Rivals and Retribution by Shannon Delany
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Author Shannon Delany is a lyrical delight, and none of her “13 to Life” series ever disappoint. “Rivals and Retributions” is no exception-and I am delighted to once again make my acquaintance with Ms. Delany’s lyrical writing and intense understanding of character. The author juggles quite a number of themes and plot situations and ever-mutable characters, and not only does she manage to keep them straight-she aligns them properly for the reader as well, so that there’s never any confusion, only a gentle unraveling of mysteries (usually accompanied by even more mysteries which keep the reader both guessing and enthralled). Not every author of YA fiction can peer beneath the surface of her young characters with the same ability which Shannon Delany demonstrates; and the protagonists, and secondary characters, in her novels immediately become our friends-in some cases, our “enemies,” because the enemy of our friend is our enemy. There is a wonderful three-dimensional rendering of character which Ms. Delany applies, giving a depth to her individuals not found everywhere-in YA or adult fiction.
Since this is a series, I don’t want to give away any plot. Suffice it to say that the characters of the earlier books who have enraptured readers-Jessie, Pietr, Amy, Sarah, and Jessie’s beloved horse Rio-continue here, delighting readers with their return. If you haven’t read the earlier books in the series, this one can function as a stand-alone, but take it from me, do yourself an immense favour, and read the entire series! You’ll always be glad you did, and never regret it.
Review copy was provided to me by the author's publicist in exchange for my fair and honest advance review.
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