Title: 'Til Death (Fractured Souls #1)
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Released: 4th March 2014
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Selena Fallon has visions of the future. She's not sure why, and sometimes it makes it hard for her to have an entirely normal life, but it's something she can deal with. The fact that her best friends and grandparents know also helps. Except when she has a vision of her death - and it's not a particularly nice one at that - things start to get out of control. Dillan Sloan is the new boy at school and, not only do they not get along, but weird electricity zaps through them every time they happen to touch. Missing dogs and undead creatures compound the situation, until Selena discovers that she is part of the Illumenari, the secret society that Dillan also belongs to. What she also discovers is that she is a target. So far her visions have never failed to come true, but she has no intention of going down without a fight.
Although by no means her first novel, this is my first experience of Kate Evangelista's work, and I have to say she left a very good impression. With a solid writing style that improved over the course of the book, and fresh ideas that were also well-executed, this wasn't a difficult one to like. Realising that we have both the view of Selena and Dillan made me happy, but what I also liked was that the selection of supernatural creatures presented here was pleasantly different, even within the context of the usual secret society types. Certainly as far as Selena goes, we have not seen everything. And while a couple of things were predictable, a couple were not, and it is these things that have the most impact on the overall story. I thought one surprise in particular could have been smoothed over, but there was nothing that truly hindered my enjoyment. Evangelista almost takes her time, letting you get comfortable with the novel and the pacing, until it really kicks off towards the end and all manner of things fly at you and hit you in the face.
As far as heroines go, Selena falls happily somewhere in the middle. While I doubt we could label her as badass, she can hold her own; she forces herself to keep it together and, if need be, fight. She comes across as real, and as such I was able to relate to her. Of course there were the usual secrets surrounding her, some obvious to me as a reader and some not, but none of it prevented me from feeling sympathy for her. Nor has it stopped. Dramatic irony being what it is, I'm impatient for that moment later in the series when she finally knows what I do. Dillan, too, has his own emotional battles to overcome, and there is a change in him in terms of his approach towards these which was good to see. I appreciated the different dynamics between him and Selena, and I also liked the established partner relationship he had with Sebastian. It wasn't quite what I was expecting when I first met him, but it's definitely something that adds to the book.
Overall, then, I was left quite happy with this one. (Actually, I was also left in disbelief and had to quickly search for the sequel's release date, only to stare in more disbelief, but you get my point.) As an author new to me Kate Evangelista has made her mark and I will certainly have to go back.