The conclusion to Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, this gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and Daphne du Maurier is a must-read for fans of Beautiful Creatures and Anna Dressed in Blood.
Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.
But then, the Devil once told me that it's easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.
The problem with River West Redding was that he'd done both to me.
The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet's life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River's other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town.They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface.
It isn't long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . .Hardcover, 320 pages
Four stars: A gorgeously written, atmospheric gothic tale.
Vi has settled back into her quiet life at Citizen Kane. Jack and Luke are happily painting the winter days away. Her parents are finally back, and things are back to normal as Christmas approaches. Yet, Vi feels an itch. She can't stop thinking about the events of last summer. She knows that somewhere out there are two Redding brothers. One who nearly killed them all, and the other who stole a piece of her heart. Vi starts tuning into a strange radio show that alerts listeners to all the weird paranormal happenings across the country. When Vi hears about a boy in North Carolina by the sea who claims to be the Sea King, Vi fears that it is one of the Reddings. When Neely returns, Vi convinces him that they must go on a road trip and check out the strange rumors. What follows is mayhem and madness as Vi and the rest of the gang set out to find the Reddings for better or for worse.......
What I Liked:
- Settling into Between the Spark and the Burn was a mesmerizing experience. I was in awe of Tucholke's gorgeous writing once again. I love how her writing manages to tickle all of my senses to the point where I feel like I am in the story. Her descriptions are lovely and engaging and everything I love about a beautifully written book. I would say if you enjoy writing as an art, this is a must read series. The writing will amaze and astound you. I especially love the rich food descriptions. I was constantly craving espresso while reading this book.
- This book excels with its eerie gothic atmosphere. It almost feels dreamlike. I like that the reader doesn't have an exact sense of the year, just an generalized feel that this book is taking place sometime in the early fifties? Before television and mass communication. Along with the present day setting, the reader also plunges back to the past in the pages of Freddie's (Vi's dead grandmother's journal). Freddie's story takes place during the twenties, and she is a girl who manages to get into a whole lot of trouble. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Ms. Tucholke creates her settings. Whether the cast is hanging out in the halls of the run down Citizen Kane with all its secrets, or in a strange, backwards village in the middle of nowhere, before heading to the coast of North Carolina at the beach in an old fisherman's shack, or finally to the cold climes of Colorado, there is a never a dull moment. This is a road trip book with plenty of interesting stops along the way. Tucholke with her skill at creating memorable settings and with her attention to detail with her writing, she manages to beautifully blend the setting with the story.
- I love the complexity of the characters. In this book you have tremendous character growth as far as Vi and Neely. Vi is no longer the naive, sheltered girl we first met. She is more adventurous and daring and not so easily swayed by a Redding boy. I like that she isn't afraid to fight and do what she feels is necessary. Neely won me over in this book. While book one is all about River, this one is more about Neely. He slowly sneaks in and in his own subtle way steals your heart. He is everything River is not, and I was stunned when I learned his secret. There is a new introduction, Finch, a sheltered boy who Neely and Vi rescue. He is kind and good and easy going. You can't help but to like him. Add in a couple of interesting girls Pine and Cantos and you have a cast of characters you won't forget.
- The story is slow and easy. It takes its time unfurling its secrets. The delicate prose will keep you entranced as you pick your way through this strange story, and then just like in the first book, the climax sneaks up and bites you in the butt with a stunning twist. It was so well done, and I loved the way it caught me off guard. It proved that people are capable of great good and great evil.
- The romance is complicated in this one. I can't spill all the details, but I appreciated it moved in new directions and in a way that was better for Vi. Yes, there are some hints of a love triangle, but not really, because I think Vi had made her choice long before the other boy comes back into the picture. I liked that it was complex, and yet simple and that it wasn't a huge part of the story.
And The Not So Much:
- The ending felt too open. Everything relaxes and draws to a nice, calm close, but there were too many things left undone and unsaid, and I was left with so many unanswered questions that I couldn't help but feel that there is so much more of this story to be told. In the synopsis, it says this is the finale, but I am hoping that Ms. Tucholke is writing another story. I need answers such as what happened with Finch? What will become of River and Brody? What about Neely? Are there Redding girls out there? What happened to Cantos?
- The book opens with Vi's absentee parents home again, but really they are nothing more than shadows and mentions. Then they disappear again. The parents are so ridiculous and unbelievable that I question as to why they are even in the book. They are selfish, unrealistic and unreliable. They fall into that category of YA absentee parents that we see all too often in YA.
- I missed Luke, Sunshine and Jack in the story. Jack's role is small, and Luke and Sunshine take backseat roles. I missed the dynamic between Vi and Luke, and I longed for more of Sunshine. Still the inclusion of the new characters: Finch, Cantos and Pine helped make up for the absence of the others.
Between the Spark and the Burn is an outstanding sequel that isn't to be missed. If you are a reader that loves to get lost in eerie atmospheric books with hauntingly beautiful writing, grab this series. Picking up this book was like eating comfort food as the writing is so calming and lovely. It is a strange, twisty story that you won't soon forget. My only qualm is that it felt unfinished. Please tell me that there will be another book in this series......
“Neely’s hand slipped into mine and I let it. Back and forth with him, back and forth. I held his hand tight under a sky full of stars and understood everything about him right then.”
“Being good is as easy as being bad. You just have to put your mind to it.”
“Your life is not your own, Vi,” she said. “Don’t you know that? It belongs to the people who love you. So you need to take better care of it.”
“His lips touched mine, light and soft as snowflakes melting on my skin…I closed my eyes…….and started hearing the sea, louder now, like I was in it, under it, the bellow and the blast and the tides and the crash.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
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