Title: STALKED BY DEATH
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publication Date: August 13th 2013
Source: ARC provided by Spencer Hill Press for review purposes
Jodi knows that any slip-ups made by the Ophi--a special group of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac--will fall on her shoulders... and that Hades is just waiting for them to screw up so he can wipe out the Ophi line.
Unfortunately, Jodi has only convinced one Ophi to join her school: A hot guy named Chase who jeopardizes her relationship with Alex. Jodi loves Alex, but Chase can enhance her powers with just a touch—making her stronger than any Ophi has ever been.
Her mixed emotions send her powers surging out of control, and the dead start rising without her conscious summoning—exactly what Hades doesn't want! If she chooses Alex over Chase, she may lose the battle to Hades, leading the Ophi race to extinction. If she chooses Chase, she might be able to stop Hades for good… but lose everything else.
Jodi needs to figure things out fast--because death is stalking her at every turn
*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*
If you haven't already read Touch of Death, I urge you to do so. You can read my review of it here.
I am always wary of sequel books because I always wonder if they can live up to the expectations that the preceding book sets down. But have no fear, Kelly Hashway knows how to write a sequel. In all honesty, maybe this is the better book of the two, if only because there's more action and it's more scary. Bearing that in mind, I'm not sure I even want to hazard a guess at what's to come in the final book of the trilogy, Face of Death. Jodi was really put through the wringer in book 1, that got even worse in book 2, so what does that say for book 3?
Jodi is the leader of the Ophi at the school and she must train them in how to raise souls and release them. With Alex by her side, she thinks things are going okay and that she will be able to keep the promise she made to Hades. They train together and eat together as a group, they have a pretty normal daily routine, or what classes as normal when you're a necromancer.
Enter Chase [stage right] - little does Jodi know it but Chase is about to push her to the very limits of her abilities.
When Chase was brought in, I thought 'uh-oh, another love triangle' and for people that know me know that I can't bear love triangles. I am a firm believer that your heart, your emotions, cannot be split between two men. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it wasn't going to be your typical love triangle.
Chase has more power than the other Ophi. He tries time and time again to convince Jodi that combining their powers could be wondrous.
Something feels off about Chase. Jodi can't deny that she feels something for him. When he locks gazes with her, it's hard to look away. When he holds her hand, it's even harder to put distance between them. Everything in her wants to consume Chase. She knows she wants Alex, cares deeply for him, but even that is not enough to break the connection between her and Chase. His blood is more powerful than that of the typical Ophi and so is Jodi's - it's his blood that sings to her like a Siren to a sailor. It's so irresistible and all-consuming. But she must keep her distance. She's caught between caring about Alex and hating Chase, yet being unable to do anything except heed the call of his blood, his power.
What Jodi doesn't know is that Chase isn't all he seems. His power isn't all he makes it out to be.
[no spoilers here!]
Usually Jodi calls to her blood to mix when she raises the dead, but when she starts having troubles with her blood mixing of it's own accord she consults Medusa. It seems that her emotions are fuelling the mixing of her blood and it doesn't stop there. Jodi raises the dead without meaning to and without even knowing about it until she's stood face to face with a corpse who, when asked, says that she is the one who raised them.
If Jodi doesn't get all this under control fast, Hades will be furious, thinking she is trying to raise an army against him. If this happens, that means she's broken their agreement and because of that, he can claim the souls of all the Ophi.
It's up to Jodi to resolve the issue before all Hell breaks loose and Hades is upon her. But someone else has other ideas....
I absolutely LOVED this book. It was action-packed, fast-paced and chock full of emotion. Hashway totally put Jodi through the wringer. At first I wasn't sure how she could do this to her main character, but it soon became clear that Hashway wasn't doing it for kicks. There really was a purpose behind it. That purpose? Pick up a copy of SBD and find out for yourself!
This story really had it all. I mean the 'total package'. It was such fun. I am pretty sure my neighbours must have heard me through the adjoining wall laughing my head off. But it was also heart-wrenching and it felt at one point that I had been soccer-punched in the gut. There was plenty of action, lots of things going on, with twists and turns that you don't expect. Then there were the moments when I really wanted to cry, scream, punch someone (Chase) or strangle someone (Jodi).
In one word, this book was incredible. I am really in awe of Kelly Hashway as an author. I love the fact that she is confident and shows no weakness. She writes her books her way and though she puts her characters through Hell, you can always see it's for a reason. As an Indie Author myself, I can say one thing; Kelly Hashway is an author I aspire to be like. Her writing style has a fluidity to it that is really elegant. She has a knack of turning things around but without making things confusing for the reader. Her stories are entertaining and I don't think it matters what age you are, you should enjoy her unique stories.
Thank you Spencer Hill Press for my ARC copy of SBD.
Thank you Kelly for writing awesome stories that I enjoy getting lost in and even though I'm left pining for more at the end, I know the next book will always be worth it.
Also, thank you to everyone who came to read my review today. I hope you pick your copy up when it's released.