The Year of Four
(Phoebe Pope, #1)
Publication date: October 28th 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.
As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.
Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.
I have to admit that out of all books that I read, I’m most skeptical when it comes to discovering new paranormal authors. Or maybe that isn’t much of an admission if you’ve been following my reviews. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to the genre. For me, you can’t just throw a shifter into a contemporary romance and call it paranormal. So when I first picked up The Year of Four, I went into it with a glass half empty mindset. And then Nya Jade worked her magic on me and I fell in love with the story.
Jade has done some marvelous world building here. It’s unique, intriguing, and of course…magical. The mythos she’s created, it enchanted me. And I couldn’t wait to read more. I loved following Phoebe as she navigates her new world at Green Lane Academy. She’s spunky, curious, and a little bit broken. As the mystery ramps up, so did my nerves. I swear I bit my fingernails down to nubs at one point. There was plenty of action and intrigue to keep me entertained. And then Jade threw in romance. Oh Colton. He’s sweet, suave, and protective. The perfect counterpoint to Phoebe. Their connection is a head scratching puzzle at times, at others it’s almost humorous.
There are plenty of twists and turns in the story. The setting of a “normal” school above and a spy school below keeps things hopping. I also loved the secondary characters. All characters are well-written, well-developed, and complex. There is definitely drama in this story – but it’s action type drama. And it was skillfully interwoven into the story. If you are a fan of YA or paranormal stories, I’d definitely pick this one up.
The Blood of Kings
(Phoebe Pope, #2)
Publication date: April 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
According to the press, Phoebe Pope and teen movie star Colten Chase are no longer an item—which is just how the happy new couple like it. And yet there’s trouble in paradise . . .
Phoebe is haunted by dreams that show her things she can’t possibly know about—including a pact between Colten and a wanted assassin. In the daylight, she struggles to keep a newly emerging power hidden, even as her hands itch to wield it.
Meanwhile, in the wake of their escape from a Vigo crèche, Phoebe and her fellow Hyphas study under lock and key at the Campus Below. As the foursome wait to see who among them will fulfill the prophecy, someone dear to Phoebe is kidnapped by a powerful Vigo determined to use her to spy on the Shaper royalty. When the Hyphas are called to the Royal Court, Phoebe refuses to heed warnings of imminent danger for she will do whatever it takes to rescue her loved one.
But once at court, nothing is as it first appears. A sinister force controls some royals, while others whisper behind closed doors about forbidden alliances. And as Phoebe draws on her courage to complete the task set by her enemy, she makes a startling discovery—one that upends her father’s memory.
With dangerous conspiracies surfacing, Phoebe must uncover what the Royal Shapers really want from her, and decide whether there’s room for Colten in her unraveling life.
The Blood of Kings starts off where The Year of Four ended and the mystery just continues to build. As Jade answers some of the questions left from book one, more questions develop and I was constantly searching for new clues and hidden meanings. It was full of WTF moments that kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I thought I was amazed by the detail in book one but I feel that The Blood of Kings just surpassed it.
Phoebe is still stumbling around trying to find her footing and the revelations at the end of book one don’t help matters any. And then she gets thrown to the wolves. You really see the politics of the world come into play here. The complex world that Jade has created is so realistic, I’m almost left wondering if she knows something the rest of us don’t. The characters, situations, etc. are so realistic I’m almost wondering if my neighbor is a Vigo or maybe a Shaper. There is a ton of character development that occurs in this volume of the series. Phoebe grows in her powers, her relationships change, and her perceptions are altered. Trust me; I was thrown for a loop just as much as the Four were in this book.
I don’t want to reveal too much because…spoilers. Just know that this story is even more action-packed and intriguing, with drama around every corner it seems. But again, it’s not the kind that you question—it’s so skillfully woven into the story that it just flows perfectly. No jarring conflicts that make you wonder where that came from. Again, if you’re new to Nya Jade, you need to pick up this series. I would rank it right up there with House of Night and Vampire Academy for paranormal school stories.
Nya Jade has enjoyed a fun career as a singer-songwriter. Her music videos have aired on the Vh1, BET and MTV networks and she’s opened for some of the biggest names in music. Nya’s music has also received recognition in major publications, including USA Today and the LA Times. She took a break from writing and performing music to write The Year of Four, her first YA novel. When she isn’t writing, Nya can be found hanging out with family and friends, reading or bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes. Nya lives with her family in California.
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