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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: Crest (Ondine Quartet #3) by Emma Raveling

(Ondine Quartet #3)
by Emma Raveling
purchase: amazon / b&n / smashwords
Illusion. Power. Identity.Tensions are reaching a fever pitch everywhere Kendra Irisavie turns.Darkness settles over elementals as a new threat stirs suspicions of a betrayal from within. Details of recent events spread through Haverleau, prompting doubts over Irisavie leadership. The mysterious Selkie Kingdom finally opens its doors, but the gesture only fans the flames of division. And despite the perils involved, Kendra finds it difficult to ignore the demands of her heart.As the body count rises, pressure also grows to shift the tides of war. The sondaleur is on the hunt, but tracking the Aquidae leader is the greatest challenge she’s ever faced. With the Shadow playing a deadly game of obsession and horror, Kendra’s best chance to win is to unravel a tangled web of deception spanning back to the origins of the elemental world.Nothing is what it seems and the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her pursuit for answers becomes.When the unthinkable happens, Kendra must decide if survival is worth the sacrifice.Conflicting loyalties, fierce passions, and irrevocable choices ignite in the electrifying third installment of the Ondine Quartet.
I received an eARC of this title in exchange for my honest review

Quick note before I begin my actual review- since this is the third book in its series, I may refer to events in the previous books. I’ll try not to spoil any of the big stuff, but if you’re new to this series and don’t want to be spoiled at all then I suggest you read my reviews of Whirl and Billow and then skip down to My Final Thoughts below.

OH. EM. GEE y’all! I loved Whirl and Billow (books one and two) and Chevalier and Warrior Prince (the novellas), but Crest blew me the fuck away and reminded me why I totally heart Emma Raveling…not that I could ever forget. I mean I’m the president of the Emma Raveling Fan Club- I’ve got the badge, tattoo, and totally non-creepy shrine to prove it ;)

The Ondine Quartet is one of those series that seriously just keeps getting better and better with each new addition. I walk away from each book in this series completely impressed, thoroughly entertained, and excited for more. Crest, book three in the Ondine Quartet, finds our heroine, Kendra Irisavie, traveling to NYC with Julian to hunt Aquidae and locate the elusive Shadow and traveling all the way to the mysterious Selkie Kingdom…and shizz gets real! Deadly battles, heartbreaking losses, steamy romance, painful betrayals, Crest is filled to the brim with it all and so much more. This book took me on such a complex and enthralling ride through almost every emotion imaginable.

It goes without saying that I think Emma Raveling is a spectacular storyteller. She seriously writes some of this most breathtaking and palpable scenes in YA. Over the course of three books and two novellas she has woven such an intricate and beautiful story that feels truly epic and special. Like books one and two, Crest has phenomenal world-building. The complex and rich history of the Ondines and Selkies and their enemies is explored and laid out even further and deeper in book three, and the social/cultural/political structures of this world continue to enthrall and fascinate. This is a world that, despite its magic, feels so incredibly real, as if Haverleau must exist somewhere out in the real world. With the addition of the Selkie Kingdom, the physical world-building in Crest is by far my favorite so far. This mysterious kingdom is crafted with such wicked cool imagination and striking beauty.

The action, thrills, and stunning twists are plentiful in Crest, but it’s very much an emotion driven story. Kendra, her friends, her family, and fellow people have been through so much up to this point and we really get to see how the events in books one and two have affected the characters and defined their paths. Kendra especially has had so much thrown at her- being the sondaleur and the future Governor, being responsible for stopping the Shadow, and facing devastating losses- and Emma does such a wonderful job of exploring this emotional arc. Every emotion, every loss, every choice has meaning and purpose.

Kendra continues to be one of my fave YA heroines, and for good reason. There is so much depth and complexity to this girl. She is everything a heroine should be (smart, brave, selfless, badass), but is always relatable and real. I love her snarky, smart mouth and temper that always gets her in trouble, her ability to kick ass, and her poignant moments of vulnerability and honesty. She continues to surprise, amaze, and entertain me.

And of course, there are the two swoon-worthy fellas, Tristan and Julian. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, the chemistry and genuine connection Kendra has to both guys and the way Emma Raveling has carefully crafted these relationships makes this triangle feel very non-love triangleish. I love both guys and they are each complete, layered characters on their own, but I’ve so enjoyed their interaction with Kendra since book one. I won’t spoil anything for ya, but I will say that in Crest Kendra is finally honest with herself and with the guys, and where her heart truly lies is revealed…and OMFG, things get HOTHOTHOT *fans self*

And all the emotion, action, and romance lead to one hell of an ending that has me DYING for book four.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Crest had me reading until 4 am and blew me away with its awesomeness. I am so in love with this series and cannot wait for the final book (2014 hurry up please!). Fans of the series will not be disappointed by Crest and new readers have an incredible book three to look forward to. A MUST read book in a MUST read series.


Emma Raveling
Emma Raveling writes urban fantasy and fantasy books for teens and adults. Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she is currently working on completing her young adult series, Ondine Quartet.

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