Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publication: January 10th, 2012
Add: GoodReads | Amazon
Description: It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?
My Review:After having liked the first book in the series, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, so much, I was really looking forward to this second book. And because I like the first book so much, I was trully disappointed that this book was not as good. With an interesting story to work from, Jessica Rules the Dark Side could have lived up to it's prequel if Fantaskey hadn't done a few important things.
After having your object of romance in a story get married, it's hard to keep their romance interesting. Hard, but not impossible. For the most part, however, Fanaskey fails. While Jessica and Lucius do have their occasional cute moment, for the majority of the book their romance is dull if not nonexistant. As is standard for many second novels in a YA romance series, the characters doubt eachother and grow apart and then something happens for them to re-realize their love for eachother. Not a lot of fun. And if your first romance isn't doing as well as you would like, adding another uninteresting romance is not the answer. More is not better in this case.
Along with the switching point of view between Jessica and Lucius (Lucius through letters, like in the first book), Fantaskey also adds Mindy and Raniero and their strange romance. Mindy, Jessica's best friend, talks in a very hick-ish manner that literally starts to hurt my eyes as I read. And, since the first book when she turned on Jessica, I have never liked Mindy and by the end of this book I have only gained a tolerance of her. Mindy and Raniero, Lucius' cousin, got together after the royal wedding and have grown to love eachother. Raniero is a hippie/hobo that refuses to participate in any violence, even if it is to protect Mindy. Mindy has the self respect to dump him, but gets right back with him after hearing his sob story. Okay Raniero, you had a tough past, but seriously? You won't protect the girl you "love"? Not cool. By the end of the book, he comes to terms with his past and I like him more. Though, I honestly am not hot on the whole scruffy, soul-patched hippy thing. But that's personal opinion. Anyway, the added romance of Mindy and Raniero was alright, but it was hard for me to be interested in the relationship between two characters I didn't particularily like to begin with.
The absolute biggest downfall of this book was the change in the main character, Jessica. In my review for Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, I raved how Jessica had transformed into a beautiful women with a force to be reckoned with. In this book, Jessica caught what I like to call "Bella Swan Syndrome". She was a whiny blob who couldn't complete the simplest of tasks on her own. She leans on her uncle, her cousin, her best friend, and even her husband's cousin to help her find the true killer and retreive her backbone. After connecting with her so much in the first book, I felt embarassed as I read this. Of course, by the end of the book she sees the error of her ways and finally steps up to the role of vampire Queen, but it takes so long. So, excruciatingly long.
The story of Jessica trying to take up the role of Queen and figuring out who the real killer is was interesting and the latter keeps you guessing very far into the book. But to be honest, while I didn't see it coming, finding out who the killer really was was rather anti-climatic. I was really expecting something a little more frightening and unforgettable. That's all I'll say.
If Fanteskey hadn't allowed Jessica and Lucius' romance to fizzle out, made a whole other unimpressive romance, made Jessica as worthwhile as a rock, and even made the ending a little more exciting, Jessica Rules the Dark Side would have been a wonderful book. As it is, the only reason it got three hearts from me is because it has a happy ending with the characters that I had grown to love during the first book. Unless you want to be mostly unimpressed, I suggest you stop reading this series after Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, which can easily be a stand-alone novel.
Summed Up:This book was kind of a disappointment after my liking of the first book in the series. The only thing that I really liked about it was the continuation of the storyline. Jessica lost her spine, the characters were annoying, the romances were dull, and the ending was fluffy and anticlimatic.
Jessica SeriesReview for Jessica #1: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Review for Jessica #2: Jessica Rules the Dark Side
Labels: 3 hearts, beth fantaskey, jessica rules the dark side, jessicas guide to dating on the dark side, review, vampires