the same way as WINGS. Slow pacing, not enough of an impact, and too-little-too-late climactic action, followed by the same dissatisfying ending. When I was finished, I didn't know whether I wanted to toss the book somewhere (though I'd have to come up with an interesting and believable tale for the librarians), or cuddle it and hope for things to turn out better. Maybe I did a little of both, but shh! don't tell.

So, yes, because I'm so invested in this series, for better or worse, I will definitely be pining for ILLUSIONS until I manage to snag it for myself.

"Are you free to be anything more than a friend to me? If," and she stressed the if heavily, "I ever decided to live in Avalon and wanted to be with you, would you be free enough to do that?"
He looked away, and Laurel could tell he'd been avoiding a conversation like this.
"Well?" she insisted.
"If you wanted it," he finally said.
"If I wanted it?"
He nodded. "I'm not allowed to ask. You would have to ask me."
Her breath caught in her chest, and Tamani looked at her.
"Why do you think David bothers me so much?"
Laurel looked down at her lap.
"I can't just storm in and proclaim my intentions. I can't 'steal' you away. I just have to wait and hope that, someday, you'll ask."
"And if I don't?" Laurel said, her voice barley above a whisper.
"Then I guess I'll wait forever."
"Tell me," he said, his voice sharp and demanding. "Tell me David is all you need or want out of your life." Ηis face was close to her, his soft breath caressing her face. "Τhat you never think of me when you're kissing him, that you don't dream of me the way I dream of you. Tell me you don't love me."

My God, Tam. I really wish I could put up more, so that all could see how that last scene played out...