Book Review: The Chronicle of the Three: Armor-Bearer by Tabitha Caplinger

by - 7:56:00 PM

Title: The Chronicle of the Three: Armor-Bearer
Author: Tabitha Caplinger
Pages: 194
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Release Date: February 2017

From Goodreads: "Darkness creeps around every corner as demons gather in the small town of Torch Creek, Virginia. The Destroyer has arrived, and the Reaping is coming closer by the day. Zoe knows it’s her duty as the Daughter of the Three to hold back the shadows, but she doesn't know how, and time is running out. Zoe and her friends turn to the ancient text of the chronicle for help. Are they strong enough to withstand an enemy who exploits their deepest fears and doubts? Will they find the answers they're looking for before all of Hell is unleashed?

Zoe’s journey as the prophecy’s promised Daughter continues in this second installment of the fantasy trilogy, The Chronicle of the Three."

Thank you to Tabitha Caplinger, Amanda Gawthorpe, and Blue Ink Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

If you thought I ranted and raved about how much I loved Bloodline, then get ready. It's been a while since I've quite literally accidentally read half of a book in one sitting, but that is exactly what I did with Armor-Bearer. I was left needing more of this world after finishing the first book, so I opened up my e-reader and before I knew it, I was halfway through this book. Oops. It only took me two sittings to finish this and by the end, I was crying.

Armor-Bearer picks up shortly after the end of Bloodline and the very first chapter is filled with questions. The quirky little family of Zoe, Claire, Maggie, Daniel, and now Lucas are patrolling the city for demons and pouting their way into various hot breakfasts. With the shadows creeping progressively closer, Zoe worries that she doesn't have what it takes to fulfill her destiny. Can the group decipher the ancient text of the Chronicle to learn its secrets before their enemy can bring their fears and doubts to life? 

One of my favorite things about this book was the introduction of Lucas as a member of the family. In Bloodline, Lucas is a proselyte and the main antagonist. At the end, Zoe saves him and shows him kindness and love when he had none. In this book, he joined together with Zoe and the rest of the team to help fight off the demons that are slowly invading Torchcreek. Lucas is definitely the dark humored one of the bunch, but he was so fantastic. He had his moments of wondering just why Zoe decided to save him and why they want to have him around, but he was also incredibly funny and sassy in his own way. Also, his friendship that develops with Maggie was hilarious, and I adored each and every interaction those two had. With Maggie being a ball of energy and Lucas being very calm and, well, not Maggie, the two of them actually mesh together so well and make for some very loud and obnoxious laughter while reading this book. Lucas definitely took the secondary favorite character spot, with Maggie still holding number one!

In Bloodline, we got a lot of Zoe and her story and how she's dealing with being a Daughter of the Three. With Armor-Bearer, we get a lot of Claire and how she's dealing with potentially not being Chosen like she thought she was, as well as some past issues coming back to haunt her. Quite literally, actually. My heart genuinely broke for Claire at several parts of this book and I really just wanted to reach out and give her a hug. She really goes through a lot and you can tell that things are starting to take their toll on her. As the group dives deeper into the books they got from Father Callum and tries to figure out more about the Destroyer that is supposedly gaining more power, they discover that Claire is in fact the Armor-Bearer, which is basically the guardian of the Daughter. This book definitely seems to throw a lot at Claire, but she's one of the strongest characters in this series and she's able to fight and bounce back from some of the low points she experiences.

With this being the second book in the trilogy, there's a lot of buildup to the inevitable "big battle" that is going to happen. The Destroyer, also known as Abaddon, spends a lot of this book trying to invade the thoughts and dreams of our group of heroes and break them down. He even takes things into his own...claws?...and shows up at various points in a form that the group doesn't expect.We are also introduced to another proselyte named Meredith and discover that she was a descendant of the bloodline that Zoe is from, but she ended up not being Chosen. I thought that was an interesting twist and wondered, along with Zoe, if there were others that were descendants that were not Chosen and just what happened to them. If the mental barrage from Abaddon and the sassy, evil proselyte isn't enough, the shadows are also becoming more and more frequent, making everyone aware that the "end" is coming sooner than they might realize. With all of this evil being thrown at them left and right, and doubt slowly creeping in, it's amazing that no one cracks and completely falls apart. But that's what I love about all of these characters- no matter what challenges come their way, they stand together and are constantly motivating and caring for each other.

Once again, Tabitha Caplinger has woven together a book that is so easy and fun to get lost in. As I said above, I read half of this book in one night accidentally. It was just so good that I didn't want to stop! The writing is beautiful and flows so nicely that you find yourself turning the pages and just completely immersing yourself in Zoe's world, not really concerning yourself with when the chapter will end but simply following the story and seeing what happens next. The plot, characters, and everything in between was written so very well that it's almost impossible not to love. It's not often that you come across a YA book that isn't filled with obscene language, intense sexual content, and a fair share of annoyingly stereotypical characters, but Armor-Bearer breaks that mold. Tabitha manages to create a wonderful story without the language, sex, and cookie cutter YA characters that you'll effortlessly devour and find yourself craving the next installment soon after finishing the book!

Armor-Bearer is a fantastic continuation in this trilogy that is filled with addicting writing, lovable characters, and an emotional, action-packed plot line. Be sure to pick it up when it releases in February 2017!

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