Everlasting (Night Watchmen #1)
By Candace Knoebel
'"I have to say, Middleton, I didn't think you'd have it in you."
He's looking me over, and I know what he meant was that I don't look the part. I'm too frail. Too small.
"Maybe you shouldn't think then," I retort.'
Kick-ass action, magic and romance combine to form an addictive tale that will have readers on the edge of their seats.
Although life has its inconsistencies, every coming-of-age novice within the Primeval Coven knows one factor will remain constant: the annual Culling ceremony. The day when they're revealed to be either a Hunter or a Witch.
The day when their purpose in life - and their place within the Coven - are secured.
But for Faye Middleton, no other factor in her life could be more uncertain.
Whilst other novices prepare for their future as either a Hunter or a Witch, Faye prepares for a life as a Defect.
It's a fact she's had to deal with her whole life - one that ultimately means banishment and a life amongst humans, away from those she loves. And as the Culling looms closer, Faye's fear becomes stronger.
Yet even though her clairvoyant mother saw her future a long time ago, Faye can't help but cling to a tiny sliver of hope. Destinies aren't set in stone - there has to be a way to change her own destiny. There just has to be.
All she needs is a miracle.
Going from a Defect to an Everlasting could be considered an upgrade. Or...not.
When the Culling doesn't go to plan (i.e. stuff explodes, plus screaming and general panic ensues), Faye is faced with the startling revelation that she isn't a Defect. Far from it. She's an Everlasting - neither Witch, nor Hunter, but a mixture of both.
And although being an Everlasting may come with a lot of perks and power, it also comes with a great amount of danger - danger not only for her, but for the people around her.
All sides need her. All sides want her. And all sides fear what she will become.
Faye is pushed to her limits as she's trained to be both a Hunter and a Witch. Isolated from the others, she finds solace in the company of trainer and protector Jaxen - a handsome guy, with a deadly secret dictating his actions and his heart.
But Jaxen's not the only one keeping secrets. The Coven isn't as honourable as it would like its people to believe, and Faye finds herself stuck in its web, trapped between her duty and what is right. With Faye being the most sought-after chess piece on the board, the question remains: is she the one fighting? Or is someone else calling the shots?
Is she a player...or a pawn?
Be prepared for a heroine who isn't afraid to face up to her own flaws.
Unlike many female protagonists, Faye Middleton acknowledges her shortcomings - and the shortcoming of most YA/NA females - and she strives to be her own woman and make things right. One of the most potent scenes is the one where she realises that she shouldn't try to be someone else to get a guy's attention:
'"You're being absurd," I tell myself, shaking my head. But even with admitting this, I still manage to brush my hair out and braid it from one side of my head to the other, giving it some form of cuteness.This is an important message - a message that tells its female audience that the person the guy should get to know/date/fall in love with, should be you - the natural you. The you without the constant primping. The you whose voice doesn't go several octaves higher when you talk to him.
I could be a stereotype. I could fall into the trap of trying too hard. I could be someone other than myself for him.
And I don't like it.
I undo my braid and run my fingers through my hair, straightening it back out. I want to look as plain as possible. I need to.'
It doesn't condemn looking good - far from it. But what it does reinforce is that it's very, very easy to be a stereotype and to hide behind that facade. But it takes strength to be yourself - to allow someone to see the real you.
Be prepared for a heroine who isn't afraid to talk back, or blurt stuff out.
A cross between Rose from Vampire Academy and Anna fromFrozen, Faye is a complex character who lets slip trivia when she's nervous...and on the can other hand call someone out on their behaviour with all the fierceness of a mama bear.
And it's refreshing to also meet a guy character who gets nervous around girls like a normal guy would!
Jaxen is hot (there's no denying it). He can kick ass like a pro. But he still gets nervous when he's faced with a situation involving:
ii.) A pretty girl
And it's not the kind of nervous where you stutter/freak out/sweat. But it's the sweet kind of nervous - a nervousness they both share as they start to discover and explore the bond that grows stronger between them with each day.
And it's nice that Faye isn't afraid to stick up for herself, or tell Jaxen he's being stupid. Right here is the kind of female protagonist we need more of!
So if you like pointy weapons, sizzling kisses and plenty of angry demons, pick up Everlasting today :)