Consumed: An addictive, spooky tale

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsYA fantasy book reviews Kate Cann Rayne 1. Possessed 2. ConsumedConsumed by Kate Cann

When I learned that Consumed (Fire and Rayne in the UK) was being released stateside, I was excited. I enjoyed the previous book, Possessed, and was eager to find out what lay in store for Rayne and for Morton’s Keep. Kate Cann has done a great job with this sequel, giving us a hair-raising tale that tops the first book and brings Rayne’s story to a thrilling conclusion.

Sir Simeon Lingwall’s modern-day pawn has been defeated and his basement chamber of horrors filled in with concrete — so why is Rayne still seeing and hearing uncanny things, and why are gruesome crimes being committed in and around the town of Marcle Lees? Rayne begins to suspect the evil has not been completely laid to rest and may be rising again even stronger than before. The only hope of stopping it lies in traditions half-remembered by the townspeople, and in Rayne’s connection with the mysterious Green Lady.

Possessed hinted at an ancient evil in Morton’s Keep, but focused more on a seventeenth-century man who invoked it for his own sadistic ends. Consumed delves deeper into the past and the folk rituals of Marcle Lees. I loved the greater emphasis on the pagan survivals, and the pacing is terrific in this installment, with each piece of backstory being revealed at just the right moment.

Rayne has to decide who to trust as the danger mounts. Sometimes she can be a frustrating protagonist, trusting unscrupulous characters too easily while refusing to trust characters who really do have her best interests at heart. She’s always relatable, though, as she struggles with disbelief, fear, and anger before accepting her role in the happenings at the Keep.

The romantic plotline is well-done, and refreshingly devoid of the “we’re fated to be together” trope so common in YA fantasy. In fact, Rayne questions the relationship at times and wants to be sure the attraction is not just because of the supernatural events.

Consumed builds to a suspenseful climax in which Rayne and friends face off against the people who would bring back the ancient evil. The conclusion leaves room for more Rayne books if Cann chooses to write them, but it’s a satisfying ending and I highly recommend these two books as a duology. Cann combines history, suspense, and romance into an addictive, spooky tale.

Rayne — (2008-2011) Young adult. Publisher: Rayne can’t wait to start her summer job at a remote country mansion, far from the crowded, noisy London she so desperately wants to escape. But the retreat soon turns into a nightmare — the mansion is creepy, the legends of ghosts keep Rayne up at night, and she doesn’t feel safe anywhere. Can Rayne figure out why she’s so freaked — before she becomes a ghost story herself?

YA fantasy book reviews Kate Cann Rayne 1. Possessed 2. ConsumedYA fantasy book reviews Kate Cann Rayne 1. Possessed 2. Consumed


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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