Title: The Temptation
Author: Alisa Valdes
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Kindred Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062024205 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062024206 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
After crashing her car on an empty highway, Shane is miraculously saved by Travis, a mysterious cowboy who walks out of nowhere. She is instantly attracted to him, and for the first time, she believes in “soul mates.” But Shane soon discovers that Travis is dead and that strict rules from the Underworld govern kindred spirits of different dimensions. Breaking these rules could destroy both their souls. And while Travis is almost impossible to resist, temptation proves to be the kindest enemy they encounter.
Can true love surpass the power of pure evil? Part love story, part supernatural thriller, this first book in the Kindred trilogy will leave readers lusting for more!
Quick & Dirty: This book takes all the fallback cliches of the young adult genre and brings them into a story fill with ghosts and evil.
Opening Sentence: The storm came out of nowhere.
Shane is driving through New Mexico heading to her violin concert when an odd coyote jumps in front of her car. Swerving to avoid it she runs off the road and would have died if it were not for Travis and his magic healing powers. Travis is a temptation — think ghost — and Shane is attracted to him instantly when their souls recognize each other. He’s a gorgeous cowboy, which is an interesting addition to his character. Honestly, his backstory, his life and death, was the most interesting part of the book. I wanted to know more about the broken Travis before he died than the perfect temptation version of him.
Frankly, this book didn’t really do it for me. There’s nothing to complain about from the writing standpoint. In a number of places Shane is a funny and engaging heroine, but she’s also kind of useless. While I can completely understand that battling supernatural ghosts isn’t something your everyday girl learns in high school, there were a lot of moments when I as the reader knew Shane was smarter than the situation Valdes put her in. Shane’s not stupid, she’s just out of her depth. I felt throughout the story that the author was prohibiting her character development.
It took a long time for me to believe in Travis as a character, much less as the hero and love interest. He’s gorgeous, caring, sweet and all things good; Shane falls in love with him in less than a page. Like, literally the instant he comes into the book she knows they’re meant to be together. While I don’t want to say that there can’t be guys out there that are perfect in every way…no actually, I’ll just say that. I think the author really missed a chance in the dialogue to develop the love story and her heroes. Valdes didn’t give any of her characters flaws or depth or ways to grow in The Temptation. The good guys are 100% good and Victor, our evil villain, is 100% bad. There are no shades of grey, no deeper, meaningful conflict.
The mystery aspect was very linear, which is why I’m not mentioning a lot of it here. While the mystery angle to The Temptation definitely made it easier to swallow the love story, it’s a pretty predictable book. The religion mythology mash-up Valdes has based this series on is something I really hope to see expanded in the next two books. The idea of temptations as a kind of ghost is really intriguing and I think she can do a lot with it. I’m definitely not rushing out to pick up the sequel, but I think if she took the time in book two to develop Shane and Travis, their love, and add some shades of grey to the whole plot I’d probably continue with the series.
“Something wrong?” I asked.
He shook his head. “Nah. Not really. Just getting late, is all. I’m not supposed to be out after dark, but I can’t just leave you here with Victor out there.” He looked conflicted.
“My enemy,”he said point-blank. It was a strange thing to say.
“You have an enemy?”
“Any man who stands for anything good has enemies,” he said. “Men without them are usually cowards.”
The Kindred Trilogy:
FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of The Temptation. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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