Jessica Rules the Dark Side

Title: Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Book 2 in Jessica’s Guide)
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: January 10, 2012

It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?

After pining for this book since I knew there would be a sequel, I am sooooo disappointed that it only took me a DAY to read it! And a schoolday, at that. The characters are back, just as wonderfully naive, loving, and totally frustrating as before. Jessica just begs to be shaken and pointed in the right direction, but when she gets on track, it is SO entertaining to watch the shock of everyone around her when she knows that she has the power. Mindy, of course,rocks! I love her persistence, intuition, and especially her loyalty to Jess as a best friend. Seeing more into Raniero and his past was cool, too.

But most of all, Lucius. Even though we really only see his point of view through his emails (switched from letters to his uncle to emails and notes to Raniero), I love how he is always three steps ahead of the game but still putting Jess first. His love for her is amazing, and I love reading about them. Even though Jess frustrated me in the beginning because of the DEEP depression she was in, everything makes a lot more sense as the murder mystery is solved, and the different perspectives come together.

Having the different points of view, not just Jessica’s and Lucius’ letters, was an enjoyable change from the first book. I loved the insight into each character’s knowledge, especially Mindy’s, but also Jess’s once she starts to wake up. It gave the book a well-rounded feel to it, which made it all the more entertaining to read while the character figured out what the reader has already solved.

One thing that was a little strange was the fact that a lot of time had passed, but because of Jess’s failures in the beginning, it didn’t really seem like it. It was difficult to connect the young woman who stood up to her true love before he attempted to assassinate her with the princess who was cowed by the Elders and the council. The other points of view helped, and so did her transformation and her thoughts during her growth as a princess, but if it weren’t for the fact that the wedding (WHICH WAS AMAZING!!!!) is posted on Ms. Fantaskey’s website, I wouldn’t have realized just how much time has passed. If you haven’t read the wedding yet, and you’ve read the first book, then you should really get on that – it is possibly the best part of the entire series.

Speaking of the entire series, I really want there to be a third book. I don’t know why, but I thought Jess was pregnant in this book – I was wrong. However, I’d really like to see how that would play out with another conflict in a third installment to their story. I LOVE Jess and Lucius together, and Mindy and Raniero as well. If there was another continuation of the series, I would definitely support that!

~Yours Truly

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