Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
It's one thing to find out you're a vampire princess. It's a whole other to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own.
Determined to clear her husband's name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows the with no blood to drink, Lucius's time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is - and whom she can trust - before it's too late?
JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE is the sequel to Beth Fantaskey's much loved and praised debut novel, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. Like many fans of Fantaskey's first novel, I absolutely loved the book and it easily became one of my favourite vampire stories told in young adult fictio0n. When I first heard the news that the author was to be writing a sequel to this potential series, I was very excited - jumping for joy that is - to finally see how much our beloved characters have grown and to see what danger awaits them on the royalty side of vampire life. And, while it was enjoyable in its own rights and delivered another great continution of the storyline, but it unfortunately did not meet my very high expectations.
The book begins shortly after the events of where Jessica's Guide had ended, where Jessica and Lucius are now officially married, living in Romania, and are now trying to prove themselves to the other court members that they have what it takes to rule the vampire community as their vampire King and Queen. In this book what suprised me the most was the four perspectives told throughout the story - which can be good for a book as we get to explore other characters minds and see what they think of the main characters current situations, but personally for me I found it was a bit pointless and boring. Especially with the added perspectives of Mindy (Jessica's human best friend) whom I didn't like so much and Raniero (Lucius's man-friend) who was alright in the beginning but in the end he didn't really add much depth to the book that I expected of him. I didn't mind their views but I don't know . . . I just wished the book would focus more on Jessica and Lucius's lives as they're the main characgters and all.
Despite that small matter, when I started this book I was glad to see a different change-in-tone to the book than seen in the previous one - one that was completely darker and dangerous. While that may keep readers entertained, but the most disappointing character of all was Jessica herself. She wasn't very strong in this book as she was back in the American life of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and I was expecting a different Jessica this time round. She does, however, eventually built up the strength she needs but I found she had too easily allowed others to make decisions for her and she trusted the wrong people at the wrong possible times. Literally speaking . . . I could see the deception of one of the characters and I just wished Jessica saw who that was before everything unravelled. Lucius, however, is brilliant as always. He can see right through Jessica's faults in a Queen and he's always there to encourage her to move forward when she made mistakes. I love that sensitive side to him. While we don't see much interaction between the main characters, Jessica and Lucius, but I loved their sweet but small moments together. That alone made the book worthwhile. If only there was more of them . . . if only . . . just love love love them together!
Overall, it was not a bad book. It was just a little disappointing on my side of things. It seemed more of a piece-together-the-clues mystery than anything else I was expecting from the sequel. But not to worry my fellow readers, even with a predictable plot there's always something there to keep you both entertained and happy. If you loved the first book of this series, then you'll love JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE no matter its smallest of flaws. It'll be interesting whether or not the author decides to write a third book to this series because I could definitely see it as a possibility considering the opened ending I was left on.