The Protection of Ren Crown
Author: Anne Zoelle
Publisher: Excelsine Press
Series: Ren Crown #2
Pages: ebook, 597 pages
Release Date: May 9th 2014
Barely surviving her first term at college, all Ren wants to do over break is relax and bond with her roommate—not get eaten by a sentient building or attacked on the street. But with increasingly open warfare brewing between the magical factions and Layers of the world, this time, Ren will not fail in making sure everyone she loves stays safe and protected.
That includes doing things like filling her parent's house with personal art heavily embedded with wards, bubble-wrapping her increasingly imperiled roommate, and even making sure that a certain sexy thorn-in-her-side continues to breathe free air.
Finding herself on duty protecting the entire university alongside campus god Alexander Dare...was not what she'd had in mind.
But this time it's not only her life on the line. And Ren will do anything to protect those she loves.
Gaahhh this book is such a delightful read! There is lots of action, great character developments, some pretty important reveals and overall 400+ pages of awesomeness and magical ka-pow. The pacing is pretty good. The book starts and ends with a bang..and the middle is full of Ren growing her friend circle at Excelsine, trying to free herself of Raphael, working with Con and Will on more crazy inventions, getting to know Dare better and being adorably dorky and brilliant at the same time (oh and simultaneously trying to save the Second Layer from the increasing threat of Verisetti and other Third Layer terrorists. Talk about being busy..wheww!)
Let me first talk about the character development for some of the characters in this book. After finishing book 1, I wasn't sure why or when I had developed a soft spot for Olivia but while re-reading book 2, it all came back to me. We see Olivia's character come to realize what families and friends could mean to each other. She tries to maintain her distance from Ren but fails miserably and ends up getting reeled into Ren's close-knit circle of "friends-to-die-for".
Besides Olivia, we also get to see a lot more of Dare. You know how authors like to make some male MC's to be this exceptionally, absurdly perfect guy? Well, Dare isn't quite that perfect but in Ren's eyes, he definitely is the all-knowing, incredibly gorgeous, extremely dangerous and kind guy that she knows she doesn't stand a chance with but can't help falling for. However in this book, we see her getting to know him more as a person instead of just someone who saved her life and gave her the last few moments with her brother. And at the same time, Dare also gets to know Ren. He sneakily lets Ren know that he knows. I think he does respect and admire her in his own way but it's Dare and I think even after all that, his end goal is something that would end up sacrificing Ren for his family or himself.
As for my favorite person (other than Ren) in this series: Constantine Leandred. He is the epitome of what authors want their dark, hot, gorgeous bad boy to be. He is so wonderfully brilliant, devious, and dedicated to Ren that it just makes my heart swell with so much love for him and Ren that the thought of them not having a happy ever after makes me anxious, resigned and depressed. All at once! I love his relationship with Ren. I love how he treats her so differently than everyone else. I love how they work together in his workshop. I love how Ren doesn't ever give up on him. I love how she keeps on believing in him and defending him from all her friends. *sigh* My poor heart..
As for the other characters (some new, others old): Can I just say that I ADORE them all?? Will & Neph are as fantastic as ever. Mike is GREAT! Trick and Saf are hilarious and Delia is freaking cool. I just want to give them all a big hug and not let them go.
Now, moving on to the actual plot and the ending. I think the story progressed really well. We see Ren trying to acclimate to the fact that Christian has found his peace and that she has to start living without him now. She keeps trying her best to protect her family and friends. It's so heart-warming to read Ren trying to protect everyone in her life because she couldn't protect her brother. She keeps on giving and giving without any strings attached. She is so naive in some matters, yet so smart, observant and quick in others. I loved how she made Olivia a member of the Delinquent Club. I loved how she made with Con. I really liked the fact that some important questions about Raphael's hooks and how he used Ren's magic were answered. Con's motives were also laid bare and even though Dare's motives about Ren are still shady and glossed over (even now.. AFTER 4 freaking books *grumbles*), I'm hoping that they will be answered in the final installment.
Anyhoo, to wrap up, here's a list of some of my favorite scenes:
- The library scene in the beginning
- Ren trying to tell Dare about her mixed algorithm spell
- The lighting festival (dem feeelzzzz)
- Ren making the caterpillar protection egg for Olivia
- All of Guard Rock and Guard Friend scenes!!!
- Dare sneakily handingnto Ren to draw on
- Will, Con and Ren working together <3 span="">
- Ren finding out that Dare and Con were roommates
- Con protecting Ren in the end
- Actually, all of Ch. 343>