Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

By 8:04 AM , , , ,

Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1)
   by: Nikki Kelly

Publication Date: Oct. 7, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from Library
Page Count: 352 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

I really hadn't heard much buzz about this one until recently. I saw it at my public library and decided to give it a go. I thought this one had a really interesting storyline, but lacked a bit on the delivery. I do love that Kelly doesn't wait to jump into the action. The book begins in the past and really sets the stage for what is to come. I felt we had a very promising start, but then the book began to drag a bit with some unnecessary scenes. It was almost as if the author wanted to give the book a more urban fantasy feel, but it just didn't quite work out. The shopping scene with Brooke especially detracted from the main storyline.
Storyline: We meet a girl who tries to be a good Samaritan and help a guy who has been injured pretty badly, as he is on the run. We discover his name is Jonah, and he is actually a vampire. Given her past experience with vampires, she probably should have run in the other direction. Helping Jonah brings Lailah closer to a muddled past she can't recall. Now on the run from a very powerful Pureblood Vampire, Lailah is not only reunited with Gabriel, with whom she shares a deep connection, but she is also introduced to a few other vampires that run in Jonah's circle. Seeking haven with them proves to be quite interesting for Lailah. However, as the Pureblood closes in, we realize that Lailah is in danger herself, as she tries to figure out who she really is and what her past holds.
Characters: Lailah wasn't a bad heroine, but her jealousy is absolutely out of control. I wanted to throttle her! She is jealous of Hanora, a vampire who has known Gabriel for quite some time and who is relentless in her pursuit of him. Gabriel might not be the most open with his feelings, but he certainly doesn't encourage Hanora's affections. Lailah goes on about her connection with Gabriel and how she feels around him, but she has ZERO trust in the guy. She instantly turns to Jonah and encourages him, even though she still has deep soulmate feelings for Gabriel. I'm not against love triangles, but I just don't feel this one was really well developed.
I liked Gabriel, but his character was a bit dry. He withholds a lot of information from Lailah, believing it's for the best. Really, all it does is frustrate her and doesn't help her trust issues. There are some big revelations with Gabriel's character, but I thought they were resolved rather quickly and easily. I got a bit of duality from his character too, so it was hard to get a good read on him.
I wasn't a big fan of Jonah, even though he actually communicates with her. He is extremely curious about Lailah and her nature, but he is too aggressive for me. I didn't like how forceful he was with her when he wanted to inspect her injury. She's drawn to his darkness though and I didn't understand why until later on in the story.
Final Thoughts: I do commend Kelly on doing a really great job of describing Styclar-Plena, how the different dimensions came to be, as well as the lore concerning the angels. However, some of the character development didn't sit well with me and the pacing wasn't as fluid as I would have liked. There are a few twists I didn't see coming and I was extremely pleased with one in particular because it's such an unfathomable notion. Those are always the best kind! I am curious to see where Kelly will take the series though, especially with the sneak peek of book two in the back of this one!


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  1. Oh damn... I was really interested in this one... it sounded right up my alley but now I'm worried. I mean I love me some vampires and angels. So sorry this one lacked. Thanks for the honest review!

    1. Me too girl! I love vampires and angels! But this one just wasn't executed that well, sadly. The premise was great though!

  2. I liked this book a bit more than you, but I definitely agreed with you about Lailah's jealousy - it felt like a bit of a plot device to make room for Jonah. Now I'm sitting here trying to figure out which plot twist you found unfathomable. :-)

    Hope you (and I) enjoy book two!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I can definitely see what you're saying about a plot device for the triangle, but I would have been better off without the triangle then because it felt too forced. The twist I was like, whaaa was who she really was. Because it's crazy to have her be both....

  3. interesting review. Don't know how I feel about the main character being consumed with jealousy. bleh.. and the love interest withholding information.. that's the worst for me! still, i love the sound of this book and the paranormal aspect of it.

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. Definitely give it a try Juhina and see what you think! The paranormal aspect was really awesome, but I am such a character driven reader, so that part made it really hard for me to swallow.


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