Relentless by Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs

Challenge 31 ~ “A work of young adult fiction.”


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I discovered the novel on NetGallery and was instantly seduced by the blurb – an action-packed exploration of heroism and villainification? Check me in! What I didn’t realise, however, was that it was the second in a series, and that made me hesitant. I know with many series that prequels need to be read first to fully appreciate/comprehend sequels, but at the same time a ‘good book’ should ideally stand-alone. As you can probably guess, Relentless blew me away.

When I first started reading, I have to admit that there were a sledge-load of characters that I suddenly had to get my head around, and it didn’t help that their names began with the same letters or that there were some complex family relationships in there. Nevertheless, I found it not too much of a challenge to get acquainted, and I can safely say that by the end of the novel I knew who was who. (I probably, therefore, wouldn’t say this was a real weakness to the book – as a standalone I worked out character inter-relations, and in a series you’d have that sussed from the previous book.)

Alongside some realistic and well-handled characters, Childs and Deebs balance fantastic action sequences, a twisting plotline and excellent pacing, which is doused in the occasional sarcastic humour. To top it all of, one of the greatest issues I face in my writing, the duo perfect some well-written, realistic and appropriate speech, which helps in drawing the reader further into their world. With such fantastic techniques going for the novel, it is hard for the pages to not fly by!

Critically reviewing this novel, I can find little negative to comment on at all – Childs and Deebs have done a fantastic job in shaping a well-written book for their target audience. Overcoming the difficulties of writing a sequel that both continues a story and is a standalone, the authors produce a strong and engaging book with a slight difference to most of the current young adult market. A tremendous novel that I wholly recommend for a read (whilst I sit here and try to avoid the prequel before exam season’s over!)


Recommended for fans of:

  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Shelter by Harlan Coben

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