Book Review Return by Charity Santiago

February 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm 1 comment

coverTitle: Return

Author: Charity Santiago

Genre: YA Fantasy


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For the last three years, eighteen-year-old Ashlyn Li has been running from her destiny. A free-spirited ninja, Ashlyn would rather loot an abandoned city or challenge a fiend to battle than assume leadership of Toryn, her father’s kingdom. However, when a series of attacks reunites Ashlyn with the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago, she discovers that her kingdom is at war and her father has presumed her dead.

Suddenly Ashlyn is faced with not only fulfilling her birthright, but also making sense of her feelings towards two very different men- Drake Lockhart, the enigmatic vampire who captured her heart three years ago, and Vargo, the charismatic assassin who was once Ashlyn’s sworn enemy.

Will Ashlyn ascend the pagoda and become Lady of Toryn?

I’m a fan of YA Fantasy, but what attracted me the most here was the book cover. Not because it’s that good – I like it, but it’s not the most beautiful cover I’ve ever seen – but because it features an Asian girl. I’m convinced too many authors focus on Caucasian people as characters in their books, without venturing into different territory. Then, since this made me intrigued, I read the blurb. Wait a second…ninja? NINJA? I was in. Completely in.

The book doesn’t dissapoint. It has a riveting, fast-paced plot and a likeable, different heroine. Ashlyn Li is a kick-ass fighter, but she also has a softer side that appealed to me even more. I enjoyed reading Ashlyn’s story about her birthright and the fight she has to go through, about her relationship with her former enemy Vargo (I’m a sucker for enemies turned to lovers, and I think love/hate is a very thin line to walk), and her growing emotions toward Drake, a vampire.

I hear what you’re thinking. Vampires AND Ninjas? It works, and it works amazing. The combination breaths new life into the vampire myth, changing it for the better. I was mostly a fan of Vargo, because he had that sarcastic bad boy vibe going on, but I liked Drake as well. A love triangle in which you can like both guys? Another win win.

Storywise, I had a blast as well. The story moved along swiftly, but not too fast so you didn’t lose track. The writing itself was solid, but could use some polishing here and there especially at the start.

I highly recommend this book to fans of YA fantasy, vampires or ninjas. Which probably means everyone out there. What’s not to like about ninjas?


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Charity Santiago  |  February 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks so much for reviewing my book! I’m so happy that you enjoyed it. Vargo is my favorite character in the series, so the fact that you preferred him over Drake has me ecstatic.

    Thanks again for the review. Have a blessed day!


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