So recently, as part of my author marathoning month, I have read the Benedicts Series by Joss Stirling. I've reviewed the first two books in the series already on the blog so I decided to review the third book as part of a series wrap up review along with a review of the short story Challengning Zed.
Challenging Zed Review: I thought that this short story was really good, it was definitely something that was required in the middle of this series. I didn't even realise it existed until I saw it listed under the authors books on Goodreads. I loved hearing about the beginning of Finding Sky from Zed's perspective. I love a book with a dual narrative and so it only seems right that I would enjoy hearing about how Zed first viewed sky when the met. It gave a really good insight into his personality and let you know a little bit more about his back story.
This novella also gives you a bit more of an idea of Sky's personality and how she came across to Zed. Handily enough we also learn a little bit more about the other Benedict brothers, something which is really good if you are planning, as I did, on reading the series. This is just as well written as its full length counterparts and was a really useful insight into all of the characters. Because it is simply the same story but introduced from a different perspective, nothing you don't already know about happens but it's still a fun read.
This book won't work for you unless you've read Finding Sky, or are planning on reading Finding Sky but it's definitely a welcome addition to the series!
Seeking crystal was another fabulous book in this series. The Benedict's are back with a vengeance and in this book we get more of the whole family, including characters from previous books-I really liked this. We get to meet new characters Crystal & Diamond. These girls are from a family of Sevants themselves and currently rested in Venice-making for some wonderful descriptive scenes!
Crystal isn't the usual strong female lead that Striling writes to begin with, however she really comes into her own at around about the midpoint of the book! Her relationship with Xav is even more firey than the relationship between Phee & Yves, which is saying something! Her power is by far the strongest of all the girls and, as you can imagine, she gets plenty of chance to use it. The way she discovers herself over the course of the novel was fantastic. It was great to hear more about healing Benedict brother Xav and also a bit more about the Benedict parents too, overall I really liked the balance if characters in this installment!
The storyline in this novel wasn't quite as dramatic as those in the previous two novels. Whilst there was more than one thing happen in the others, there was only really one majorly dramatic turn in this novel and it was resolved rather quickly. It was far from a minor event and affected all of the characters so there was still plenty of action, just not as much as I'd expect.
I've grown to really love this series of novels by Joss Stirling, the only bugbear I have with them, however, is that they seem to hinge around the idea that a man and a woman need another man or woman to complete them, make them whole and allow them to reach their full potential. I don't really support this idea in real life, but u can see that it works in the fabulous world that this author creates, I would just be aware if this fact if chosing this book for a younger person-a discussion may need to be had about standing on your own two feet & being independent.
The author does create really strong, powerful female leads however and so this does go a long way to counter my doubts about pushing a traditional male/female relationship in order to be happy. I've really enjoyed reading this series and hope that there are many more novels to come featuring the gorgeous Benedict boys!