Friday, August 09, 2013

Review: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

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I received this book for free from Grand Cen­tral Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Shooting Scars by Karina HalleShooting Scars by Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #2
Published by Grand Cen­tral Publishing on August 20th 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Source: Grand Cen­tral Publishing
Buy on Amazon

Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.

When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.

Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.

*Spoiler free for the series!*

I don’t think I could ever tire of this series. Shooting Scars is an epic sequel and an impressively satisfying follow up to Sins & Needles, which I would have thought impossible.

Sins & Needles ended on an intense note that made the wait for this sequel brutally long. It felt like I’d been holding my breath ever since, and it was an amazing relief to finally be back into this world of scams and betrayals! In the voice of both Ellie and Camden, this book is thrilling through and through. We’re thrown into an action packed chase towards trouble on Camden’s side, and a plan destined for disaster on Ellie’s. Even though Camden and Ellie aren’t together for much of this sequel – which I wrongfully thought would make the book less engaging – getting into Camden’s head is well worth it, if a little frightening. He’s such a complex character, and the first book leaves you dying to figure him out. This sequel spends time enriching his character quite a bit; we get glimpses of his capricious state of mind, making us understand more of who he really is. Karina is no doubt incredibly skilled at character building. She layers them with such authenticity that they become much more than just characters on a page, they bore into your heart!

Dangerous, yet irresistible, Javier also has a leading role in this sequel, a character we’d only heard of through ominous chatter in the first book. Even though it’s not required to follow the story, I strongly suggest you read the prequel novella, On Every Street, which goes into the relationship between Ellie and Javier in heartbreaking detail. It really makes you understand where Ellie’s head is when it comes to him, and it establishes Javier’s character from the beginning. I’m not sure if, not having read the prequel, I would have completely understood Ellie’s state of mind in this sequel in regards to her reactions towards Javier, both emotional and physical. She might have come off as a simple weak character who’s easily swayed – and in a way she is when it comes to him – but their relationship, it’s overloaded, it’s… cumbersome. I kind of love it for the mess that it is.

We venture in more treacherous waters in this book: A Mexico setting that feels real with a constant hint of danger that’s somehow thrilling the whole way through, and the drug cartel that’s getting involved with which we get a prelude of the shit storm to come. Like the first, the ending is equally distressing as it is exciting, setting the precarious road for the final book that promises to blow our whole minds off!

Charged and loaded, Shooting Scars is everything I expected and more. The Artist Trilogy has been an incredible ride so far; it’s dark, it’s edgy, and it’s deliciously hot!

5 Hot Espressos

Find my review of Sins & Needles (Book 1), here!

Find my review of On Every Street (Book 0.5), here!

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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28 Responses to “Review: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle”

  1. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Seriously, I’ve heard such great things about this series — why haven’t I started it?!? Since this follow-up doesn’t disappoint, I think I’m going to have to dive into this dark world (LOVE those covers!!). Mexico sounds like a great setting for this book, too.

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I’m waiting for the last book in the trilogy to come out to start reading this one. That way the wait before starting the next book won’t be too torturous. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this sequel as much as the first book, Giselle. It sounds like it was even better than Sins & Needle. I’ll keep what you said in mind about the prequel. I think I would really like to know why Ellie behaved the way she did.
    Fabulous review, Giselle!

  3. Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***

    I’m so happy that this one did not disappoint. I’ve heard nothing but raving things about Sins & Needles, so I should really start this trilogy soon, especially after hearing what you said about the characters, they sound so well-developed and complex. I’ll also have to read On Every Street too, since it sounds like it really helps you understand Ellie a lot better 🙂 The Mexico setting is also really intriguing, especially since so much could happen in a setting like that, and now I’m curious about the ending lol.

    Fantastic review, Giselle!

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    Sounds like a great series so far. Hope you love the third one when it’s released. I just love the titles and the covers – that alone makes me want to dive in. haha

  5. Christina @ Christina Reads YA

    This is the series that you and Kara really love, and that Christina liked, I think, but didn’t love, and as such the first book is sitting in my wishlist/check-out/watch-for area until I have made headway into the TBR and can undo the book buying ban. The Mexican setting sounds interesting, and while I don’t know who the characters in question are, they sound fascinating. Having well-developed characters is my one number pre-req for favorite books. I also like the sound of Camden’s POV – it’s always the ones that are a little different (and edgier) that you’ll remember anyway. Glad that you enjoyed the sequel and here’s to hoping you enjoy more of the series.

  6. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    Oh man! I really need to read this series. I have the first book, I just haven’t had time!! After reading your review I totally want to say eff it and just read them. If I wasn’t behind already I probably would lol!! I need to get ahead so I can read some books I’ve been wanting to get to.

  7. Ali

    Great point in regards to On Every Street! I think everyone should read it before getting into Shooting Scars. It really does help with understanding Ellie. Great review!

  8. Yodamom

    Love your non spoiler review ! I can’t wait to see where these three go with this. I’m still trying to recover from the last book.

  9. Megan

    Great review. I appreciate the spoiler-free review, especially for the slow pokes like me that haven’t read this series yet.

  10. Aman

    I loved this book too, Giselle! It was so electrifying! I wasn’t a fan of Camden, but his darker side has made me appreciate his character more and more. I loved the change in him, but for now, I’m still Team Javier. I can’t wait to see how it ends. Great review! 🙂

  11. Kathy @ I Write, I Read, I Review

    Absolutely cannot wait to read this. I loved the first book and the prequel. Very different from my normal genres of choice, but I think that (in addition to great writing and extremely memorable, complex characters facing very ‘shades of gray’ choices) is what makes this series so compelling and memorable to me.

  12. Vivian

    I haven’t heard of this series, but from what you’re saying, I should def try it out. Sounds interesting. I’ll add it to the list! Great review!

  13. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    So happy to see this! I’m reading this right now and loving it … I love that it was so easy to dive into the book without really remembering what happened in the last book and having it all come back to me. Karina is great!