Title: Integration (Bonfire Academy #2)
Author: Imogen Rose
Genre: YA Paranormal
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: July 10th, 2012
Rating: 4 Stars
Second haiku warning:
A boyfriend missing
A lover must pay in blood
A princess must die
Welcome back to Bonfire Academy.
You know that warm fuzzy sensation you get when returning to a series you love? That’s the feeling I got when I picked up Integration. I read Initiation quite a while ago and absolutely L-O-V-E-D it. I loved the school, the ‘trust no one’ philosophy, the unique paranormal world that Imogen Rose creates, and most of all, Cordelia. So naturally I progressed into reading Faustine, and while it was a great book, I just didn’t connect to it in the same way. Probably because I simply liked Cordelia better than Faustine. Hey, a girl can have favorites, right?
Integration picks up where Initiation left off, with Cordelia returning to Bonfire Academy to complete her internship and sort out her feelings for Quinn (her childhood friend and longtime boyfriend) and Jagger (the Fae hybrid with whom she’s synched). Like all of Imogen Rose’s books, the action starts quickly and doesn’t let up until the end. Once again Cordelia is tasked with watching Faustine who is in being threatened by an anonymous and hostile paranormal, while also juggling her professional responsibilities and trying to locate her missing boyfriend.
Integration is shrouded in far more mystery than Initiation which I enjoyed, although having read Faustine first, I was always trying to put the facts together and figure out where the story was heading. (Given the opportunity, I would have read Integration first).
What I liked…. Cordelia is fearless and confident (despite nearly being torn to pieces the prior year). She’s got a strong sense of responsibility and loyalty (despite her inability to do the right thing by Quinn). And although we are constantly reminded that paranormals do not experience human emotions per se, Cordelia exhibits strong feelings for both Faustine and Jagger. Despite being a ‘new adult’ we still get to see her struggle with jealousy, love and friendship. She’s also got a great deal of spunk, which I love in a female heroine.
What I couldn’t quite wrap my head around (spoiler alert!)…. It seemed to me that Cordelia should have recognized that the Smelt was possessed and acted sooner, just as I felt she should have made some of the other mysterious connections more easily. I really wanted to jump in and give her a good shake when I felt the clues were so obvious! Fortunately, I can’t dive into my Kindle though, because quite honestly, I’d probably never come back out.
Overall, another winner for Imogen Rose. With lots of action, intensity, and a highly original paranormal world, I look forward to the next chapter in Cordelia’s story and am excited to see how it plays into The Bonfire Chronicles (Faustine’s story).
* Note: This book is recommended for mature/upper YA readers as it does contain references to adult situations.