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.
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.
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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Quick Reasons: stellar, fast-paced action; one easy plot twist and one HUGE surprise; believable, slow-building, totally awkward romance; LOVELOVELOVE the paranormal/fantasy aspects; shape shifting for the total win!; awesome, entertaining read
Huge thanks to Nya Jade, Dreamwell Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
So, uh…. is my beak on straight, penguins?! Because I feel like it’s backward and upside down and maybe just a whole lot out of place after this wild, awesome read! The action is fast-paced and super intense; I was biting my nails and holding my breath through the majority of this read. Nya Jade breathed life into this world, and immersed me fully into it. For the hours I spent reading, I left reality and stood right beside these characters–basically experiencing the same things they did. It. Was. AWESOME, okay?! Pure reader ecstasy, promise.
These characters are well-rounded and complex, handling a bunch of different stuff that both individualizes them and brings them together. I had a ton of fun following each of them on their journeys–and was so caught up in the one plot twist I saw coming, I didn’t think there’d be a second, BIGGER one to come! So kudos to Nya Jade for catching me by surprise on that one; I definitely love when those unexpected roller coaster moments happen.
I was a teensy bit disappointed to see the old “monster turned good” trope being played out in one of my favorite characters. I totally blameTwilight for this–that whole “survives on blood but doesn’t kill because special snowflake not a monster” trope. I wish that hadn’t been used in this read–it would have made things even MORE entertaining, and much less predictable, for me as a reader. I mean tell me, penguins–isn’t there a way that characters can remain monstrous while not being MONSTERS, per se?! Or is that asking for too much? Either way, it bothered me.
Still, this read was super entertaining! The action was fast-paced and intense, the characters are SO much fun to watch, and there was a wild roller coaster moment of a plot twist that caught even ME off guard. I definitely recommend this to lovers of paranormal/fantasy, shape shifters, and fantastic characters! The moonester has begun, Penguins; what are YOU studying?!
Quick Reasons: Nya Jade knows how to write a plot twist so it’s both seen, and unexpected; not nearly enough Colten in this book!; I want, I need, I must have more!; I love the way these relationships were both altered and strengthened; I’m not sure anymore who’s friend and who’s foe
HUGE thanks, again, to Nya Jade, Dreamwell Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours for sending a free digital galley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
AND OH, MY, PENGUINS! What a book it is! Just as with the first book in this series, I was pulled straight into the action. From page one, I was enthralled–the action remains fast-paced and intense, and the mysteries/dramas surrounding our main characters and their emerging powers was only exacerbated by the political intrigue they find themselves thrust into. There are secrets layered upon secrets, there’s a TON of magic and conspiracy, and I just… gaaaaah, this series! While, like in the first book, I had my suspicions about a certain plot twist…I’m happy to say that Nya Jade paired it, once again, with a twist I HADN’T been expecting. This beautiful mastery of her world only makes me feel more awed by her talents.
Once again, these characters took me along for the ride. Their journeys are both individualized and, at the same time, woven together. I really love the dynamics of the relationships we’re given a glimpse into here–while each is obviously struggling with their own secrets and dramas, they still manage to, at the most important moments, band together. Their growths–both as unique personalities and as a group–held me enthralled and taught me some things about human nature/myself along the way. I really adore the ways Nya Jade penned these relationships; it is obvious that they are awkward, and uncomfortable, and yet somehow still connected by the events happening around them. I really LOVE that their relationships, even in the most strained moments, never once came off as superficial or contrived.
This second book was just as entertaining, though a bit darker in tone overall, than the first–and I cannot wait to lay my hands on the third installment. I must know what happens next, Penguins! I MUST! I definitely recommend this series to lovers of paranormal/fantasy, magical political intrigue, and shape shifters. The plot is fast-paced and intense, the twists are both easy to see and super surprising, and the characters leap off their pages to dance before readers’ eyes. The conversion is approaching, Penguins; what shape will your second heart take?