Monday, 22 December 2014

ARC Review ~ Stung (Struck #2) by Joss Stirling

Stung (Struck, #2)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: February 5th 2015

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Sixteen-year-old Kate has a talent for disappearing. Framed for murder, and hunted by a violent gang, she's running for her life . . .

Nathan is the young recruit tasked with finding Kate before her enemies track her down. He's determined to stay detached no matter what. 

But when Nathan and Kate's paths collide, neither is prepared for the electricity that sparks between them.

As the net tightens, can they trust each other long enough to stay alive? Or will their next kiss be their last?

My Opinion

When I won an ARC of Storm and Stone (now Struck) I was ecstatic, so when I got approved to read this book in advance I was equally excited. Joss Stirling is my favourite author--no matter what name she writes under--and I couldn't wait to read more about the YDA, hoping Raven, Kieran, and Joe still featured. 

I think the spy genre is one of this author's strengths. She creates believable situations and there are no flashy gadgets or miracle solutions that get the characters out of everything. I like the action and tension that comes from the characters knowing how to fight so they can get themselves out of a situation. It makes for a more interesting and engaging read as they only have themselves to rely on.

Just like with Storm and Stone the new characters introduced in this book where interesting and easy to connect with. I will admit that I was disappointed Joe never featured as I was hoping this would be his book, but Nathan grew on me and made me overcome that. By the end of the book I fully supported and loved him. I thought he had a great balance of loyalty and strength. He was a consistent character that people were able to rely on and for that you end up respecting him, especially when he chooses sides. Similarly, Kate was also a strong character. However she has this past that also makes her vulnerable. I thought the author mixed the two emotions and traits brilliantly. She felt very real and I enjoyed watching her have to open up slowly. She was distrusting of everyone, which made things different.

Moreover I liked the added romance. Once again it's not the main focus in the book and therefore you don't get the feeling it's insta-love or rushed. It's more of a slow, background add-on an therefore it doesn't detract from the main story, but adds another thread to the book to keep you engaged.

The only criticism I have--and I hate to say this about this author--is that I thought the pacing could have been better. I found myself skimming a few denser sections in this book wishing things would hurry up because parts were quite obvious. I'm not going to reveal anything, but I did find this book didn't have me sat on the edge of my seat like the first. It felt tamer and slower until things picked up for the action-packed ending. 

Overall though it was a good follow up and I hope there's going to be more. I would love Joe to be included again, but the cast is interesting and the plots are believable. I'd highly recommend this author and any of her books.


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