The Tower by Jade Varden
Author: Jade Varden.Website, Twitter
Published: 28 May 2012 (CreateSpace)
Barnes and Noble: Nook
Source: Free download from Smashwords (during sale)
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Death brings some families closer, but it’s ripped mine apart. I wanted to convince the police that they had the wrong suspect...but I never expected them to start suspecting me. Now, I have no choice but to keep searching for the truth, even if all my relationships fall to pieces around me.
Someone is trying to make me look guilty. I never thought my mission to prove my own innocence would lead me to more family secrets. I thought I had already discovered the truth about myself. But every answer raises more questions, and everything I think I know is about to change...again.
I have to find the truth, no matter how much it hurts -- before I get charged with murder.
I really enjoyed Justice and I've been looking forward to reading The Tower for a while now. Picking up after the events of the previous book, Rain must try and get to the bottom of Laurel's murder and try and clear River's name.
As with the first book, I really loved the mystery element of the story. I really like crime fiction and having the police investigation and Rain's ongoing confusion and suspicion throughout the story made for a gripping, tense read in places. I really like Jade Varden's writing style. It's just so seamless and creates a great atmosphere.
I felt for Rain as she suddenly finds herself in the spotlight. Her determination to find out just what happened to Laurel kept me rooting for her. I really like the high school drama and atmosphere of Sloane Academy and I think my favourite scenes are probably those that take place at the school. Rain's friendship with Fallon was something I really liked in this book as well.
The first couple of chapters of the book go over what happened in Justice as a kind of recap. As Rain's love interests were recapped it reminded me that I really didn't like the number of romantic links she has. She's with boyfriend Owen, trying to clear River's name and at the same time trying to rebuild a relationship with Sawyer. It was just too much, and I became very confused as to where Rain's loyalties actually lie. I don't like Owen, and I was really hoping to hear more about River in this book but his character made very little appearance which was disappointing.
Just when I was really getting into the murder investigation, the book started to take some other twists. At first I loved the extra drama and all the things the author had managed to weave into the story. But after a while it just got too hard to keep track of. The book delves more into Rain's past and by the end I was not only lost as to who was who, but annoyed that yet more elements of Rain's past had been thrown into doubt. It just felt like one or two steps too far. There were a lot of names and connections to process and seeing as I didn't really like the twist in the first place, it was hard to remember and take in everything towards the end.
I feel like this series has a lot of potential. I like the writing, and the mystery and drama has me hooked for the most part. I just think it's gotten a little too out there. I'll probably still check out the third book because I really want to know what happens after the end of this one. A little disappointing, sadly.
What to read next: Death by Jade Varden, book 3 in the Deck of Lies series.
Books like this: Paper Towns by John Green