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Legacy by Debbie Viguié and Nancy Holder

Legacy by Debbie Viguié and Nancy Holder
3.5
Book Name: Legacy
Author: Debbie Viguié and Nancy Holder
Publisher(s): Simon & Schuster
Formatt: Hardcover / Paperback / Audiobook / Ebook
Genre(s): YA Paranormal
Release Date: 2009

Spoiler Alert: This review contains spoilers for the first two books. Read with caution if you have yet to finish the previous novels.

I recently described these books as crack. I can’t remember to whom, but I know exactly what I meant when I said it, and I know that whoever I said it to also knew exactly what I meant.

For those who don’t know, a book like crack is just about what it sounds like. It may not be good, and it may not be good for you (whatever that’s supposed to mean), but no matter how you feel when you’re going through it, you can’t stop yourself from going back for more. You may even make questionable choices under the influence of these books. My questionable choice was continuing this series.

That last sentence is a joke, obviously. If I really did think these books were that bad, I wouldn’t be writing up reviews for a blog about celebrating fantasy. I might tweet about it or tell some of my friends, but I wouldn’t post it here.

At the same time, I must admit this particular book was at times a chore to get through. I did still enjoy it, by the end, but I can’t give the same sort of endorsement I did for Witch. I may have enjoyed this book as a teen, but it isn’t the sort of thing I’d eagerly press into another teen’s hands unless I had heard her gush about the previous two books.

That said, let’s begin.

Legacy opens up shortly after where Curse left off. Nicole has been captured by the Supreme Coven, and Holly’s coven has come from Paris to London in order to rescue her (and Jer, if Holly can manage it). Little do they know that Philippe and the rest of the coven Nicole met in Spain are also intent on rescuing her. Fortunately, this is a pleasant surprise, especially compared to everything else fate has in store for Holly. Michael Deveraux is still at large and wreaking havoc on Seattle in the classic villain move of “threaten loved ones to draw the hero back”. Cecile, Dan, and Richard are not nearly as safe in San Francisco as they thought they were. And Jer (poor guy) is still traumatized by not only being burned alive by the Black Fire at the end of Witch but by feeling as though Holly betrayed him by leaving him to burn just as Jean left Isabeau to burn about six hundred years ago.

Honestly, I can’t blame him. Hanging out with an evil father, evil brother, and their evil warlock friends doesn’t seem like the best environment to heal in.

I also really like how that one event keeps echoing through past and present. Six hundred years ago, a Deveraux was wrenched away from a Cahors, even though their combined magic was the only thing keeping both of them safe from the Black Fire. In the present day, a Cahors was wrenched away from a Deveraux. In both cases, the people doing the saving had no idea of the magic or that they would leave someone to die. This is the sort of irony I love, and I especially love that it shows up in a YA novel.

What I don’t love so much is just how intense things get. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for intensity. I would have been turned off this series long ago if I weren’t. The issue I have is with how the intensity is handled.

Curse was actually pretty ideal for this. Witch felt slow at times, but it held my attention despite the pace. Curse ramped up the stakes pretty considerably. Not only was Holly’s life consistently in danger, but she knew it was in danger. Seeing the way that wore on her and wore her down brought out new facets to her character, and I enjoyed the darkness we found in her. I even enjoyed some of the wilder aspects to the book. The sea monsters attacking the ferry kept my heart pounding the whole way through.

It did that because of the pacing. Though we saw Michael preparing for his spell, we didn’t know precisely what the spell would be. We heard about something fishy on the radio and knew he was luring the coven to meet on the ferry, but precisely what would come remained a mystery.

Most importantly, Holly and her crew had a chance to catch their breath. It wasn’t much of a chance before Michael showed up again, but they at least had a little time to recover from the shock, and the readers likewise had a chance to recover from the scene.

That was something I found sorely lacking in Legacy. Much as I love protagonists fleeing from danger, demonic possession, and epic battles, I also need some room to breathe without just setting down the book and going to work. Constant danger is exhausting, not only for the characters, but also for the readers.

Why, then, am I pushing through the series? (And why did I give this book seven stars?) It’s not because I’m determined to complete it, come hell or high water. It’s because in the end, I did enjoy the read, and that’s partly due to the ending. It was a cliffhanger that gave me everything I wanted, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that things ease up just a touch in Spellbound.

And if not, I hope you’ll be there to hear all about my wild ride.

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