This. Book. Was. GREAT!
No, seriously, it was. I don’t usually read YA novels—I tend to find the characters angsty and one-dimensional—so I didn’t go into this with super high expectations. But I got a free copy, so I thought “hey, why not?”
Wow, was I blown away!
The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Logan and Ariana Ragsdale, a brother and his exactly-two-years-younger-sister. Disaster has followed them since childhood and they’ve lost everyone they’ve ever loved—except one another. They’ve learned to fend for themselves, trust no one, and to hide that there is something different about them. (Turns out that, in addition to matching birthmarks, Logan and Ariana share the ability to control others’ minds by simply suggesting what they want.)
For the past two years, however, life has been death-and-disaster free and the siblings are beginning to hope that their futures may just turn out alright. Little do they know that they’re the Chosen pawns in a battle between Heaven and Hell, supposedly destined to belong to opposing sides in a divine war.
Oh yeah, the Angels in Grace and the Fallen want to duke it out on earth, but in order to do so, both sides need a very special set of siblings to fulfill a prophecy and set things in motion. Safeguards, assurances, and three previous sets of Chosen have failed to yield the desired results, so Kira and Ben are sent to ensure that Logan and Ariana cooperate.
Ben is almost too gorgeous to be real and has his intentions set on getting close to Ariana, while Kira is a sassy, red-headed siren with eyes only for Logan. Though both Logan and Ariana are glad to find someone special, it doesn’t take long for someone’s Spidey-Sense to start warning that things with Ben and Kira are off. These two just aren’t like the other kids, either. So, what’s the *real* motivation behind their attraction to the siblings? Logan and Ariana are determined to find out.
As much as I thought I knew what was going to happen—and a number of my guesses turned out to be correct—this book surprised me. ‘Plot twists’ don’t usually get me like they used to, but Challenging Destiny was a refreshing exception. Who sorta-kinda-maybe-but-maybe-not betrays who is not what I was expecting!
From the opening pages, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. I stayed up all night to finish, and I’m so glad I did. The strength of this book is definitely its characters. Logan, Ariana, Kira, and Ben are unique, vibrant, and complex and I love that Cherie Colyer allows them to act like believable teenagers, while also making them likeable. They’re some of the strongest and most authentic characters I’ve ever encountered in YA fiction.
The only thing that disappointed me about this book was the lack of development in the mythology. Whenever Logan or Ariana found something interesting in their research or Kira and Ben let slip another piece of information, it and/or its significance seemed to get glossed over for the readers. Angels, demons, sigils, divine wars…I feel like we could have seen more detail here and it would have given the story more depth.
Overall, this book was excellent and I’d recommend it highly. The plot was intense and complicated and yet surprisingly easy to follow. There are a few typos, but nothing that overly distracts from the story. The chemistry between the couples is intense without being graphic or racy, so it’s a good read for young adults as well as us ‘grown ups’. And even with the theme of angels and demons, there’s nothing preachy, which I personally appreciated.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a good YA Paranormal book that isn’t necessarily for young adults only, then I suggest you give this one a try. I will DEFINITELY be reading more of Ms. Colyer’s books.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Cherie Colyer
Release Date: March 27, 2014
Publisher: Wild Rose Press