Sunday, November 23, 2014

98 by V. L. Holt

This review was written by: B
Received: Free e-book copy from the author
Publication Date of Book: August 2014
Pages: 275 (Kindle Edition)
Stars: 5/5

"Your silence is more valuable to me than anything you could have said.  There's something big going on and I'm going to find out, even if you don't want to tell me."

Have you ever tried to keep a life changing secret from your best friend?  Every wonder what it would be like to never know your father?  Has your boyfriend ever died and come back to life more than ninety times?  Well, Jane has experience in all of these matters and so many more.  Her true love is William, a Warrior who has died 97 times and only has a couple lives left to live before he runs out of chances.  However, he desperately wants to cling to the time he has remaining so that he can be with Jane forever, but this is definitely not going to be easy.  Evil Lochspawn are hot on his and all the other Warriors' trails at every turn, just waiting to tear them apart.  A normal relationship is hard enough for two average teenagers, but for two people who live very extraordinary lives, things cannot turn out well, or can they if they choose to fight for it?  This is Jane and William's story back in action and continued with just as much awesomeness as the first book in the  Rise of the Battle Bred trilogy.

William and his father are backtracking to Toledo, Ohio to clear their names in the incident that previously occurred in 97.  (I won't spoil it here if you haven't read it yet.)  However, after realizing a fatal mistake from back home, William races back to Deer Fjord before things can turn sour.  However, will he lose another one of his precious lives in the process?  Depressed and already missing William after only a day, Jane is pacing and can hardly do anything but obsess over this special guy.  At the same time, strange occurrences are going on elsewhere.  Smitty, a college student who witnessed the horrible accident in Toledo involving the previously said characters, is figuring out what really happened that fateful night and what he should do.  When a strange man shows up wanting something from him, things only get more suspicious, dangerous, and real for this innocent yet influential bystander.  Smitty has the ability to clear William and his father's name, but will he be able to do just that before time runs out?  Then there are the Warlochs.  Are they being infiltrated?  Can they be brought down finally?  Strife continues to ransack their ranks, and the five men are at odds.  What will happen next?

He had died for Jane just a short while ago.  Now he was going to do his damnedest to live for her.

I personally felt that 98 was even better than 97!  I know that some series can get monotonous after awhile, especially with the same old scenes coming up, over and over again.  However, V. L. Holt was able to create not only a great sequel but also a compelling story line that was unique and different than 97.  Once again, the reader was able to witness several different characters and their reactions, personal stories, thoughts, and feelings.  This is something that really made me fall in love with these books. I never get bored with all of the different perspectives going on.  Plus, there are thrilling events going on around them.  Holt switches to a new character at just the right moment for the perfect suspenseful moments!

What makes 98 so different from 97 is the incorporation of Agnes and her story.  We get to see a hefty majority of what exactly transpired in her life.  Her troubles, conflicts, struggles, loves, losses, triumphs, and scarifies are laid bare for all to see.  Given to the Church at a young age as a tithe from her family, her troubles began when she was quite little.  I feel as though there are so many admirable qualities in just this one character that so many people will fall in love with her and what she stands for.  Her life, situations, and responses to her ever unfair circumstances are honest and heartbreaking.  Yet, at the same time, she is strong and willing to help others even if she has not been shown the same respect by those around her.  She has really stuck with me and in my thoughts throughout the entirety of this series so far and is one of my favorite characters to read about.  I don't think that it will be easy to forget about her.

Lastly, as I expressed when I was talking about Jane and William in my review for 97, I just love them to death.  They're just so innocent together.  Their love is undying and hard to dismiss because their connection is just so prevalent.  When I read the last few lines of this book my heart just stopped.  It was the sweetest thing ever!  I just wish that every girl could get a William of their own.  I think that the one thing that really draws me to these two characters, especially in my believing in their relationship, is how they act towards each other.  It is simply so pure and warming to the heart.  The two care so deeply and wholly for each other that you just can't help but root for them.  They'll forever go down as two of my favorite book couples!!!!

If you haven't read 97, you really need to.  The backstory and lore behind the whole thing is really amazing and creative.  The entire idea is alluring, and if you have already read 97 and are deciding to pick up the next book in the series, the answer is a no brainer.  You have to read 98.  While it may be easy for me to like a book, I loved this one.  Holt created a wonderful world, backstory, and a series that I cherish so much.  Oh, and you know what?  Before you know it, it'll be Christmas soon, and you know what that means!  Presents!!!!  So, if you're looking for a great YA book to get someone or even a nice little gift for yourself, the Rise of the Battle Bred series is a great way to go.  Also, your birthday is sometime during the year.  Just say it's an early birthday gift for yourself.  It's okay to be spoiled a little!  I can also eagerly say that I can't wait for the last book in this trilogy to come out! I don't know if my heart can take it!!!

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