Young Adult Book Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly


Title: Lailah
Series:  (The Styclar Saga #1)
Author:  Nikki Kelly
WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads
Genre Type:  Paranormal, Vampire, Angels
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends


The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues who she really is, or her name. But there is a face in her dreams—a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

One night, the girl encounters an injured stranger named Jonah. She learns that Jonah belongs to a generation of vampires that is threatened by darker forces. His kind are fighting with help of unlikely allies—archangels. Including one named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But where does she belong? Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

Lailah by Nikki Kelly is the first book in The Styclar Saga that sets our heroine Lailah in the midst of a war between rogue vampires and their sires. A war for freedom with an unlikely ally, an arch angel named Gabriel. With strange visions of a past that haunts her, Lailah struggles to piece her own dark heritage, one that Gabriel somehow fits into. With the help of Gabriel, and a young, rogue vampire named Jonah that holds another form of dark attraction for Lailah, she must stay alive long enough to discover who she really is. And finding the answer may just be as dangerous as not knowing.

What I liked:

  • With Lailah, Nikki Kelly took the typical themes of vampires vs. angels, bad vs. good, and gave us some surprising shades of gray. I love it when characters break out of the stereotypical role and are multifaceted. Showings sides of both, making it hard to choose who is the real villain, who is really good, and who's a little of both. Lailah, Gabriel, and Jonah are all multifaceted, and to a degree, I never felt completely sure just how much they each carried traits normally assumed to be 'vampire' and 'angel' or something altogether different.
  • A love triangle that worked for the story and for me. Let's face it, most of us dislike (mildly put) the dreaded love triangle which often only serves to add bolstered-up tension to plots. In this case, Lailah gives us two completely different young men as romantic interest for Lailah. Gabriel, a fallen angel, and Jonah a vampire. Light and dark, each represented a side of Lailah that she is attracted to. There were moments when I really couldn't decide who she should end up with. For the most part I was team Gabriel. Yet, I love a dark rogue and Jonah surprised me more than once.
  • The twists that kept me surprised, despite some familiar tropes. I really enjoyed the slow reveal of clues to exactly who/what/ Lailah is through her visions. Her terrifying death, why she seems ageless, the stranger who often appears just in time to save Lailah, kept me turning the pages.
  • A mysterious villain.  I love a bad villain, the ones that make you want tor reach out and protect those in their path, and Lailah has one or two that bring out those instincts. Though they were a mostly in the background, they gave me the chills, and added a darker layer to the plot.

What I did not care for:

  • The beginning of the story opened up with a bang that I loved. But for me, there was a lull in the action half-way through as Lailah was taken to safety at Gabriel's home. There was shopping trips, buying clothes and other very normal 'human' activities that I had a hard time pushing through. I wanted action, romance, supernatural events, anything, but shopping.
  • There was a lot of withholding of information by a certain character that though it kept the plot moving until everyone was ready, it also became increasingly frustrating towards the end.

Lailah gave me some great surprises and a few nice twists that I enjoyed. This series is off to a good start and the ending has me excited to see just what the author Nikki Kelly has planned for Lailah!

My Rating: 3.5 Stars. I liked it!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Feiwel and Friends in exchange for my fair and honest review. Thank you Feiwel and Friends the review opportunity!