Author: Hayden Thorne
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages/Word Count: 246 Pages
At a Glance: A direct sequel to the first book, the ending is sure to please.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: As the vain and self-absorbed poets continue their campaign of destruction in Dryden Abbey, Garrick finds himself struggling in the classroom, with increasingly distracted pupils eroding all of his hard work and reducing him to using all things dead and decaying in order to keep Desmond and Lavinia’s minds on their lessons.
Meanwhile, with Phillip Priestley’s unexpected appearance, Desmond’s world unravels as infatuation, lust, confusion, and revulsion drive him into wilder mood swings. Mr. Sherbourne’s coldly distant yet attractive presence in Dryden Abbey further complicates things, prompting Desmond to do something he never thought he’d ever do: reach out to unlikely allies for help.
In the midst of the wild goings on around them, Garrick and Desmond will realize that the chasm separating them as distinct species will not only teach them important lessons of understanding and acceptance, but also forge a stronger bond of friendship than they expected.
Review: This second book in the Desmond and Garrick series feels like it directly picks up after the first one. In fact, they feel as if they could, and should, be combined into one longer novel. Of course, that would put the word count to around 140k words or more, so it would be incredibly long for YA, but I think they would be best combined.
After the events of the first book, Desmond and Garrick are still struggling with the poets running rampant at the Abbey. Desmond is distracted by Mr. Sherbourne and the suddenly present Phillip, and he doesn’t know what to do. Lavinia is caught up with the poets as well, and is suddenly ignoring her lessons. And Garrick? He doesn’t know how he’s going to survive the insufferable human poets. After a picnic with the family and friends, all hell breaks loose when Mr. Sherbourne catches Desmond and Phillip unawares, and Garrick is drawn into the sordid details. What’s a poor scholar to do?
Just as with the first book, I enjoyed this one as well, because it completed the story and gave me the closure I wanted. While in the first book I liked Phillip, in the second I was able to see him for who he really is. Getting to know Leigh Sherbourne through Garrick’s discussions with him was also wonderful because Garrick brings such a scientific mind to everything.
Both Garrick and Desmond are forced to change in this book, and their growth was enjoyable. Desmond discovered his true feelings and realized not everyone has his best interest at heart. Meanwhile, the rather stoic Garrick, who didn’t want to be involved in the melodrama vampires drag everywhere with them, found himself on the frontlines, sucked into their affairs whether he wanted to be or not, and as a result, he started to feel his own emotions—long buried—more keenly.
If you haven’t read the first book yet, please go back and do so. As this book is so closely tied to it, there is no real rehash of previous events, and new readers would be lost. Old fans, however, will find this an enjoyable read. After all, there’s nothing like watching a mother and daughter vampire so anguished by the turn of events they resort to repeatedly throwing themselves out of the tower to smash among the rocks.
You can buy Desmond and Garrick: Book Two here: