Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Hush (Book 2)
Publication Date: October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages
ISBN-10: 1416989439 (Simon & Schuster BFYR)
ISBN-13: 978-1416989431 (Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Synopsis (Product Description):
Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can’t figure out if it’s for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.
The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father’s death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn’t answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?
Quick & Dirty: A richly evocative, emotionally charged, and seductive read with heartwrenching conflicts and intriguing characters.
Opening Sentence: The fingers of the thorn-apple tree clawed at the windowpane behind Harrison Grey, and he dog-eared his page, no longer able to read through the racket.
Excerpt: Prologue & Chapter 1
Nora Grey’s life is in a continuous state of chaos. On the heels of surviving an attempt on her life and falling in love with the dark and dangerous fallen angel, Patch, a little excitement is understandable. Unfortunately for Nora, things are getting even more complicated. Her relationship with Patch is falling apart. Battling her jealously and insecurities, Nora struggles with the reality that her nemesis, Marcie Millar, might have stolen her man. To make matters worse, Nora is having nightmares and seeing visions of her dead father. She becomes obsessed with finding out who murdered her father. Believing she can no longer trust Patch, Nora is feeling betrayed and alone. Along the way, Nora makes some gruesome discoveries in her quest to find her father’s killer. The things that Nora finds out about her father are troubling to say the least, and as a result, Nora’s life will never be the same.
Crescendo is the sequel to the brilliant Hush, Hush, and maintains the same degree of edginess, sexiness, and danger. Crescendo isn’t just tough and edgy; it’s also a story about complex relationships. Characters are forced to make hard choices and face emotionally charged situations. Ms. Fitzpatrick has crafted complex characters with complicated pasts. This drives an already great plot forward at a break-neck pace.
The world-building in this series continues to be top-notch. This world is vivid, imaginative, and the terrifying mythology continues to evolve. A deadly supernatural secret society is introduced, adding new levels of intensity. I really enjoyed learning more about the relationship between fallen angels and their Nephilim hosts. There are some intriguing new dynamics at play and it’s hard to say which side will win in the end.
The romantic relationship between Patch and Nora is complicated, titillating, seductive, and at times explosive. Nora continues to have doubts about her relationship with Patch and she begins to question his loyalty. Nora is very different now than when we first met her in Hush, Hush. In many ways her character has grown, but at the same time she’s a little immature. Emotions run high throughout, and I was actually surprised to see Nora fall prey to pettiness, jealously, envy, and selfishness. This is completely understandable and lends credibility to her character. Ms. Fitzpatrick eschews the trap of the too perfect to be believable heroine for a flawed, but far more realistic character. Nora eventually realizes that Patch isn’t well handled and that he won’t simply bend to her will or respond the way that she wants him to. Nora is still a likable and sympathetic character that’s easy to care about – more so because of her imperfections.
A word about Patch – some readers have had mixed reactions to him. Some readers have described Patch as overly aggressive, mean, manipulative, devious, and even gone so far as calling him a sexual predator. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed the character from the beginning, despite the fact that he can appear creepy at times through the lens of our 21st century morality. I think Patch can be so easily misunderstood because we as readers come to our stories with an inability to abstract from our modern century world view, which Patch and anyone born 500 years ago would not share. Patch lacks the anachronistic characteristics that are ubiquitous in the archetypal immortal love interest. He’s neither “sweet” nor “sensitive” in the vein of the completely unrealistic immortal archetypes that dominate some books in the YA genre. Patch is a flawed character and that makes him all the more intriguing.
We come to our stories with preconceived notions and 20th/21st century morality, which Patch does not share. Patch lived through a time that saw bouts of the plague and other disease epidemics, religious wars, the occasional inquisition, public executions, political assassinations, and contrary to popular belief – very little romance. Most of the moral developments of the last century are relatively novel concepts to him, including ideas of gender equality. Heck, they’d be a little new to our grandparent’s generation. Patch is hundreds of years older than your great grandparents. The point is, he’s going to be rough around the edges.
Overall, Crescendo is simply stunning. The ending is to die for because it’s a cliffhanger. At first I thought my ARC was missing pages or that the ink ran out. Maybe even turned invisible. Alas, I came to my senses and realized that Ms. Fitzpatrick pulled a fast one on me. I was completely shocked and I can hardly wait for the next installment. Ms. Fitzpatrick dishes up another sexy, gripping read with plenty of danger and thrills. Crescendo is a compelling story with clever plot twists, and is sure to have readers riveted. With romance, supernatural treachery, a deadly menace, and plenty of action, Crescendo will keep you turning pages long into the night.
He wrestled the pillow out of my grasp and walked me backward until I came up against the wall, his motorcycle boots flush against my toes. I was drawing breath to finish my sentence and call him the worst name I could think up, when Patch tugged on the waistband of my underpants and pulled me even closer. His eyes were liquid black, his breathing slow and deep. I stood that way, suspended between him and the wall, my pulse stepping up as I became more aware of his body and the masculine scent of leather and mint lingering on his skin. I felt my resistance start to ebb away.
Suddenly, and without heeding anything but my own desire, I curled my fingers into his shirt and pulled him the rest of the way against me. It felt so good to have him close again.
The Hush Series:
1. Hush, Hush
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Crescendo. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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