Book Review: Autumn Rose

As the previous Sage charged with protecting the students and staff at the school attended by Autumn Al-Summers accidentally killed a human, folks are understandably antagonistic toward her. Fifteen-year-old Autumn is the only Sage Guardian in the vicinity so protecting humans from the Extermino is her responsibility, a task not made easier by tensions at school or the terrible vision/dreams she keeps having. Somewhere the abducted human girl, Violet Lee is suffering at the hands of her vampire captors and Autumn sees every bit of it but is unable to render any assistance. To make matters worse, the new Sage student who just enrolled in her school is none other then Prince Fallon, part of the Sagean royal family that Autumn suspects had some role in the murder of her beloved grandmother.

For his part, the Prince cannot understand where Autumn’s obvious dislike of him comes from or why Autumn has kept her true identity a secret. Clearly, Autumn was having considerable difficulty coping with the loss of her grandmother, a gifted and well respected Sagean seer. Troubling attacks by the Extremino reveal the use of both a powerful new magic and a plot to turn Autumn to their purposes. As Prince Fallon patiently convinces Autumn to resume her place in the Sagean community, it is her heart he is really after and the realization that she is one of the Lady Heroines does not change that.

Second of the Dark Heroine novels, this story runs more or less concurrent with events in the first book, Dinner with a Vampire. Autumn is a believable if aggravating teenager and the source of consider vexation to Edmond, an elite royal bodyguard with a personal interest in the young woman. The world building is a bit confusing as there are several more or less parallel dimensions, each with their own residents and a shaky peace agreement. Humans clearly don’t think much of nonhumans even though they rely upon those nonhumans for protection. The storyline is interesting enough to captivate reader’s attention in the first few chapters and it is enjoyable watching Autumn gradually come to terms with the past and her place in the world. Gibbs’s writing style is definitely improving and shows a lot of promise for more good things from this strong young adult series.

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