A review by Amanda.
Arianna Spero spends her eighteenth birthday worrying about her mother’s decreasing health and working at a diner to make sure the two of them don’t get evicted. An odd exchange with a mysteriously handsome customer flusters Ari, but she shakes it off and makes it through her graveyard shift with no issues. When she arrives home and finds her mother unconscious and unresponsive everything goes to Hell.
Her mother is in a coma and the prognosis is, sadly, death. An encounter with another handsome man gives her a brief distraction until the man from the diner shows up with an unbelievable story and a chance to save her mother. Ari is shocked to discover that her mother sold her soul to Hell many years ago. Now she has to decide if she can believe in things that reason and logic tell her do not exist; things like vampires and Princes of Hell. Can she trade her freedom for someone she loves? To save her mother Ari will have to travel to Hell as a Princess, and choose between one of the seven Princes to marry and rule alongside as Queen.
I was not sure if I would like this book or not based on the cover and description. Ari quickly won my favor with her can-do, no-nonsense attitude, and her obvious love for her friends and her mother. She is skeptical, unlike heroines in other supernatural stories, and takes quite a bit of convincing before accepting the unbelievable things she’s been told. Ari does not accept the status quo. She is intelligent, reasonable, likable and compassionate. She sticks up for herself and doesn’t take any crap from anyone, but she also knows her weaknesses and learns to trust others to help her when she needs it. Romance is integral to the story but not in any way that I expected. Ari’s friends, human and otherwise, are all unique and lovable. I definitely hope to see more of Es and Pete in future books. The princes are interesting. All handsome in different ways, their personalities range from rugged warrior, genius inventor, cruel manipulator, and everything in between, and not all of them are happy with Ari’s presence. I am rooting for Ari to succeed as she pieces together the truth of why she’s been chosen to be a Princess of Hell, and as she tries to follow her heart when she makes her own choice.
The plot has several twists that I did not expect which is always a pleasant surprise. Ari does get physically attacked several times, and while she isn’t a stereotypical damsel in distress it does feel repetitive. There are some sexual components, both positive and negative, and I would not recommend this book to younger teens. Book two, Midnight Star, was released in the spring and I will definitely be picking it up.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
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