Friday, January 22, 2016

Dance of the Pink Mist (Cracked Chronicles 2) by K.D. Van Brunt

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

Word Count: 99, 125

ISBN: 978-1-77233-239-1

Editor: JS Cook

Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs

Synopsis via Evernight Teen:

In the sequel to Win the Rings, Gray is now a prisoner at Cracked, forced to undergo combat training under the supervision of his nemesis, Jace. He soon learns first hand why all the other kids at Cracked are scared to death of her, but he also finds a chink in her armor and they both realize they have an eerie connection to one another. 

Gradually, Gray is drawn into Jace’s dangerous world of Special Ops missions, where death waits like a shadow in every corner. 

For Jace, Gray poses a new kind of threat. Although she’s proficient in all types of combat, Jace’s training hasn’t prepared her for him, and she is forced to confront feelings she has never experienced before.

This is the second book in Mr. Van Brunt's Cracked Chronicles.
Jace and Gray are now both at Cracked, but Jace is one of Gray's instructors. All her life Jace has been treated like a soldier, not as a human being, let alone a girl. She and Gray are now the property of Cracked. What does Gay bring to Cracked and Jace? Cracked wants Gray for his powers, but for Jace, he brings feelings she has never felt. As a Cracked agent she is taught to suppress any emotions and here comes Gray, making her FEEL.
As you know, I am very careful not to post spoilers. So here goes, it may be difficult.
Mr. Van Brunt shows us again that he is  a wonderfully talented story teller. He knows how to put just the right amount of technical information without bogging the story down. He does an excellent job with Jace and her evolution. She is first and foremost a hardened soldier, but her emotional immaturity is brought out in a very convincing manner. You never doubt that she is confused by the feelings that Gray evokes. But she always falls back to her comfort zone: her military training.
But then there is Gray. Gray has lived on the run with his sister. He knows about feelings, he and his sister are very close. But Jace brings uncertainty to Gray.
Mr. Van Brunt seems to be very conscious about what is age appropriate for Jace and Gray. That is something that you don't see in most YA stories. These days the writers want to make teenagers more like adults; especially when it comes to sex and "playing house". But Jace and Gray's naivete is kind of cute. It actually made them a little more endeared towards them.
There is so much to like about Dance of the Pink Mist and Mr. Van Brunt. The story is far from simple. Mr. Van Brunt is able to weave all of the different aspects flawlessly: the complexities of the military aspect, the complexity of each character, and the complexity of how each character interacts with each other as well as the story line. He creates a complex world that you don't want to leave. You are taken on an emotional roller coaster ride with each character, even the secondary characters. This ability, in my opinion, is the hallmark of a great writer.
I eagerly await the next installment of the Cracked Chronicles. But I also hope he brings me new worlds to explore.
This is a MUST READ series. You won't be disappointed!