ARC Review: The Inquisitor’s Mark by Dianne K. Salerni

The Inquisitor's MarkSeries: Eighth Day #2
Genres
: Fantasy, Sci Fic, Middle Grade
Release Date: January 27st, 2015
Publisher HarperCollins
Source:  eARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS

After the all-out Eighth Day war in Mexico, Jax, Riley, and Evangeline have gone into hiding. There are still rogue Transitioners and evil Kin lords who want to use Riley, a descendant of King Arthur, and Evangeline, a powerful wizard with bloodlines to Merlin, to get control over the Eighth Day.

So when Finn Ambrose, a mysterious stranger, contacts Jax claiming to be his uncle, Jax’s defenses go up—especially when Finn tells Jax that he’s holding Jax’s best friend, Billy, hostage. To rescue Billy and keep Riley and Evangeline out of the fray, Jax sneaks off to New York City on his own. But once there, he discovers a surprising truth: Finn is his uncle and Jax is closely related to the Dulacs—a notoriously corrupt and dangerous Transitioner clan who have been dying to get their hands on Riley and Evangeline. And family or not, these people will stop at nothing to get what they want.

review

When I first read the blurb for this book, I was worried. It seemed as though Jax was going to make certain decisions that would make me shake my head and wonder where  the Jax I knew had gone. I needn’t have worried. Jax is still as fabulous and he did me even more proud this time around.

Jax is still dealing with the aftermath of finding out that his whole life may have been a lie and this leads to a lot of doubts. He wants a family but there seems to be nobody around who wants him just for him and that sometimes results in him missing some very obvious things (like the fact that Riley does in fact care for him) BUT, it’s understandable.

I love how brave Jax is. He is never fearless but he is brave. He goes to such lengths for his friends and I cannot help but love him for that. What makes his character such a pleasure to read about is that he reads like a kid his age. He is incredibly brave and smart and mature but that doesn’t make him seem like some grown up, it just makes him seem like Jax. His personality especially shined through in this installment.

Before I began the book, I had no idea that we’d get a second POV and when I first started reading from this character’s POV, I wasn’t sure how I felt but as I read more and more from his POV, I could see why it was essential to the story and I grew to love Dorian too. Dorian is a member of the Dulac family, the sworn enemies of Jax and sadly, also the closest relatives (as it turns out). Dorian however, at the beginning of the novel, is the complete opposite of Jax, or so he would think. He doesn’t see himself as brave, he doesn’t see himself as a ‘hero’. But he is one, in his own right. He may not be outgoing like Jax but growing up the way he did, I don’t blame him. He is brave in his own way. He risked himself trying to protect his sister who is constantly tortured by their father. He risked himself when he warned Jax and he further risked himself when he chose to help them.

The funny thing about all of this is that while Dorian’s father is not seen as the good guy, he was never seen as pure evil, just someone overly ambitious and I kind of liked that take. I liked that it wasn’t just about hating on the ‘evil’ parents. Dorian, in spite of everything, still cares enough about his parents.

What I did miss in this installment was a certain Riley. I may have a little crush on him. Just a little bit. And I wish he had been there more so that I could have seen him shine as well.

I still haven’t warmed up to Evangeline and I am waiting for that moment to come. It’s not that she isn’t a good character, it’s just, like I said in my review for book 1, we don’t know enough about her so I still don’t know what to think. I know that she is willing to risk herself for her friends but is that enough? I know a bit of her back story too but I feel like something is just missing.

What really had me excited was that Dianne explored the world. We had some sciencey explanations and I really liked that. It definitely made the nerd inside of me excited to get some explanations about how things worked in this world. I especially liked that we were introduced to some new magical creatures and even new sciency bits. This book really does combine science and magic in a fascinating way and I really cannot get enough of the world Dianne has created.

The plot definitely kept me on my toes and I am glad I had the suite to myself so no one could hear me yelling out random things. Dianne knows just how to pace her stories. She builds up and she takes us on a fantastic ride and you cannot help but feel satisfied at the end.

I haven’t decided which one of the books I enjoyed better, but I have to say, this was definitely a great addition to the series and I cannot wait to see where the next book will take us! Hopefully to magical places and beyond  and maybe even on a fun mythical ride.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Overall: 4
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    I have skimmed read a bit your review Rashika since I haven’t read the first book yet but seems that this is one of those middle grade books I really should check and right on time since I was just asking for recommendations for MG on Twitter!
    Pili recently posted…Tell Me Tuesdays #23!!My Profile

  2. says

    Rashika I’ve not heard of this series before, but I can see why this series you’ve found appealing so far. Books in a series which tend to add another pov later in the series don’t normally work for me, but I’m glad to see that this wasn’t the case for you at all. Also the plot sounds great, I lobe it when a book evoked such strong emotions feelings from you that it makes you shout out randomly! Lovely review as always and thanks for putting this series on my radar! :)
    Jasprit recently posted…Review: Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols (Superlatives #1)My Profile

  3. says

    This cover is seriously awesome! And it sounds like a solid sequel – which is a feat in my book. I have the worst luck with sequels in this genre. And on this note I don’t think I’ve ever read an MG sci-fi. Mostly adventure and fantasy books. I’ll def keep an eye out for this series! Hope you had a wonderful holiday, Rashika! I haven’t been on Twitter much I feel out of the loop with everyone >.<
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  4. says

    Jax and Dorian sounds 2 characters interesting to discover. I confess that this one is new to me, I don’t know about all the last young books but it sounds like a really good one too. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
    Melliane recently posted…Help WantedMy Profile

  5. says

    Oooh what an interesting series. I’ve never heard of it before, but there seems to be a lot of wonderful MG books out there that I’m missing out on! I love the sound of the characters, and how not a single one is cliched or as they are described to be. The fact that they all have LAYERS is so nice to know. So glad you enjoyed this second installment Rashika, I hope they continue to be brilliant!
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  6. says

    Huh. This looks good, Rashicka-dear. I’m not much for Middle Grade, but I do make exceptions, and combining science AND magic in interesting ways . . . yeah, I could definitely make an exception ;) Lovely review, dearest! I’m glad this one didn’t suffer from book 2 lameness<—–it's a problem.

  7. says

    Ooh, the cover of this book is awesome. I thought it was the first in the series but apparently not. I don’t think I have read a book that combines science and magic before, so it seems like a cool idea! And the characters, even though you were unsure of one at the beginning, seem to be good. I am a character driven reader, so I am sure I will like this!

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