I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Chalice of Sorrows by Robert J. Duperre
on June 20, 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Horror, Horror & Ghost Stories, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Young Adult
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Now that the cat’s out of the bag, the other secrets regarding Jacqueline Talbot’s past—and future—begin to come clear. It’s a lot for a sixteen-year-old girl to deal with, especially when she’s told that the fate of the world rests on her shoulders.
Jacqueline now must prepare herself to take on the rest of the Trials; the only problem is, no one’s really sure what they are. Not even her aunt, who seems to know a little too much about everything.
At least she has her support system to help her through it all. But that system is as fragile as everything else in Jacqueline’s troubled life. Just one small misstep and it could all be over…for everyone.
In the first book(my review), The Mirror of Souls, we’re introduced to Jacqueline Talbot, who is known as the Gorgon—a spiritual being that is preordained to be the host body for the demigod Khayrat. While her Aunt Mitzy and Mitzy’s vampire bodyguard Edwin are sworn to protect Jacqueline and keep this prophecy from coming true, Jacqueline also has four high school friends who fight beside her against the evil worshipers of Khayrat, as well as against the dangerous and strange monsters that slip through the narrow areas between dimensions from other worlds into our own. While attempting to open one of these mirror doors to rescue her friend in the mirror Mal, Jacqueline and her friends unknowingly blow the portal wide open—and have no idea what happened to Mal in the process.
With practice comes good things, rewards and frustrations…
While Jacqueline learns to defend herself and fight monsters by training with Edwin, she’s also learning to open up herself to the psychic/spiritual abilities that lay dormant inside of her. She’ll need to go through the Trials of the Gorgon in order to awaken these abilities to make herself ready to host Khayrat, but she must freely choose to open herself to the demigod. With practice, her frustration and impatience grows as her abilities stagnate, but her attraction and love for her protector and new best friend Jordan grows. There’s thankfully no love triangle in this book, and it’s a refreshingly sweet relationship between Jordan and Jackie.
The Otakus become more involved and stronger than ever…
Jacqueline’s misfit friends nabbed a book from the basement where the narrow between dimensions opened up, and Olivia has been working hard to translate the text since she, Annette, Ronni, and Neil are sure that it will help Jacqueline find her way with the Trials. What they read is surprising, and they aren’t sure if they can trust anyone—especially Jacqueline’s aunt or her bodyguard. But they do know that the four of them need to stay with Jackie throughout everything—no matter what—because they will be there for the end of the world. It is written.
Stay away from the Shade, it will steal life as you know it…
The wealthy Cottard family rules Mercy Hills, but the patriarch is also the head of the cult that worships Khayrat. After administering Shade to his son, Drew, and a few of his son’s friends, the popular boys in Jacqueline’s class are now her fiercest enemies since they are under the control of the shade. Of course, it doesn’t help that they call in a band of very old werewolves to torment her either.
But the shade doesn’t affect everyone the same way, and a few people are seemingly immune to the mind control aspects of the serum—like Drew’s girlfriend–the popular and rich Hannah. She’s imprisoned in the Cottard’s mansion when she shows independence after taking the Shade, and through the mental and physical abuse at the hands of the Cottards, she only finds solace in a white haired boy who is also imprisoned there—Mal. No matter how hard they try to escape, the beasts within the crumbling wing of the mansion keep them within. Even Hannah’s boyfriend Drew Cottard is very different now, and they start to lose all hope. Mal just wants to get to Jacqueline, but what are his reasons?
I give The Chalice of Sorrows a 4.5 out of 5. This book moved along at a great pace, with solid plot and character development throughout. Jackie and Jordan find a bit of peace in each other, and quite a few pieces of the puzzle about Jackie’s purpose and the mysterious cult are answered. Jackie grows to become more independent yet a little reckless as she becomes stronger, but she has a great support system to fall back on. Who Jackie can actually trust—besides the Otakus—remains to be seen in book three, and I’m glad that I only have to wait a few months to get that in my hands.