Title: Gold

Series: Bandia, Book 2

Author: Talia Vance ♥ @TaliaVance

Expected Publication: September 8, 2013

Publisher: Flux

Pages: 408

Source: NetGalley

Summary from Goodreads: Descended from an Irish demigod, Brianna has fled to Ireland to escape destruction at the hands of her sworn enemies, the Sons of Killian. Taking refuge at the estate of her former nemesis, Austin Montgomery, Brianna discovers a rift in time that opens to an era before the feud began.

Wrestling with her newfound feelings for the more innocent Austin, Brianna begins to wonder if she can alter the past. But when Brianna and Austin learn that the Sons are raising an army of mythical beasts, the pair will need to use their magical strength in the present to avoid a tragic end.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 09/07/2013): 4.08

Christina loved the first book, Silver. You can find her review for it here. 

  • Christina thought this title was just as good as, if not better, the first novel in the Bandia series. It goes on my second shelf.

** SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition. 

Initial Thoughts and Rating: Actual rating of 4.5 stars! I believe Ms. Vance wrote this novel to make me swoon so that she could break my heart. Everything that made me fall in love with the first book- chemistry, great pacing, Celtic mythology- also made me love this second installment, too. If I were rating this novel on Austin and his swoons alone, it would be going on my FOREVER-TOP-SHELF-GIVE-HIM-ALL-THE-STARS favorite list. However, there were a few things that kept me from going full top shelf, so that’s why it’s landed on my second instead.

The Lowdown: Gold takes place after the summer where we left off in Silver. We aren’t given all the full details from the beginning, but we’re thrown immediately into the story and we find that Brianna, one of two known Bandia, is on the run from her sworn enemies, the Sons of Killian, but more importantly, that her and Blake are no longer together for some reason. She’s whisked away to Ireland, her ancestors’ homeland, for her own protection. However, to her great dismay, she learns that she’ll be staying at the estate of Austin Montgomery, the very same god she banished to the Underworld in book one.

But sometimes gods don’t stay banished and old wars are hardly ever over. In fact, there’s a new battle brewing on the horizon and all the Irish mystical creatures that were once thought perished long ago are asked to pick a side and fight. We meet new characters, fall in and out love with old ones, and learn that even without magic and powers, people can learn to be just as strong and brave.

But then, there’s something more. When Brianna discovers an old ruin that is able to transport her back to a time from over a thousand years ago, before the war between the Daughters of Danu and Sons of Killian ever began, can she stop the feuding before it even starts? Will she want to?

My Thoughts: This novel had the ability to reel me in and keep me captivated from beginning to end. So much so, that I read it in one sitting, forging through despite running a fever, drowning myself in NyQuil, and ignoring hunger pangs. Ms. Vance definitely has a way of bringing the Celtic folklore alive and keeping her readers spellbound with excellent pacing and lively characters. The plot was full of twist and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.

There were only two minor grievances I had with this novel. One was that I didn’t have enough time to go back and reread Silver, but even if I had, I still feel like I would have been a little lost in the beginning of this book. It would have been hard enough to fall back into the story and mystery of the Irish mythology even with a recap, but seeing as there wasn’t one and that there was a time lapse between this novel and the previous, I was left a little confused about what was happening in the first few chapters. However, the author slowly addressed the issues that broke the treaty between Brianna and the Sons, and I was soon able to fall back into the natural rhythm of the story eventually.

The second issue I had with this book is probably more of a personal one. I could live with how it ended, but I don’t exactly want to have it end like that. Especially if there’s a chance, a little tiny sliver of hope, for a future that means he can come back. (Yes, I have to be vague. It’s for your own good.) I tweeted the author about a third novel, and she said that she will probably write it because she has to know for herself, but doesn’t ever know if it will be published. So, yeah, if there was a solid chance of another book, I probably would’ve given this a full five stars, but as it stands now, I simply can’t be satisfied with that ending after so many of my feelings had been invested in him… in them.

Swoons: Austin makes me wonder why I ever ever ever liked Blake in the first novel. This guy, whether it was the Austin-from-the-past or Austin-from-the-now, had me flailing and swooning all over the place. From his words, to actions, to how his love for her lasted for thousands of years is just… siiiiiiiiigh. Not only that, but we find out why he acted like a supreme ass in the first installment, and somehow, it makes me love him all the more.

♥ Swoony Teasers: 

“I could be stripped of a thousand years of memories, and I would always know, in my heart, that I love you.”

&

“No matter what happens, know this.” Austin watches me, but he doesn’t say anything more. 

“Know what?” I press.

He takes a breath. “I have wanted you since the year one thousand and nine, when you were a mystery girl form the future who kissed me like I had never been kissed. I waited for you for over a thousand years. I’ve loved you even longer. I will do everything in my power to keep you safe.”

Verdict: You should be reading this novel for the swoons alone. But I’ll warn you, you should build a fortress around your heart so that Ms. Vance can’t storm the castle and blow it to smithereens like she did to mine. I’ll just be over here, still sobbing into my pillow like the cry-baby that I am.

♥ A very special thanks to Flux and Net Galley for providing me with an early copy of this title. 

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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