Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

Servants of the Storm
Delilah S. Dawson
Release: August 5, 2014
Links Goodreads Amazon
Reviewer: Gretl
Summary: A year ago Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction — and taking the life of Dovey's best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.

But recently she's started to believe she's seeing things that can't be real ... including Carly at their favorite cafe. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.

As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah — where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk — she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.

Dovey's running out of time and torn between two paths. Will she trust her childhood friend Baker, who can't see the threatening darkness but promises to never give up on Dovey and Carly? Or will she plot with the sexy stranger, Isaac, who offers all the answers — for a price? Soon Dovey realizes that the danger closing in has little to do with Carly ... and everything to do with Dovey herself.
Review: I don't read YA very often, though I'm not really sure if that makes me more or less qualified to judge, but Dovey feels like a real teenager to me. She’s na├»ve in some ways, but she’s also fearless. Her best friend is the most important person in her world. I really wish I could have met Carly before the storm. Dovey's memories of her past make her present even more tragic. And Dovey's passion for the theater also makes her feel wonderfully youthful.

When Dovey first stops taking her pills, she doesn't really know what she's going to find. She's not sure if she's still under their influence, so she doesn't quite trust what she sees. Her uncertainty really ups the creep factor as she starts to explore her new reality. Savannah after the storm is filled with mysterious creatures, like a fox-eared girl and Dovey's dead best friend, who disappear before she can confront them. I knew the demons were there even though Dovey didn't know yet, so the first third of the book was like walking through a haunted house waiting for the monsters to jump out.

Once immersed in the demon world, Dovey gets more confident. She starts to actively pursue answers and the action really picks up. It almost feels like a different story. It's no less creepy, just not as subtle about it. For example, when Dovey goes to the not-so-abandoned-after-all amusement park and sees the expressions of ecstasy on the demons’ faces while they watch people scream on the broken down rides she really starts to understand their cruelty and their inhumanity. The scenes at the park provide some wonderfully vivid, fantastic and horrific imagery. They also make me think that Servants of the Storm might make a great movie.

Servants of the Storm is not a romance, but it does have a love triangle. Baker is a childhood friend who grew up while Dovey wasn't looking and now wants to be more than friends. Isaac is Dovey's Morpheus. Instead of a red pill, he has a red liquid that helps her see the real world. But she's still not sure if she can trust him. She needs to pretend to be interested in him to further her investigation, but while her body might be willing, her heart's not really in it. It seems that Dovey's desire for romance was stunted while she was in her medicated haze, so she's not really sure what to do with either of the men when they show an interest in her. And her quest to find Carly is far more important to her than a relationship. If she gets to have more books in her series, I expect that will change eventually.

I have some mixed feelings about the end of this book (though after I figured out the Matrix analogy I started to feel a lot better for some reason.) There's an action-packed climax that makes me think I'm about to get everything I wanted. But then the end raises even more questions, which is certainly effective in upping the creep factor, but it's frustrating. It also adds to my feeling that this book should be a movie. I could totally see a movie ending like that, suggesting maybe there's a sequel, but maybe not. There is a second book planned, but not yet contracted, so everyone please read this one so I can get some answers.

Recommended for fans of: teen horror films, YA bad boys, creepy demons


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