Wednesday, December 25, 2013

REVIEW: REVIVING IZABEL BY J. A. REDMERSKI

Determined to live a dark life in the company of the assassin who freed her from bondage, Sarai sets out on her own to settle a score with an evil sadist. Unskilled and untrained in the art of killing, the events that unfold leave her hanging precariously on the edge of death when nothing goes as planned. 

Sarai’s reckless choices send her on a path she knows she can never turn back from and so she presents Victor with an ultimatum: help her become more like him and give her a fighting chance, or she’ll do it alone no matter the consequences. Knowing that Sarai cannot become what she wants to be overnight, Victor begins to train her and inevitably their complicated relationship heats up. 

As Arthur Hamburg’s right-hand man, Willem Stephens, closes in on his crusade to destroy Sarai, she is left with the crushing realization that she may have bitten off more than she can chew. But Sarai, taking on the new and improved role of Izabel Seyfried, still has a set of deadly skills of her own that will prove to be all she needs to secure her place beside Victor.
But there is one test that Izabel must face that has the potential to destroy everything she is working so hard to achieve. One final test that will not only make her question her decision to want this dangerous life, but will make her question everything she has come to trust about Victor Faust.


ebook257 pages
Published December 6th 2013
Source: Purchased

Our Review---
How funny is it that on Christmas day we are reviewing two books on completely opposite sides of the spectrum?! We have A Christmas to Remember which is full of sweet and Reviving Izabel which is full of assassins. Scroll through the blog and you'll find A Christmas to Remember because now we need to discuss the awesome sauce that is this novel. That is too funny. Can't say we aren't about variety right? 

I LOVED this novel. I want to be Izabel. I want to live in this novel. I want to be a badass assassin. WTF is wrong with me? I swear I'm not a morally reprehensible person...but J.A. Redmerski inspires the badass in me, what can I say?!! It would be the ultimate fantasy not to kill people, but to get to jet around and be a badass right? Yes. I wanna be Izabel too. I'll fight you for the title. She is in a completely different place than when we first met her in Killing Sarai. She has shed the life she knew for over 9 years and she is trying to lead a "normal" life. Like what is that really? I like Victor's version better! 


When we meet up with Sarai/Izabel at the beginning the novel, she's put a plan in place to destroy that bastard Hamburg. She ends up in California, in his restaurant, and things happen...and the next thing you know Victor is saving her ass. From that moment on we see Sarai fade into Izabel...assassin in training. We also witness them trying to find their footing in the fledgling relationship that they began months earlier. But you can read about all of this in the synopsis...let me try to tell you some other things I love about this book while simultaneously trying NOT TO SPOIL anything.


 I swooned when she woke up and there he is dead guy at his feet. That is the epitome of Victor. He's like a shadow, but is hot and also completely different this time around. I really enjoyed the fact that J.A. evolved these characters to feel much more fluid and realistic. 

I love how Sarai/Izabel and Victor struggle to understand their emotions..or really even name them. I don't know why I love this..I just do. It just feels honest. I do too! That is not them, or I mean to say big romantic gestures are not them. At all. And even though that is true, it fits them completely.


 I love the dynamic between Izabel and Victor. The emotions, the tests, the questioning...all of it made me want to turn the page faster...while also wanting to either slow the novel down or add about 1000 pages to it. Right? The whole second half of the story shocked the ever living hell out of me. Shocked me. That should be a thrilling endorsement for ya, there! 


I love the new and old characters we are exposed to. The good guys and the bad guys are so interesting and fun to read. Fredrick...swoon! 


I love how Izabel pushes herself...never wants to be weak..never allows for excuses..she just goes balls to the wall. She never reacts the way Victor thinks she will. I love it when she knocks his socks off! 

I love the thoughts Victor has on mistakes--he tells her: "You can't learn to swim by reading it in a book" and he goes on to say "To learn from your mistakes is to make them. Authentically. No amount of training, no rehearsed scenario is going to teach you better than the real thing". I would like to make that the mantra for all of my graduating seniors; it's something they (and I) need to remind myself of in this world of  being pushed to constantly seek perfection. I'll work on getting that made for you ;). It's true. It's scary when you're the one doing it, but jumping in with both feet is so much fun! I like all of the deep undertones you're pointing out for me. 

I love that New Orleans weaves her way into the story--I've actually been to the bar mentioned there and the descriptions of the bar, the street, the town were perfect as always. That is awesome! (I giggle when there are NOLA references because I know Shel gets excited, then apprehensive because those are her stomping grounds!)


I love that Victor's last name is Faust--a name in classical literature associated with making a deal with the devil..was that on purpose or an accident? And, if on purpose, it makes me wonder what the deal is and who would be considered the devil. I have some ideas but I won't bore you with those. See...that is awesome. I did not know that. Hhhmmm. I wanna know y'alls thoughts. Read this asap and tell us! 


I loved all of the twists and turn and that I was on my toes. To say we freaked out at the end of this one is an understatement.


I loved being in the mind of TWO badasses. In the Company of Killers...who knew it would be so awesome. ;) 


I want about a bizillion more of these novels. I ..uh..I really don't have the best words to truly capture the BIG, HUGE love I have for this novel. Please just go and buy it and read it. In the meantime of our freakout, she gives us a picture into the future. It seems as though more than one novel is coming! We can't wait! Cannot wait for Fredrick's book! Eeep! 


Shelley: 5 x infinity Stars

Courtney: 5 Stars

About the Author---
Born November 25, 1975, J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is a New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Connect with Jessica: Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest






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