Relapse by Blake Northcott
|Publisher(s):||Amazon Digital Services|
|Genre(s):||Fantasy / Science Fiction / Superhero|
|Release Date:||June 7, 2012|
Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers for book one: Vs. Reality. Read with caution if you have yet to finish the first book.
Earlier this year, I reviewed Ms. Northcott’s first book, Vs. Reality. As with the first book, Relapse reads like an action film script and had me hooked right from the beginning.
The start of the book opens up where we left our characters at the end of the first book; in Paris, on the run from The General who either wants to kill or capture our unlikely heroes. Cole begins having prophetic dreams, Paige is wiping memories, and Dia … Well, Dia is having trouble with her manifestations and is having to use more and more Plan B to fuel her changes.
One of the things that I enjoyed most about this book is the fact that the relationships between the characters are already established, so Northcott was able to expand upon those relationships and build upon the foundation that she had already created in the first book. Cole and Dia decide that, even though the timing for a serious relationship sucks, maybe they should try anyway. The back-story between Paige and Dia is fleshed out in this installation of the series, and the tension and heartbreak that comes with a betrayal in the group is tangible. You come to feel for these characters through this book; the first book introduced you to them, the second one shows you more of who they really are.
A new character was added to the cast about halfway through; a tennis player named Allison. Oh, excuse me: Athena. Her character was, by far, one of my favorites from this book. She’s young, and nearly always manages to anger someone whenever she speaks, but there is a depth there that we see at the end during an interaction with Cole that speaks volumes about her. I’m incredibly intrigued to see how her character will develop in volume three.
As I said earlier the first book, Relapse, is written like an action film. There’s violence, explosions, guns, and illicit drug use. While these things may not appeal to everyone, they do have a place in this series. The drugs give the “kick” for manifestation of the superpowers in those that have them, while nearly all of the violence has to do with attempting to capture our heroes. Though there is one mixed martial arts fight described in the beginning of the book which was simply fantastic to read.
The way that this book was written, in third person omniscient, really allows the reader to get inside the heads of the characters and view everything all at once. It hints at the plot twists to come, but does not give them to the reader right away, which is great. This book left me gaping at the end; the bombs dropped on Dia in the last few chapters, and her responses, were not something that I saw coming.
All in all, I absolutely loved this book. I feel that Northcott is really hitting a hole in one with these novels; she’s writing something that hasn’t quite been done before, and has a huge tribe of followers, who cannot wait to read the next, and final, novel in the series. The only way to go from here is up, and if Northcott’s next book is follows this pattern then it’s guaranteed to be just as fantastic, if not better, than the last two that she has written.