Release Date: January 10, 2012
Young Adult, Hardcover, 320 Pages
Overall: Flippin' Fab!
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The highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.
It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?
Possible Book No.1 Spoilers
Beth Fantaskey easily became one of my favorite authors when I first read Jekel Loves Hyde and my early declaration was further solidified when I read Jessica's Guide to Dating the Dark Side. I absolutely adored the darker sides of both books and loved their tie in to their character's history even more. Jessica Rules the Dark Side is no exception, Beth Fantaskey once again wow'd me with a dark, romantic tale that was thick with history and mystery.
This go around I found Jessica stronger and slightly less snarky than in the first part of her story. While I laughed and snickered most of Jessica's Guide to Dating the Dark Side I found that Jessica's strength and personal growth suited her well. Anyone who questioned her ability to rule alongside her vampire prince was definitely shown what type of vampire Jessica was and wasn't in this sequel.
Lucius was still Lucius, confident and in control- most of the time. What I found I liked most about Lucius, since we didn't have him fighting for Jessica's heart, was the way endearing he was toward Jessica. His love for her ran so thick, and it was apparent, even when he was temporarily setting her aside to deal with his royal duties. It was like two different Lucius' from book one to book two of the Jessica series, though like I said, Lucius was still Lucius.
Jessica's best friend, Mindy, made another appearance and we got to meet Lucius' cousin and most trusted, Raniero. Good thing they were around or the dramatic unfolding of Jessica and Lucius' life may have been too serious otherwise. Despite the stressed situation you could guarantee Mindy or Raniero had a laughable thought thrown in when I got around to reading their views. Raniero's emails to Lucius were incredibly funny. Who knew two vampires with an incredibly disturbing childhood and history could be so at ease with one another and so funny. Then there was Raniero's thoughts on his Mindy. It was almost painful to go through the motions of Mindy and Raniero's friendship knowing their thoughts on one another.
The characters aren't the only thing that made Jessica Rules the Dark Side so great. The storyline was pretty good as well. Though it starts of slightly slow and there isn't much Lucius to be seen, we got to see Jessica prove what kind of woman she is and saw a small band of friends (Jessica, Mindy and Raniero) band together to help Jessica while she attempts to save her new husband's life. We are taken back and are able to see brief glimpses into the vampire laws and the history of the different families. We aren't taken too deep, just barely deep enough to graze the surface to see what the character's know and possibly suspect. If it weren't for the different views then we would have missed out on major clues and powerful emotions. I believe it is safe to say that the switch in characters we followed added a whole other facet to this story and made it all that much better.
I will point out that I do wish the beginning didn't start out so slow and that I wish that certain periods in the timeline didn't lag. I also wish we would have gotten more of Lucius, while the switch in point of views really added to the story I didn't feel like we got enough of Lucius or enough downtime for him and Jessica. While most of these are just preferences and wishful thoughts on my part, with the involved and stressed plot I would have enjoyed more of the happy newly weds and of Mindy and Raniero.
Jessica Rules the Dark Side is a fabulous follow up to Jessica's Guide to Dating the Dark Side and a must read for those who adore Jessica, Lucius and their journey together. Dark and romantic in its own right, the story of Jessica and Lucius and the mystery behind who wanted Lucius to meet a dreadful fate was one I was extremely glad that I read. With a fabulous cover to boot, what more could a fan of Jessica and Lucius want?