Title: Lord of the White Hell: Book Two
Author: Ginn Hale
Publisher: Blind Eye Books
Length: 346 Pages
At a Glance: Lord of the White Hell: Book Two was a crazy, amazing, wondrous ride. It’s exciting. Thrilling. Completely engaging and incredible. And, the last two chapters were so hair-raising and intense!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Kiram fought his family and Cadeleonian bigots to remain in the Sagrada Academy to prove himself as a mechanist and to dispel the deadly shadow curse that threatens to destroy his upperclassman, Javier Tornesal.
But when his efforts provoke retaliation, Kiram’s family and home are endangered. Both Kiram and Javier risk everything in a desperate gambit to combat the curse.
But they never imagined their battle would come so soon, or that it would be led by the one person they trust most of all.
Review: I feel like I should introduce this review like, “Hi! And welcome to this week’s edition of ‘How freakin’ awesome is Ginn Hale, and why haven’t I read more of her books?!’ I recently reviewed Lord of the White Hell: Book One, and now I’m back to clumsily try to convey to you all just how good this second book in the series is. I will try to keep it reined in as I effuse about the brilliance of the story…but, I can’t promise there won’t be at least a small amount of fangirl gushing.
The second book begins right where the first one left us: Kiram, Javier and the rest of the students are returning to Sagrada Academy after the events of the tournament, and the celebration at the brothel which caused such a rift between Javier and Kiram. There wasn’t as much tension and awkwardness between the two as I would have expected, given the angry way they left things after the night at the Goldenrod, but Kiram’s longing for Javier in the weeks following their return to school was heartbreaking. However, circumstances—read: a terrifying attack on Kiram by the curse—push them back together fairly quickly, and their bond continues to grow stronger as the school year passes, and throughout the book.
The school year is quite eventful. Not only does Kiram’s relationship with Javier grow stronger, but so does his friendship with Nestor and his camaraderie with all the Hellions. Kiram also suffers the attack mentioned above (which really was so scary), and works ever more fervently on his steam engine. And, of course, the boys continue to work to solve the mystery of the horrible shadow curse. But, at about a quarter of the way through the story, things shift gears and move away from the academy to Kiram’s home town of Anacleto.
The beginning of the book is great, there is plenty of intrigue and action as they try to decide how to deal with the curse, but it’s in the last three-fourths of the book, for me, where things really start to come to life. I absolutely loved what Hale did with this part of the story. Once again, her vision and world-building come strongly into play as she draws the reader into daily life in Anacleto. We see more of Kiram’s home and family dynamic, as well as getting to know the Grunitos much better. Also, the dichotomy between the Haldiim and Cadeleonian cultures is further explored, which I loved. But, my favorite was the descriptions of everything about the vibrancy and beauty of the Haldiim district, and the time the characters spent there. Everything—smells, tastes, sounds, everything—was palpable. The place truly came to life in my mind.
I also loved Javier’s reaction to the things he saw and experienced there, like seeing two men kiss for the first time in his life, for example. It was like the first time he truly identified with others like him, or allowed himself to truly see himself as even like them. Javier’s growth in this book was amazing. Both characters experience so much growth in this part of the story, but Javier’s changes were the most dramatic and awe-inspiring. He was also so sassy and charming in this book as compared to the first; I fell in love with him even more.
There are so many reasons to love this book, you guys. I could go on and on, but I don’t want this to turn into a tl;dr gig. So, I’ll end with a quick round-up of a few more things. Kiram’s friendship with Nestor reached next-level awesome. Alizadeh’s role in the story, and the part it plays in the whole scheme of things is epic and awesome. Kiram’s brother Majdi turns out to be such a good egg and almost makes me cry and is awesome. The love story between Kiram and Javier is awesome. And, I went back and read the first few chapters again, and ohmygosh, you guys, the foreshadowing is so brilliant and…you guessed it… awesome!
Lord of the White Hell: Book Two was a crazy, amazing, wondrous ride. It’s exciting. Thrilling. Completely engaging and incredible. And, the last two chapters were so hair-raising and intense! I can’t say enough about how much I loved it, or how glad I am to have read it. I absolutely can’t wait for the next part of the story. Which the author is working on now! Write faster, Ginn! 😀
You can buy Lord of the White Hell: Book Two here: