Tags: , , , , , ,

Book CoverLiviania’s review of Intertwined by Gena Showalter
Young adult urban fantasy released by Harlequin Teen 1 Sept 09

I like Gena Showalter’s adult books.  I like young adult books.  It stands to reason that I’d enjoy Gena Showalter’s young adult fiction.  (Yes, I know that is not a logically sound argument.)  For the most part, I did.  Intertwined shares many characteristics with her adult fiction.    It’s fast-moving, with a large cast of characters and multiple plots.

Now, a large cast of characters works well in a romance series where you know each of the heroes and heroines will eventually get their day in the limelight.  It’s a little different when the character development left for later books is that of the voices in the protagonist’s head.  They are separate from him, but it feels like a large piece of Aden Stone is missing since most of the people who commentate on his actions and helped shaped his life are two-dimensional.

The other main storyline belongs to Mary Ann, a girl who can quiet the voices in Aden’s head.  Showalter does pull off a nice trick by making them only friends – their real love interests quickly come to light.  (Of course, by giving them each a romance, Showalter gives herself two more characters to deal with.)  That’s eight leading characters.   It’s ambitious, and Showalter does as well as she can, but sometimes it’s overwhelming.

At this point, the love interests feel somewhat obligatory.  They played into the plot, but I’m not entirely sure I buy the chemistry.  (Mary Ann and her guy work more for me, since they do get in some bonding time that doesn’t seem entirely hormonally fueled.)  However, I do have hope for them and the rest of this series.

Shortly before Showalter begins tying up some of the plot questions raised in Intertwined, she brings completely new ones into play.  I definitely want to read the next book to find even more answers.  Intertwined can be confusing, but it does promise that much of that confusion will be resolved.  With most romance novelists I feel character is their strong suit, but with Showalter I find her plots the most attractive.  They’re labyrinthine, but she knows how to resolve enough to be satisfying while leaving some mystery.  (One note on her characters: Showalter is one of the best writing paranormals to convince you that her characters’ powers do have truly awful downsides.)  Overall, I thought Intertwined was flawed, but worth reading for fans of urban fantasy.

Livianias iconGrade: B-

Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:

One can time-travel.

One can raise the dead.

One can tell the future.

And one can possess another human.

With no other family and a life spent in and out of institutions, Aden and the souls have become friends. But now they’re causing him all kinds of trouble. Like, he’ll blink and suddenly he’s a younger Aden, reliving the past. One wrong move, and he’ll change the future. Or he’ll walk past a total stranger and know how and when she’s going to die.

He’s so over it. All he wants is peace.

And then he meets a girl who quiets the voices. Well, as long as he’s near her. Why? Mary Ann Gray is his total opposite. He’s a loner; she has friends. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks; she tries to make everyone happy. And while he attracts the paranormal, she repels it. For her sake, he should stay away. But it’s too late….

Somehow, they share an inexplicable bond of friendship. A bond about to be tested by a werewolf shape-shifter who wants Mary Ann for his own, and a vampire princess Aden can’t resist.

Two romances, both forbidden. Still, the four will enter a dark underworld of intrigue and danger but not everyone will come out alive….
Read an excerpt here.