Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book review: "Bravado/Dramatique" by S.L. Madden

Bravado/Dramatique (Only Human on the Block #2)Bravado/Dramatique by S.L. Madden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy Reading Level: Young Adult

Disclosure: I received a free ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review of this book.

Synopsis: The play’s the thing....

Between training, fighting demons and studying for school, Nick has more than enough to worry about. So how did he end up starring in the school play opposite Reva and Wendy, the two girls he can’t decide between?

Reva’s beautiful and popular and has a crush on him, but she wants to keep it a secret. Wendy’s a good friend, but she’s too wrapped up in thinking her father’s new care provider is a witch to notice Nick slipping away from her.

It’s enough to distract him from what’s important, like the demons who crave the Orb’s power. Then there’s Cal Phibbs, the school outcast, who’s been heard having conversations with himself. It’s almost as if he’s talking to someone — or something — no one else can see...

My Thoughts: This is book two in Only Human on the Block. I read and reviewed the first book in the series, The Four-Year-Old Guardian, in September, 2011, and that review can be seen here.

Since it has been so long, I was tempted to re-read the first book before starting on this one, but decided I need to get moving through some of these older books, so just had to hope my memory would come through for a change. As it turned out, I fell back into the plot fairly easily. Being able to see how these characters are growing and changing is a real treat, and having the play be such an essential part of this story was a rare treat, as I was in drama throughout grammar, middle and high school, and well into University. I’ve always loved performing in front of a crowd, to the point where karaoke is one of my favorite things to do, if I can find a place where I enjoy hanging out.

I particularly liked Cal Phibbs – to tell the truth, he is exactly the sort of person I would have hung out with in school, if anyone in my little town had the guts to be a Goth. My parents would have blown a gasket, but I’ve always favored the outcasts and the misfits – being one myself – so I really related to Cal. I’m very concerned about Myles – when you read the book you will know why. He’s a sweet boy, and I’m terribly afraid something horrible is going to happen to him. We will see.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of editing errors in my copy. I enjoyed the story, obviously, but the constant parade of extra words, missing words, wrong words, incorrect tenses, wrong forms, redundancies, etc. really started to wear on me – there was something on pretty much every page. Like this sentence, for instance: “He his him in his lap.” What was meant was “He hid his hand in his lap.” Despite that, I quite liked the book; if the story had been any less, I would have taken off a star for the editing, but the story was so fun and engaging that I will leave it at five stars.

This is to be a five-book series; the next book, Together Alone should be out soon, and I will definitely be watching for it. If you enjoy young adult urban fantasies, you should definitely enjoy the Only Human on the Block series, set in Averton, OR – the monster capital of the world. I’ll be reading another book by Madden next – from a separate series – so watch for my review, coming soon!

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