Review: Rebel by Rebecca Yarros

Reviewed by Joanna

We’re back at the floating university on the sea, this time with four-time X Games medallist Penna, who’s about to speed her way into love.

Penelope Carstairs is an elite athlete. At age twenty-two, she excels at motocross, winning even all-male competitions and generally kicking ass. But in a previous story, she gets injured and loses her mojo for her sport.

We kick off this tale in Vegas where Penna, known as Rebel, is about to do an illegal and secret BASE jump to get herself back in the zone. Her jump partner turns up drunk, so she propositions the supremely hot guy she’s been chatting to in the bar—Cruz Delgado.

Lucky for both of them, Cruz is no stranger to jumping off high things – he did three years in the military which included an awful lot of parachute jumps. He agrees to go along with the wild and beautiful girl, as although she’s a complete stranger, he can see pain in her eyes. His hero complex can’t help him leaping to her rescue, even if it means throwing himself off a Ferris wheel.

I’ll let you read the book to find out what happens on that night, but nothing is more surprising to our jump ‘n run couple than when they come face to face with one another the following day. In his classroom.

Professor/student trope klaxon.

They never expected to see one another again, but Mr. Delgado is actually Doctor Delgado, and he’s the new (and youngest) teacher on the university ship Penna is studying on. Awkward some? There *may* have been some kissing after the BASE jump, but once they clock each other in that room, they both know there can’t be any more.

So we start a lovely forbidden romance. I don’t usually like the teacher/student vibe because there’s an implication of abuse in the relationship, but that didn’t apply here as they knew each other before, plus both are adults.

As with the first two of the series, this story is high octane and action packed. Penna is a dare devil, and though Cruz is no slow poke, she runs rings around him. In his role as teacher he has to try to prevent her crazier stunts, but it’s his role of admirer that really has him worrying.

I liked how responsible Cruz was, but in some ways he diminished Penna’s spark. I wanted to see him admire her more, but he spent a lot of his time being frustrated that a) he couldn’t have her, and b) she was doing dangerous stuff. Plus because they couldn’t pursue a romance, the chemistry moved from flirty to tense and annoyed. It took a while to feel the compelling urge between them. There was definitely attraction there, but it felt early on like it had little potential so fell flat by a third of the way through. Maybe because he was so grumpy all the time, and when they saw each other they weren’t happy.

Penelope looked up at me, her eyes as radiant as her smile. “What did you think?”

That I want to simultaneously throttle and fuck you.

Yeah, the can’t-have-yous were sexy as hell.

I wonder what the story would’ve been like if Penna had been pitted against a non-authority-figure guy—someone who boosted her rather than contained her. In books one and two, we had the differences tested out. Heroine one was a tutor, and heroine two was much more wild. I think Penna was strong enough for the latter in her companion, and Cruz, while strong and sexy, just wasn’t fun enough. On the other hand, she has two high-octane guys in her life, in Paxton and Landon, her fellow Renegades, so Cruz had to be quite different to stand up against them.

The stunts and locations were awesome, and the sense of pack and kinship within the Renegade originals was great. I found the concluding chapters dramatic if a little out there, and I wish the couple had come together in a more personal way.

There was a real sense of an ending with the final scenes giving a glimpse of the futures of the three protagonists of this series. If I had a wishlist for Ms. Yarros, I’d have liked to have seen Penna compete, seen more about Nick, the fourth original who is in a wheelchair, and I’d have loved to have read more about the X Games as that sounds super exciting.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by the promoter in exchange for a fair review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Rebel
by Rebecca Yarros
Release Date: August 28, 2017

Speak Your Mind

*