**REVIEW** True Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2) by Pat Spence

I had to read Book 2 in The Blue Crystal Trilogy, True Blue, after enjoying Blue Moon (book 1) so much! After book 1 being likened to the ‘Twilight’ saga, albeit without vamps and weres I have found both of these books intriguing to read. The relationship Bella has to Edward’s family in Twilight, is very similar to that of Emily and Theo in Blue Crystal! Young and mature fans will love this supernatural fantasy series! Blue Moon (book 1) is now FREE at Amazon.

True BlueTitle: True Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2)

Author: Pat Spence

Genre: YA paranormal romance, fantasy

Release date: May 29th, 2015

Length: 250 pages

Blurb: As the word ‘tomb’ came into my head and my predicament hit home, I lost control and hammered on the lid, screaming ‘Help, get me out of here’ over and over, until my throat hurt…

In just two weeks, Emily must undergo the blue crystal initiation ceremony or face death from the secret order that protects it. But is she ready to spend eternity with the beautiful and irresistible Theo de Lucis, or can best friend, Seth, offer an alternative? And can she stay alive long enough to make the decision?

As Emily considers her future, she becomes an unwitting pawn in a dangerous game of life and death, caught up in a supernatural world of ancient enemies, old grievances and dark forces. Tested to the limit, she must draw deep to ensure her survival.

Heart-rending and horrifying, True Blue is the second book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy, with a colourful cast of characters, a fast-moving plot and surprises at every turn. Keep turning the pages. You have to know what happens next….

An old enemy of the de Lucis family waits in the shadows, desperate for the crystal and preparing to exact a terrible price…

REVIEW

The fantastic story of the Blue Crystal continues with True Blue, book 2. This is another delightful read as we follow Emily’s adventure with Theo. As she already knows too much about the crystal she must undergo an initiation ceremony and become an immortal herself, otherwise she could face death by those who protect it to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands!

The story is split into three parts: teenage life, disappearance and rescue. The first section has a lighter, relaxing feel as it concentrates on Emily’s everyday life with her mother and her school friends, Seth and Tash. Many readers will love Seth’s sense of humour as we are subjected to his off-the-cuff remarks. He simply oozes fun! Tash also indirectly adds to this; she is so obsessed with how she looks that she goes to the extent of having botox and collagen, which ultimately ends with her face becoming expressionless! Although it does have it’s use at times! We are also introduced to Emily’s mother’s new fellow, Juke, who proves to be a fascinating character as the story moves on.

Emily’s initiation is becoming increasingly closer, and although her deepest desire is to be with Theo forever, she does have doubts about leaving normal life behind. Does she really want a deep, intense relationship with the love of her life, when sometimes she can barely breathe? Or, should she remain a mortal where she can be more relaxed and jovial with her family and friends? Who knows, maybe her and Seth could make a go of it? There are feelings there on both sides, albeit more on Seth’s!

With a prom to look forward to Emily can pretty much take her pick on who to go with. Although this does not register to Theo, who naturally expected to be the one to take her. There is a touching moment when Viyesha explains lovingly to him how such a huge change – the initiation – will affect Emily. She will be saying goodbye to the life she is used to in many ways; she won’t be growing old with her family and friends. This is Emily’s last chance to do something normal.

With the prom over abruptly, the story then begins to get darker, and not all in the de Lucis’ household can be trusted! Emily’s life is in imminent danger, and her best friend, Tash, has also got caught up in the turn of events as they both get kidnapped!

From hereon in there is plenty of action, suspense, with a dark, almost eerie atmosphere. The ‘feeders’ are certainly very gruesome and will make you shudder and cringe. The Dark One and his minions find ways to take the crystal, and one way is to take Emily. He longs to turn into his human form once again, and his only chance is to get hold of the crystal. In order to do this, he summons Mr. Nelson to carry out his evil tasks.

“… the time has come for action. I need the crystal. I have waited too long in the shadows, without form or function, and Viyesha has enjoyed the wealth and power that was rightfully mine for too long. Bring me the girl. The family cannot stand back and let her endure the tortures of the void. Once I have her, I will exploit their weakness.”

Although Mr. Nelson hears the Dark One, he doesn’t see him. Instead, it is the feeders that are present. The creepy, slimy, dark slug-like masses.

“… He couldn’t see the owner of the hissing, reptilian voice, but he could see what the chamber contained. Surrounding him on all sides and suspended high up in the vaults, he saw row upon row of strange black creatures, dark and malevolent, their glittering eyes watching all around him, he was filled with a loathing and dread so powerful he thought his head would explode.”

And, then there’s the brilliance of the shapeshifters, who sometimes make you wonder exactly whose side they’re on, which makes for great tense and fearful moments that are exhilarating. Not only that, but love also blossoms in unexpected places between other characters. I wonder where that will lead to!

Two new fascinating characters are introduced in True Blue in Juke and Bellynda La Drach! Australian Juke is Emily’s mothers new partner. He showed up in the village, Hartswell-on-the-Hill, as a hippy type, with a guitar. Emily is glad to see her mum happy, especially since the death of her Grandad, even though at times she knows that something doesn’t sit quite right with him. This provides the reader with curiosity, and I for one couldn’t wait to discover more about him! The de Lucis family were sent Bellynda La Drach after they expressed concerns of the blue crystal’s safety. She is present to keep the crystal and the family safe from harm. However, she is not very heart-warming, but rather cold and flippant. She will leave you wondering just whose side she is on. But one of the most interesting sides of her character is that she is a shapeshifter, and she is brilliant during the action and fight scenes, regardless who side she’s on!

Yes, True Blue is an excitingly, nice paced story, as was book 1. I can’t wait to read more about the characters and what becomes of them in Book 3.

A copy of True Blue was provided by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

True Blue is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Blue MoonYou can also check out my review on the first book of the trilogy, Blue Moon.

Blue Moon blurb: “Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable…

A supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth, Blue Moon is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy…

“For all ‘Twilight’ fans who want a change from vampires, this is the book for you.”

Buy links for Blue Moon, now FREE on Amazon:- AMAZON UK and AMAZON US

CAKETina and myself had the absolute pleasure of meeting Pat Spence at the Second City Signing in July. We had a lovely chat about the Blue Crystal books, and her contemporary romance, Abigail’s Affair. She was accompanied by her assistant, Tracie Smith-Band, who is also very talented in making jewellery and beautiful bookmarks, which blended in with the Blue Crystal books perfectly. Plus, there was also a cake of Blue Moon made by a fan, which was way too delicious to eat!

Pat Spence Tracie Smith-Band twcb

Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1) by Pat Spence (blurb, review & GIVEAWAY)

Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)

Not only do we have the pleasure in reviewing the latest book published by Hashtag Books, the brilliant supernatural horror Blue Moon (The Crystal Trilogy #1) by Pat Spence BUT we are also giving away 2 ebooks! For a chance to win one all you have to do is add your name in the comments list below (or on our Facebook page)! The two lucky winners will be randomly selected on Sunday 13th April 2014. Good luck, guys 🙂

BLURB: “Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable…

A supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth, Blue Moon is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy…

“For all ‘Twilight’ fans who want a change from vampires, this is the book for you.”

REVIEW:

To say I LOVED Blue Moon is an understatement. I was spellbound from very early on in the story as the characters and mystery captivated me. The intensity is ongoing as the heartbeat keeps pounding through the supernatural mystery and horror. Blue Moon is likened to ‘Twilight’ without the vampires, and to begin with that is the feel of the story as the main character Emily Morgan first meets with Theo and Violet de Lucis. However, Blue Moon took me on a nostalgic journey as Enid Blyton was mentioned, albeit a more mature read. As Emily secretly tries to find out more about Theo and his family she puts herself in grave danger at times as she explores Hartswell Hall alone, with the risk of being caught.

 

The language and descriptions throughout Blue Moon are very powerful, allowing the reader to feel every sense of fear that Emily experiences. Pat Spence creates amazing atmosphere, some moments are eery and dark, whilst other scenes are touching and warm. The story was so profound that one scene in particular had me almost in tears!

 

Two examples of the language and the power it has over the reader are extracts from early on in the story when Emily first encounters Theo and her thoughts on meeting him:

 

Extract 1 (the encounter)

 

Gazing into his eyes, I was lost in their intensity. It was like looking into the bluest sky and carrying on to infinity. I felt mesmerised, hypnotised and transfixed all at once.”

 

Extract 2 (Emily’s reaction)

 

This was like nothing I had ever encountered before. It was all consuming, all-powerful and quite simply beyond my sphere of experience. Some deep inner instinct warned me it might almost be dangerous, but this simply added to his attraction and, if I’m honest, gave me the greatest thrill of all.”

 

The reader can relate to Emily on many levels. We all feel love, and her love for Theo is deeper than any other. She is drawn to him and has a connection that only they seem to sense, Theo even moreso. Emily is confused at times, not knowing whether to believe Theo’s story as some parts make sense but it is all too fairytale-like! Is he just a fantasist or is there meaning behind what he says?

 

Firstly, there is the sheer beauty of the whole of the de Lucis family. One finds it impossible to overt their gaze. And how soon do they rebuild Hartswell Hall and it’s grounds to an impeccable level? Surely that cannot be! The reader truly becomes more and more surrounded by strange happenings, incredible characters (including Dark Ones, shapeshifters and reptilia) and questions with few answers. You become absorbed into the story just as deeply as Emily is.

 

As the story begins to touch on the idea of eternal youth, or the alternative, that is when the secrecy and mystery begins as well as the horror. I found the horror scenes to be horrendous, hideous and more psychological than gory. They certainly encourage you to think about the ageing process and the lengths that some go to in order to retain their youthfulness.

 

Emily’s family and friends are the characters that keep her truly grounded and help her to feel ‘normal’. Living with her mother and grandfather provides Emily with the support she needs from a loving family who only wish the best for her. And being able to speak to her friends, Tash and Seth, allow Emily the outlet she needs by being there for her when she feels she needs to talk and seek reason. However, Theo just has this hold over her and Emily can’t let go.

 

I recommend Blue Moon for readers 15yrs+ due to the subject matter and horror. Readers will be as captivated and drawn to Blue Moon as I was. I cannot wait for the second instalment.

 

A copy of Pat Spence’s Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1) was provided by Hashtag Books for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

 

You can find ebook and paperback versions on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN A COPY (2 copies up for grabs)! CLOSING DATE IS SUNDAY 13TH APRIL 2014 – just add your name in the comments below or on Facebook!

 

Reviewed by Caroline Barker