Saturday, 4 February 2012

Stained by Ella James

Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Published Date: September 14th, 2011
Finished Date: February 3rd, 2012
Source: For Review
Format: Kindle
Pages: Unknown
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The Blurb from Goodreads: After a fire destroys seventeen-year-old Julia’s home and kills her foster parents, she chases the half-demon responsible across the country and back, determined to avenge her family and discover why a host of celestial baddies want her dead. With Julia is enigmatic hottie - Cayne, who has his own score to settle with the half-demon, and who might be just as dangerous as the creature he and Julia hunt.

The Review: What to say? . . . I always seem to start reviews with I liked it or I really liked it but I can’t help it because I did . . .  I really liked it!

We find 17 year old Julia watching her house turn into an inferno with her latest set of foster parents inside and what she believes is ‘the angel of death’ hovering nearby, she doesn’t know what to do, she was meant to be in that house too and there’s no way she’s going back into care so she decides to let them believe she is dead and makes a run for it, it’s not like she has anything left in this life. As she takes refuge in an abandoned warehouse a man literally crashes into her life, he’s in a bad way and she tries to help him but hot on his heals is ‘the angel of death’ who is not happy to see that Julia is still alive. The stranger defends her from this evil man and they come to realise that they have a mutual enemy in common and make it their mission to find him and kill him and find out just why he is hunting Julia.

I loved the two main characters in this, Julia is a bit ‘orphan Annie’ with losing her parents when she was a baby and being put through the foster care system all her life, never truly belonging anywhere and when she does finally gel with one set of foster parents they are cruelly ripped away from her leaving her all alone again. She is determined she isn’t going back into the system so it’s understandable how she clings to her knight in shining armour when he drops in and saves her from the hands of death. Cayne is just as lost as Julia but he seems to prefer being alone and doesn’t really want anything to do with her until he realises he can use her to his own advantage. He has the tall, dark, handsome, brooding hero act down to a T and I enjoyed Julia chipping away at him, trying to find out his hidden depths. He is packed full of secrets that Julia is just dying to discover but then again, so has she and none of them have any answers to their own questions. So this is a journey of self-discovery for them both. I wouldn’t say we see a huge change in Julia, we touch on her background and childhood but that left me with more questions than answers, we do see a lot of change in Cayne however. He sort of unravels throughout the book and we get a look under that tough exterior.
I enjoyed their relationship and how it developed through the book and how the mysteries were revealed. I liked the idea of the Nephellim, which is a slightly different concept to the usual version and these were more sinister and were a very fitting bad guy, you really felt the threat they posed and the brutality they had. The book pretty much centres on a road trip as they try to find the one who is hunting Julia; we have a few stops along the way to show what they’re up against and a lot of self-discovery. The thing I loved about the journey was that it didn’t focus on scenery and describing where they were etc. it was a getting to know you part (which usually drags) but there was tons of dialogue between them. It was like reading a conversation and I love that, the banter, the teasing out of information and the developing relationship as a result of it, it turned it into a really easy read that flowed well. I could read a whole book like that.
Even though main thread is to find out why Julia is being hunted I feel like we only touched on that and I would have liked a bit more but I suppose we are probably going to get more from her as the books go on and she makes her own discoveries. I have to say that the travelling was getting a tad too much towards the end so I was glad when the finale came about because it gave the book a good lift and what a finale it was with that cliff-hanger, I can’t believe we’re left hanging like that until the next book!

So, If you like a good, revenge seeking road trip that stops along the way for some car chases, murders, fights and prophetic dreams and visions all wrapped up with a couple of lost souls trying to find themselves – look no further,  this is for you.

5 comments:

Ning said...

Great review! I really liked this book, although I wish we had a little bit more on why she was being hunted. I'm actually a tour host for this book. I will post my review on the 24th!


Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

Sam said...

Why haven't I heard of this before?! It sounds like something I might really enjoy! Great review. :)

El said...

A lot of Julia's secrets were being saved for the next book, Stolen. It's coming out in late February or early March, and in it you will learn all about Julia. Funny this is, the traveling was getting to me, too! I was glad when they arrived in Washington... :) If you want a teaser for Stolen, I'll tell you much of their time is spent in Scotland. Fun place to write about. Thanks for the review, guys.

El said...

*funny thing, not funny this.

Melanie H said...

I can't wait for the next one El, nice to know we were on the same page with the travelling - but it was really just towards the end when i felt like that and it didnt affect the book at all :) Thanx for letting me review it!