Monday, February 04, 2013

Review: Manipulation by Jolene Perry

Title: Manipulation
Author: Jolene Perry
Series: Shadows #2
Publisher: Next Door Books
Release Date: January 13, 2013
ISBN13: 9781481851404
Format: eCopy
Genre: YA, urban fantasy, paranormal
Source: Blog Tour

Addison Prince has almost always gotten what she wants.

Dean Courser only wants to find his brother, but it's the one thing he’s failed at . . . Even with his unusual ability.

Dean and Addison share the gift of Manipulation—a brief touch that forces others to do what they wish. But when they meet and realize their connection, they find more questions than answers. Suddenly Dean is seeing shadows move on their own, and Addison is learning her father’s mysterious group may know more about her abilities than he’s ever let on.

As Dean and Addison second-guess every decision about who they are and why they're wanted, time is running out. With shadows following their every move, they're losing hope they’ll ever get to safety—if such a thing exists.
Manipulation is the sequel to Jolene Perry's first in the Shadows series, Insight, and one that I find can be easily read without reading the first in the series. Though the prologue is a bit spoilery, showing what happens with Micah and Landon a little after Insight, I find it actually pretty nice as it brings you up-to-date on what happened in the previous book.

I really like the idea that this series rotates around. Voodoo magic. In Insight, Micah and Landon do a project on a legend of the Bahamas about a woman who did voodoo magic with dolls. One day, her house burned down, with the dolls inside, and those dolls became shadows, forced to roam the world, trying to be among the living again. The woman was then imposed with the task of finding the shadows' descendants, and dividing her powers among them, creating those with special abilities and talents.

In Manipulation, we are immediately introduced to Addison, in a police station. I liked her okay, but she did sound a bit fake. Another problem? Jolene Perry's voice for Addison sounded far too similar to Micah's in Insight. If I hadn't read the previous book, I might've liked Addison a bit more. Besides, she was just so awfully whiny. Gurrl, not everything in life'd go your own way, even if you do have the power of Manipulation. Usually when I try to figure out if I love a character, I'd ask myself if I want him or her as a BFF. In this case, Addison may be friend material, but a far cry from best friend.

Dean is introduced pleading guilty to breaking into some offices to find where his little brother's foster family in court when suddenly Addison is brought in for her own case. While this readers a chance to see how Dean views Addison, it also creates an imbalance in the dual perspectives, making Addison's PoV overpower Dean. As well, I couldn't feel a spark in Dean's character that made him progress from "I like his character" to "his personality's perfect". On the other hand, I do admire his devotion to his little brother, earning him a couple of brownie points.

What I found lacking in Perry's characters I felt like was redeemed through the originality of the entire story and its plot. It's something that felt not entirely foreign, but still fresh, which I enjoyed very much. Though I didn't find it as enjoyable as the first in the series, possibly because it had lost its "new series" freshness, it was a very good followup to Insight, and something might reread again sometime down the road.

Crash by Lisa McMann - Jules sees visions everywhere, all the time. Some body bags. A face that belongs to someone she loved forever.

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson - Parker hasn't slept in four years. Every time he does, he falls into the nightmares of another, plagued by fear, pain, and disturbing secrets. Then along comes Mia, with dreams that bring him irresistible bliss from the insomnia he suffers. But what happens when Mia gets a stalker, and everyone thinks it's him?

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma - Girls, all of them seventeen, are missing, one by one, and Lauren has visions of them. Are the girls trying to tell her something? And more importantly, will she be the next victim?
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