Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.
Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him–and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.
With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.
1. The setting! Oh, Alabama!
As stated in previous reviews, I have never been to the South, so that means anything to do with that region fascinates me. Harper Jane Price is the definition of a Southern belle. She edits curse words out of her own story, she is practicing for Cotillion (or, her coming out as a society woman), she does SO much for her community and school, and has manners almost to a fault. I realize that all of these things are par for the course in the south and – being from Las Vegas – this continues to fascinate and astound me. The south itself seems to be a character, since it’s a driving force behind all of Harper’s actions.
2. It starts with a serious bang!
The book opens the night of Harper’s homecoming and an unfortunate event of forgetting lipgloss. She goes to the bathroom to apply a “horrific” shade of Salmon to her “nekkid” lips and shit. gets. crazy. At first, I thought I would loathe Harper because as she was narrating those first few pages before stuff got weird, I was desperately hoping she’d turn around and change. And oh boy, did she change.
3. The paranormal aspect of this book kind of surprised me.
It’s so rare these days reading a paranormal book that has nothing to do with werewolves and vampires. This book has everything to do with Oracles and those who protect them – Paladins. I love mythology and paranormalcy steeped in history and we come to find out that Harper’s situation with David (more on him later) goes all the way back to the times of Charlemagne. So awesome!
4. There wasn’t a love triangle! I loved, loved, LOVED this!!
We all know my feelings about love triangles. If you’re new here and don’t know, I absolutely loathe love triangles. (My only exception to that in recent memory was in Megan Shepherd’s Madman’s Daughter trilogy). Anyway, Harper has a boyfriend named Ryan and of course he’s perfect, but he’s also kind of…unbelievable in the sense that no one is that perfect, not even in books. At first, our villain is one David Stark. However, this is a case of a misunderstood villain and he ends up being one of my favorite characters in the book. #TeamDavid5ever
5. This was not deeply intellectual.
This was a quick, wild ride. This wasn’t something where I was constantly searching for metaphors or advice about life. The vocabulary was amazing, though. This was exactly what I needed after reading Amy Zhang’s Falling Into Place. Even if you’ve never read Hawkins’s Hex Hall series, you’ll fall in love with the story and the characters.
OVERALL: 5 stars!! I really adored this book and I will most definitely be continuing the series. I strapped myself in for a wild ride and it did not disappoint. I really appreciate Hawkins’s use of southern vernacular and culture to really immerse you into the mind of Harper Price. I would definitely recommend this!! Click the link below to order!