Title: THE SECOND SIGN
Author: Elizabeth Arroyo
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date: February 7, 2013
I'd like to thank the publisher for supplying me with a copy of this story for review.
Favorite Line/Passage: "Liar. Cheat. Murderer." Something more than anger wrapped around Gabby, and a feeling of freedom sparked through her. A feeling so feral leapt in here mind, blasting her with images of lunging at Heather, clawing her eyes out, driving her fist deep into the witch's chest, and ripping our her heart. Wrath. Betrayal. Gabby shook her head just as heather laughed. But Gabby did not move.
Description: Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn't expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.
When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.
My Splats: A dark, twisted tale that will keep you yearning for more.
Gabby appears to be the average troubled high school student with too much energy to burn. Such a characteristic often leads her astray. But there is more to Gabby than just being a student and simply mischievous. And more about herself than even she knows.
The opening pages immerse the reader in a facade of religious references and icons, seemingly the darker side of faith. This could have been a risky subject in a young adult novel; however, as the first few pages turn, the story shows neither praise nor condemnation, but uses the characters and their inner motivations as the focal point. I found myself pondering along with the characters about beliefs and one's own soul. And that is when the story really began. This technique was clever because it not only gave valuable information the reader will need to know, but it also set the tone and mood for the entire story.
Arroyo has a beautiful writing style, ease of flow and imagination. The story is structured in multiple point-of-views, but mainly from the two main characters, Gabby and Jake. It works, as does the surprises that satisfy the appetite of any adventurous, mystery-twist loving reader.
Gabby and Jake's relationship is intense, yet an underlying pulse of sweetness and genuineness draws them closer - a need somewhat teen, but also new and never felt by either. Jake has that typical teen male attitude, attributing some of his worth to the number of girls he's dated and/or more. But he only holds slight arrogance, which is teasing and attractive.
Although otherworldly and even horror elements soon surface, threatening Gabby and all she's known, she still struggles with most of the same issues the average teenage girl does: Who am I? Where do I fit in? She's never felt at ease in her own skin or with anyone, not even her brother Max or her guardian Alder. The time would soon come when that must change, when she'd need to drop her barriers and let Jake in to she what she's made of.
As the tale unfolds and Gabby faces each new danger, Jake is drawn in deeper, stepping over the threshold of her walls, sensing a need for each other - a purpose larger than themselves.The climactic ending shocks and explodes, executing the power of friendship, love, and sacrifice.