Blast from the Past...! Renegade (The Captive Book 2)
What they say: Though she is free of the palace, rescued from her position as a blood slave, Aria is haunted by the memories of her time spent within the fortress, tormented by memories of Braith, the prince that betrayed her and shattered her heart.
Every day is a struggle to get through, and the only solace she is able to find is with Max, her best friend, and fellow captive. Though Max does not understand her bond to Braith, he knows some of what she endured, and helps to ease some of the tattered pieces of her soul. Aria slowly begins to salvage the broken parts of her wounded spirit by throwing herself into the wonder of the woods she had so greatly missed, and the secure and reassuring love that Max freely gives her. Her world is thrown into a tailspin again though when a marauding group of vampires destroy the caves she had found temporary shelter in.
Scattered about the forest, seeking to stay hidden and find her family, Aria is stunned when Braith, the monster that savaged her heart, reappears. Stunned by his sudden arrival in her world, Arianna is uncertain if he has come to recapture her, or to kill her for daring to escape.
What I say: After the dramatic ending to Captured, I was anxious to see if Aria and Braith could discuss their misunderstandings or if they'd be kept apart by their interfering families. Aria thinks that Braith was using her and was planning to marry a vampire, where as Braith believes Aria's words of love were lies to help her escape.
I have to say Braith's reaction really annoyed me the first time I read the story. His extreme rage at Aria fuels his descends straight into bloodslaves/whores, sex and violence. However when I reread the book I had more empathy towards him, because he genuinely felt betrayed by the only person he's ever loved. Although extreme, for a vampire I supposed his reaction is almost justified. Aria on the other hand suffers in silence out in the woods, I guess it's really a matter of coping techniques. I really like Max, yet I really didn't want Aria to end up with him and wonder how trustworthy he is now.
The scene where the former lovers came face-to-face was really interesting and very different to my expectations. Their love story is intense and slightly twisted. It has the whole 'burn the world down' vibe going on. At times they reminded me of that couple who really shouldn't be together because everybody around them also suffers. They are each others cryptonite!
There are some really sweet moments in Renegade and Braith's protectiveness is endearing (for the most part, unless he goes too far). I liked the introduction of the other vampire siblings and meeting more of the rebels.
Overall I enjoyed this book a lot more the second time. I think it's simply because on my first read I was really stressed about Aria and Braith's separation and wanted to know how it panned out.
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
- He was simply staring at her and Braith as if they had just sprouted two heads, jumped on a table, and started dancing a jig while singing at the top of their lungs.
- He would always own a piece of her heart. But it could only be a small piece as he had succeeded in shattering the rest of it.
- She looked like a warrior, she was a warrior, he realised. She had always been a fighter, but now she was so much more than that.
- He had to get her out of the damn tree. And once he did, he was going to throttle her.