I'm feeling pretty good about my reading lately...it seems I've picked up several good books in a row, and Stargazer by Claudia Gray is another winner. Her first book, Evernight, threw me a good surprise about midway, and Stargazer manages to do that as well--in fact, it does it more than once! I'm going to be sitting here waiting on pins and needles waiting for the next in the series. Below I am pasting my Amazon review...if you like vampire novels at all, go pick this one up ASAP.
Stargazer, Book Two in the Evernight series, picks up with the beginning of Bianca's second year at Evernight Academy. With her own vampiric senses awakening and her group of friends nearby, Bianca would feel much more at home if only her boyfriend Lucas could have remained with her. But Lucas has fled Evernight to return to the Black Cross vampire fighters; though he knows Bianca herself is a vampire, he still feels loyalty to the group he's been with all his life. So how will the two star-crossed lovers find a way to be together? Enter Balthazar, Bianca's vampire friend, who poses as her boyfriend so that her parents and everyone else are fooled into believing Lucas has been left in her past after last year's disastrous ending of term.
Bianca's story takes many twists and turns throughout Stargazer, and Gray's addition of wraiths following Bianca for unknown reasons brings more drama into the young vampire's life. Bianca must rely on Balthazar in more ways than she'd imagined, but he's got worries of his own: his sister Charity is back in the area, and after 35 years, he feels the need to connect with her. But Charity isn't going to be a docile vampire, and her presence signals danger not just for the humans, but for Lucas's Black Cross group and other vampires as well.
For the second time, Ms. Gray managed to throw me a curveball I hadn't expected at all as I read, and I'm just as delighted this time. In fact, there was more than one unexpected twist in Stargazer; I simply could not put the book down as each layer was revealed. While I understand the attraction between Bianca and Lucas, I have to admit I was rooting for Balthazar and his strong, sweet presence. The tension between the characters felt real and kept the story moving along quickly; sometimes it is not easy to tell who is the good guy and who isn't. Bianca's reactions are understandable and yet sometimes infuriating as well. I had thought the climatic fire scene was going to be the highpoint of the story and then along comes the final two pages which left me on a cliffhanger of epic proportions. I cannot wait to find out what will happen next, and that's truly the best part of Ms. Gray's writing: it leaves you wanting more!