Book Reviews

[review] Supernaturally – Kiersten White

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.

Discovery: I adored Paranormalcy, so it’s a no-brainer that I would pick up the sequel. Still not a huge fan of the cover, but it’s definitely prettier to me than the Paranormalcy cover.

+     Expanded universe. Supernaturally carries on the task of widening Evie’s world, with the introduction of new paranormals. While the introduction to IPCA and the entities it takes responsibility for was sufficient in Paranormalcy, Kiersten White’s expansion of this universe is one of the more fantastic aspects of the novel. I especially loved reading about the trolls and elementals, and I appreciated White’s effort to shake up the myths just a little bit more than she did in the previous novel. The diner scenes, with all the supernatural customers, were also a delight and I would love to see that on film.

–     Unexciting plot. As sequels go, this novel is a poor successor to Paranormalcy and not just because of the title (I’m still trying to figure out the logic of going from using a noun –> verb). Some pretty big things happen to Evie, Lend and the rest of the characters but I didn’t feel the weight of those events or changes. The first book was jam-packed with action and fast decisions, leaving barely any room to take a breath before Evie jumped into another conflict. This one doesn’t seem to know which way it’s going. The urgency of Paranormalcy‘s events have waned and I’ll be honest, I found it difficult to get through the latter half of the book. Basically, I don’t know what points the author was trying to drive at, and if I don’t know, I can’t be too involved in how they turn out.

–     Evie. I have a confession to make: I don’t particularly feel anything for Evie. She wasn’t the reason I liked Paranormalcy, but I did think she was a pretty good character. As I read the second book, however, I slid lower and lower into disliking her for a few reasons. One, she seems to have turned into one of the gushy teenage girls that she hated so much in the first book. Now don’t get me wrong, change is good. Love change. But that change shouldn’t be driven by a boyfriend. I winced a lot while reading this novel and the biggest reason was that Evie had become one of those girls that you roll your eyes at while they talk about how awesome their boyfriend is for the nth time. I’m happy for her, but I don’t really need to hear about her “true love” that much.

Second, she doesn’t think her decisions through. For a girl who was badly hurt by the events of the first book, she doesn’t seem to care about her own welfare. Again, fine, she’s a different person. But I don’t see how her character has developed between Paranormalcy and Supernaturally in any positive manner. This does upset me, because I want to like her. (Notice the present tense?) I think she has a lot of untapped potential and I’d like to see that play out in the third book.

Recommendations: Supernaturally is a regular old sequel, with not a lot of new things to offer old readers. The paranormals themselves keep things interesting and should provide a decent romp.

Rating: Satisfactory.

Go check out Kiersten White’s blog and follow her on Twitter @kierstenwhite.

Next review: Forbidden, Tabitha Suzuma

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