Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica #2) by Beth Fantaskey.
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books.
Pages: 309.
Source: BEA.
It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing 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 that 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?

I feel like Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side was one of those books that didn't need a sequel. It had just enough adventure, action, romance, emotion and most importantly - it managed to successfully tell Jessica and Lucius' story in one novel. And after reading Jessica Rules the Dark Side, I'm still sticking with that opinion. While it was entertaining, it lacked the charm and depth of its predecessor.

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it. The whodunit aspect was very much intriguing and had the gears in my head spinning for answers the entire time. And even though the jumping point of views got to be a bit confusing at times, I liked the addition of new characters. At times, Jessica or Lucius could be a bit depressing, so I felt like getting into the head of Jessica's best friend, Mindy, could be a breath of fresh air.

But for me, the whole book was stiff. First, the absence of Lucius throughout almost the entire length of the novel kind of crumbled the charm that I think Jessica's Guide had because of his relationship with Jessica. She really grows into her role as a queen, but toward the middle, she had me rolling my eyes quite a bit with her dramatics and her dependency on other vampires. And, of course, the absence of the husband means the absence of romance. He's pretty adorable when he's there, but that's not a whole lot. I never really need romance in a book to love it, but when the core of the story is their romance, I feel like it becomes sort of essential.

Overall, I did enjoy Jessica Rules the Dark Side, but I would have preferred to leave the happenings of Jessica and Lucius up to my imagination. The murder mystery is entertaining and the new characters are interesting, but in general, this sequel is kind of disappointing. If you're a fan of the first book, I definitely suggest you still give it a try, but try not to go into with any expectations.

Other reviews for Jessica Rules the Dark Side:
Bloggers [heart] Books.
Confessions of a Book Addict.
The Reader Bee.


  1. Aw man. I really liked the first book and I just feel like IF they were going to do a sequel, they waited too long. I do agree that it definitely didn't require any continuation. I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I"m still undecided as to if I will be reading this.

  2. I definitely was not a fan of this book when I read it - which was sad because I really enjoyed the first.

    I think that, had it been done slightly differntly, that it would have been better. As is, I had the mystery figured out within the first few chapters.

    I'm in complete agreement with you too on the fact that the first Jessica could have easily been left as a stand-alone novel.

    Great review Katie!