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May 14, 2012

"Raveling spent way too much time trying to convince us that Kendra is a bad ass..."

Whirl (Ondine Quartet, #1)Whirl by Emma Raveling

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Kendra Irisavie is an ondine, a water elemental caught in the middle of an ancient war with the Aquidae, immortal dark demons who will stop at nothing to destroy the fragile balance of the Elemental world.

Fierce and independent, Kendra has always played by her own rules. Gifted with the powerful magic of Virtue and trained to be a deadly fighter, she has spent her life breaking hearts and getting into trouble.

When her life explodes one violent night in a northern California city, a dark stranger appears, promising answers to her mysterious past. Alone and with no one to trust, she must now navigate through a dangerous new world, face the temptations of a forbidden romance, and remain true to her duty and destiny.

All while the Aquidae continue to hunt her down, in the hopes of eliminating her forever…

An edgy young adult urban fantasy/paranormal romance, Whirl is recommended for older teens and mature readers due to strong language and mild sexual situations.

I liked it, but didn't love it. The plot was cool but not exactly original, and I really thought Raveling could have done a better job with setting. I really don't think we need another book about a society hidden in the human world by magic or some other mess like that. It's just a little played out. But this is coming from a fantasy writer who creates new worlds and locations instead of trying to spice up the same old boring one (i.e., Earth).

However, location/Earth aside, I liked the characters. Their names were awesome and beautiful, and Kendra Irisavie was great. I love female leads who wreak havoc on the world for whatever reason, justified or not. Chloe (my new favorite name) Moreaux and Aubrey Rossay were cool complementary characters but I would've loved to have seen them more developed. I just couldn't relate to them as essential parts of the plot which kept me from truly liking them as much as I wanted to. I want to like the "friends" as much as the main character. Same goes for Prince Belicoux (Tristan). Kendra might have been googoo-gaga over him, but I wasn't. I actually liked Julian LeVeq better, but maybe that's what Raveling wanted. Who knows.

Overall, a nice, easy read. If you're into Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy, you'll be into this.

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