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Stargazer is the second book in the Evernight series by Claudia Gray, and continues where the first book left off, with Bianca back at Evernight Academy trying to help her boyfriend Lucas, a member of the Black Cross vampire hunters, find out why a school that has only ever admitted vampires before , has begun accepting humans into it's ranks . Mrs Bethany, the schools formidable headmistress, claims that the idea is to help the vampires (who come to Evernight to learn how to cope in the modern world) integrate better into society and get to know another class of people - but neither Bianca nor Lucas buy this explanation .
As if working in secret to help the Black Cross (an action that her parents, peers, and teachers would certainly not approve of) isn't enough for a young girl to handle, she's missing Lucas , who has not returned to the school since his identity of a member of the Black Cross was revealed. Worryingly, she's also started seeing ghosts , and the fact that she is now rooming with a human means she's finding it difficult to get the blood fixes she needs without giving away her secret .
Now, when I reviewed the first book in the series, one of my main gripes was how poorly the fact that Bianca herself is a Vampire, or at least well on the way to becoming one, was revealed . It felt like it was simply hurled into the book midway, and that any hints that were dropped prior to this great revelation were almost too subtle. I expected the second book, with the secret now out there, to be a much smoother and easier read now the clumsy big reveal was out of the way.
I was a little disapointed though. Many books that are continuations of a series find some way, early on in the book, to subtly remind the reader of who the main characters are , and what has already happened . This book didn't do that, and despite it only being a few months since I had read the first book, I found I really had forgotten an awful lot, which made the book initially something of a hard read. For this reason I think this book is not good at all as a standalone, and would only make sense if read shortly after reading the first book .
Some new characters were introduced though that were pretty interesting, and other characters that had only been minor players so far developed much more importance to the storyline . Raquel in particular became a very interesting character after her dramatic reaction to being asked if she believes in ghosts, and the new vampire in town, Chastity , is involved in some very twisty-turny storyline .
I actually did find the ending of the book very good - a real cliffhanger, caught at just the right moment so that, despite the gripes I have had with the series so far, I've still gone and purchased the next book because I can't bear not knowing how it all ends.
This is a good story - not great, not brilliant, just good . Mildly interesting, with not enough time spent re-establishing the readers familiarity with the characters. While most of the book just plods along, it is the climactic ending that slightly redeems it - a final dramatic flourish that, just barely, lifts the books pace enough to make it readable .
3 stars - One I would recommend, despite it's faults, but only if you're already read the first book.
Stargazer is the second book in the Evernight series by Claudia Gray and it was released on April 29th 2010 in the UK. It is 256 pages long and available on Amazon for £4.99 at the time of writing this review.
Evernight Academy is a school pretty much in the middle of no where for vampires. Last year (in the first book) Bianca learned more about her destiny to finally become a full vampire as her parents are both vampires. Her first year didn't go very well when she fell in love with Lucas, drank his blood and then found out that he was a member of the Black Cross, a group of vampire hunters who sent him to the school as a spy.
Now that Lucas has been banished from the school, knowing how dangerous it would be to come back to see Bianca, she feels all alone now that the second year is about to begin. Luckily, Lucas' ex-roommate Vic turns up and gives her a message from Lucas. Bianca is willing to do anything if it means that she gets to see Lucas again, even if it is sneaking around and pretending to date Balthazar so he can take her off school grounds. Balthazar is Lucas' rival and even though she knows he isn't going to be happy about the arrangement, Bianca knows that there is no other way.
If vampires, hunters and a love triangle weren't enough, add in some other supernatural beings for extra excitement and mystery. Bianca thought that living in a school for vampires was bad enough but there seems to be something even worse out there and it wants her. Everything that she thought was the truth now seems to be a lie and Bianca finds herself questioning what she's doing at Evernight.
As I had pre ordered this book with Amazon, I was lucky enough to receive it a couple of days before the official release date and I couldn't have been more excited when it turned up unexpectedly. I absolutely loved the first book, Evernight and I was dying to find out what happened next. The bad thing about reading a series is waiting for the next book to come out because it doesn't seem to come quick enough. Stargazer was well worth the wait though.
As I said in my Evernight review, I wasn't so sure about Bianca but I found her much more likable in this book. Knowing her background helped to understand her a lot better and really be able to feel what she was feeling and what she was going through. I was glad to see that she finally decided to have a backbone when it came to Lucas and stopped being such a doormat. It's all well and good saying that you would do anything to be with the one you love but those actions need to be returned in order for things to work.
As well as bringing back the main characters, Bianca and Lucas, the author gave me what I wanted in regards to the other characters. Due to Lucas being banished from Evernight, some old favourites were bumped up to become more important. Bianca's mortal roommate, Raquel was included a lot more in the story which helped show a different side to Bianca's personality. In Evernight, Lucas' roommate Vic was humourous and extremely likable and I was really glad to see him play a bigger role this time. With new characters like Balthazar's sister being added into the mix, we get to learn more about the histories of the main characters.
Bianca and Lucas are the main characters overall and I know we are all supposed to want them to have their happy ever after but I'm routing for Balthazar. He is my favourite character overall because he is just so likable. His character is well rounded and although it is obvious that he likes Bianca still, he still manages to come across as genuine and sincere. I know this will probably end up like the love triangle in Twilight but I will keep hoping until proven otherwise.
There was a fair amount of raunchiness going on in the previous book but it stayed quite tame at times and that is where Stargazer differs. There was one part in particular that was extremely steamy and erotic in my eyes. In many vampire novels/ films it is made clear that drinking each others' blood is like foreplay to them and Stargazer certainly proves that idea. I wont say who this happens with though as it would be too much of a giveaway.
Not only did we get vampires in this book but wraiths were also introduced. I loved that the author didn't go for the obvious supernatural being choice of werewolves because it has been done over and over now so this was a very welcome change. The history of wraiths was used to help the reader understand what was happening but also why. The plot would have been extremely silly if some random ghosts had turned up with no explanation at all.
Stargazer was so much better than Evernight for so many reasons. There is a lot of action as expected but a great deal of romance, passion and humour at the same time. Although I think that this book should be aimed at older teens/ adults, I think any vampire or Twilight fan will love this series. Highly recommended.