The Devil’s Reprise by Karina Halle

repriseThe Devil’s Reprise is the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Devil’s Metal, a book which managed to both thrill me and chill me to my very core; the blending of scares and emotional gut-punches making it one of my favourite reads of this year. I have been anxiously awaiting the release of The Devil’s Reprise with some trepidation – I loved the first book so much I feared it would never live up to its predecessor. Well, The Devil’s Reprise not only managed to meet my (extremely) high expectations, I ended up loving it even more than the first. This was down to one thing – the addition of Sage Knightly’s POV.

The first book was told from the viewpoint of Dawn Emerson, Hybrid’s biggest fan and budding music journalist. This instalment contains the alternating viewpoints of both Dawn and Sage. I thought I loved Sage in the first book, the mysterious guitarist whose deal with the devil ended up causing so much havoc and tragedy. When I learned that we would be getting his POV as well as Dawn’s I was excited but also nervous. Part of the appeal of this character to me was his very air of mystery and I was worried that getting inside his head would ruin some of this appeal. This worry turned out to be completely unnecessary – getting to see behind this man of mystery only made Sage that much more interesting and complex.

The novel picks up not too long after the catastrophic events of the first book. Sage is about to embark on a solo tour of Europe (following the break-up of his band Hybrid after losing some of its key members) and he is still trying to deal with the guilt of his deal with demons and the fallout that occurred when his bargain was fulfilled. He is floundering, getting caught up in the lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Dawn was his one connection, his saviour and possible redemption, but she returned home to her family to finish up her education and the two have gradually drifted away from each other. Dawn, for her part, is still recovering from her experience and is still every bit in love with Sage, even though she feels their connection is slipping away. When Jacob, Sage’s manager, encourages him to invite Dawn along on his tour, Dawn jumps at the chance to reconnect with Sage.

However, there is more going on than meets the eye. Dark forces seem to be forming around the pair and it appears that Dawn is in some kind of trouble of her own making. Sage, Jacob and a new (but familiar to fans of EIT!!) ally all do their best to shield her from harm, from the demons who are now clamouring for her soul, but will they be able to defeat them before it is too late? Well you will have to read the book to find out (do it – you won’t regret it)!!

The Devil’s Reprise absolutely blew me away. I am a huge fan of Karina Halle’s writing but she has really outdone herself with this book. It is every bit as spine-tinglingly creepy as The Devil’s Metal with a ton of angst and humour flung into the mix for good measure! Dawn was every bit as relatable as she was in the first book and the added bonus of being able to see inside Sage’s head was a particular treat. Not that the man isn’t suffering, in fact some of his chapters were extremely difficult to read (with his descent into depression), but as the book progressed Sage became stronger and really rose to the occasion. Jacob was a hoot – I had forgotten just how much I loved this character and it was great to see him in all of his snarky, grumpy glory. In fact all of the ‘ginger trifecta’ were a joy to read about. I also loved seeing the continuation of Dawn and Sage’s burgeoning relationship. The last book kind of left their relationship hanging and it was great seeing them reconnect – and the chemistry between them was completely off the charts!

The plot was tight, full of twists and turns, and boy was it ever scary! I read this book late at night (which in hindsight may have been a bit of an error in judgement) and I could feel that delicious sense of dread and unease as the events unfolded. However it wasn’t all about the scares – this book was full of deep and conflicted characters that you couldn’t help but love and the emotional payoff was worth any angst that preceded it. The Devil’s Reprise really is a perfect and thrilling conclusion to this series.

Overall score: 5/5 stars

##ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review##

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Update 04/10/13

I have been somewhat MIA the last 2 weeks (had a lot going on in my personal life) plus I have become somewhat addicted to the In the Company of Shadows (ICOS) series. This is a four-part m/m series written by Santino (Sonny) Hassell and Ais Nym.

It is currently a free read (details can be found below) and is something of a colossal  undertaking as every entry is absolutely massive. I am steadily working my way through the series and it has become my new obsession! Once I have finished I will review on this blog.

For now, I am going to leave the series details here in case anyone wishes to check it out (and I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction with plenty of action and a ton of angst):

update1

Evenfall: book 1

Afterimage: book 2

Interludes: book 3

Fade: book 4

                                                                                                                                         

after midnightThere is also a spin-off called After Midnight by Santino Hassell (please note this one is not available free online – I purchased it on Amazon for my kindle). This book is also definitely worth checking out. It is set in the same world as ICOS but can be read as a standalone – it is not necessary to have read Evenfall through to Fade to enjoy this (I actually read it prior to ICOS) but I would recommend reading anyway since the series is so, so good.

In the Company of Shadows – authors site

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