(The Cornerstone Series #2)
by Misty Provencher
July 31, 2012
Source: An e-copy was provided by the author is exchange for a fair and honest review.
There’s a man-made storm coming, like a rip in the world, and it’s called the Cusp.
Struggling to fit into the destiny she’s accepted, Nalena Maxwell has been left with one objective: she must find her murdered grandfather’s Memory. Stolen and hidden away by her own father over seventeen years ago, the Memory could be the key to ending the Cusp and destroying the Ianua’s rival community, The Fury.
Driven by each individual’s selfish desires, The Fury has always lacked the loyalty and organization it needs to be an actual force of power.
Someone masterminded the Fury’s massive attack on the Ianua, slaughtering twelve of their thirteen community leaders, the Addos. Now there are rumors that the 13th Cura, to which Nali belongs, has gone to the Fury, manipulating the last Addo in order to control the other 12 Curas.
As the Cusp brings the Fury and their own communities against them, Nalena’s Cura must preserve the Ianua, but finding the key to the Cusp isn’t as simple as it seems.(Taken from Goodreads.)
**Warning! There are spoilers ahead for Bk.#1 of the series, Cornerstone.
You have been warned!**
It's easy to pick up the Cornerstone.
My Take On It
I'm so happy to be here today as a stop along the Keystone Blog Tour! If you read my Cornerstone review (HERE it is if you've not) than you know I enjoyed that book, I thought the story was unique, the romance was hot and basically that it was the start of a great new YA series. But there were a few things I wanted to see happen in the sequel. I wanted to see some real growth in the characters, the heroine Nali in particular. I wanted to learn more about the Ianua, their history and backstory. I wanted more action and I REALLY wanted to see Nali morph into the bad ass warrior I knew she had the potential to be. Guys, author Misty Provencher stepped up with her sequel Keystone and gave me this and MORE.
Is there anything worse then the sophomore slump? Be it in literature, music or film? Well fear not friends, Keystone not only defeats this notion but is, in my opinion, stronger, smarter and more gutsy than it's predecessor. Here's why:
When we first meet Nali back in Cornerstone she is bad shape. She's been labeled "The Waste" and ridiculed in the worst way by nearly everyone at her school. She has a dysfunctional home life and the end result is she one of the most insecure and introverted characters I have ever come across. But as Cornerstone progressed, and Nali learns who she is and the role she is meant to play, she slowly begins to come out her shell and her confidence builds.
What I wanted to see happen in Keystone was Nali continue to progress and come into her own. And I was not disappointed! But not all of Nali's insecurities are gone, in fact many have been replaced by new ones, like the fact she is the daughter of a deserter and a murderer. Much of Keystone centers around Nali coming to terms with who she is, or more accurately, who she isn't. The theme of not letting other's past mistakes dictate your life is touched on again and again throughout the book. It's an important lesson for anyone to learn, young or old, and I love that Misty Provencher tackles it.
And even better, Nali begins her training as a Contego, the warrior protectors of the Ianua. It's a slow building transformation, but my girl Nali is beginning to show the signs of becoming a totally kick ass heroine and I am STOKED!
Garrett is back and Nali's relationship with him is evolving as well. Some things occur that puts strain on them, and not wanting to spoil, I'll only say it totally works. It's a GOOD thing to see some conflict in a relationship. It keeps things interesting. It also keeps things real. Relationships take work, things come up, obstacles are thrown in the path, and I think it's awesome to watch how Garrett and Nali handle these things. Don't worry romance fans, there are still plenty of swoony moments between the two.
Another thing that totally rocks about Keystone is Provencher gives the reader loads of information on the Ianua group as a whole. More info on the different Curas. More info on the Addos. More info on the Alo, the Veritas the Contego and the roles they play. Get ready to learn a lot of new names and terms in Keystone. Provencher has filled in the holes and gaps I felt were missing in her world building in Cornerstone and I am thrilled!
We also learn more about the Fury, and meet more of it's members. And, even better, an evil mastermind is beginning to surface. With the death of Nali's father Roger in Cornerstone, I was worried about who was going to step into the role of antagonist as the story progressed. The Fury as a group seemed a bit broad and hard to wrap my head around. We needed an evil villain. Well, in Keystone Provencher sets the stage for just this and it's something I'm so looking forward to in future installments.
Now I knew from my interview with Provencher earlier this year (check that out HERE) that Keystone would feature many of Cornerstone's characters but that we would meet new ones as well. The Reese family is back. And the Addo returns, though I have to remark he's changed. After the failed attempt on his life in Cornerstone, the Addo seems more stoic and serious, as he should be. He knows conflict and war is coming and the time for fun and games is fading fast. In case you can't tell: I really liked seeing this side of the Addo. It seems authentic and something that should happen as this story progresses.
Even sniveling Cora returns, and guys, I'll be darned if I didn't miss her a bit:)
But what about the new faces? There are some GREAT ones. We meet more of the Ianua, both Alo and Contego, and these characters added another layer of insight into this world. My favorites are Zane and his sister Zaneen (ok, her name bothers me a bit, but because she has rock n' roll hair, white blond with hot pink ends!, I'll cut her some slack) and the mysterious character of Milo. But I think hands down my favorite of the new characters is Nok, the Veritas. He sort of reminds me of a Hobbit, except that he is a master of disguise, can read minds, and is kind of a bad ass is in his own right. Loved Nok!
Another part of the book I enjoyed was the element of mystery. With both of Nali's parents gone, the disappearance of her grandfather's memory, which has been held captive since his death, remains a mystery. It's up to Nali, Garrett and the rest of the Contego to find it before the Fury does. Some of my favorite parts of Keystone are centered around the search for this missing memory. More characters are introduced from Nali's parent's past, and I can't wait to see how it all ties together.
Guys, I was impressed with Cornerstone. I thought Provencher was a talented writer with an interesting story to tell. But Keystone takes it to a whole new level. As a reader I can see how her writing has strengthened and evolved and that is so exciting to me. I think most would agree that the more you write, the better your writing becomes and Keystone is a testament to that. I really, really look forward to reading the next book(s) in this series and not just to find out how the story ends. I just look forward to reading more from this author:)
As part of the Keystone Blog Tour I'm super excited to present to you some of the AMAZING prizes you could win! There's not one giveaway, not two, but FOUR incredible prize packs you could win!
Check it out: