A few weeks ago I read and reviewed the absolutely fantastic Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. It was one of those books that were on my list for ages, and I just never managed to get around to reading. After I read it, though, I couldn’t understand what had taken me so long – I mean, it was absolutely fantastic, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I flew through that book so quickly I probably could have read it three times in the normal amount of time it takes me to read a book.
If you want to read my review for Rebel Belle, go here and check it out. Otherwise you might run into some spoilers in this review that you might not have seen coming if you didn’t read the first book (I hate giving things away in books, so I try to keep things as spoiler free as possible, but you know, I warned you!).
“Honestly, not enough people know how to use good manners as a weapon.”
Rebel Belle left off with Harper and David (and Ryan) getting used to their new powers as Paladin, Oracle, and Mage. After the whole incident at Cotillion, the three of them are starting to figure out how to manage to keep things going smoothly without too much of an issue (aside from the slight awkwardness between now exes Harper and Ryan). However, that starts to change one night when Harper goes into a party to rescue Harper’s friends from a bad situation that David had a vision about – and from there, things go downhill. Bee is still missing, but soon to be recovered when Harper, David, and Ryan come across a strange house with an even stranger man inside – an Ephor, who wants to make David’s visions even stronger than they already are. Not to mention the fact that even though Harper is getting used to her Paladin powers and now this guy wants to throw in that she has to go through trials to officiate her status as David’s Paladin. Not too thrilled with this, she is even less thrilled when the Ephor brings out Bee, who was kidnapped, and is threatened with either completing the trials successfully or dying…and if you remember, Bee is still a Paladin, so he tosses that in Harper’s face, too (a spare Paladin!).
Feeling a bit out of her element (and admittedly pretty terrified at the daunting surprise tasks ahead of her), Harper confides to her aunt Jewel – the only person she has told anything to aside from Ryan and Bee.
“Aunt Jewel, I just told you that I have superpowers. That my current boyfriend is an Oracle, and my ex-boyfriend is more or less a wizard. And you want to do a little shopping? I’d hoped you wouldn’t freak out, don’t get me wrong, but I expected some freaking out.”
Still feeling a little…intimidated by everything that’s going on, we also have another Mage after them – her name is Blythe, and she is trying all sorts of tricks to get to David, but as usual, Harper is protecting him the best she can.
Making a decision to compete in the Miss Pine Grove pageant with Bee in order to try and stop the horrible vision that David had from coming true (and maybe catch Blythe), Harper must face the other trials as well as compete in the pageant – and if she loses, she can no longer be David’s Paladin.
Miss Mayhem was really good, but it didn’t really have the awesomeness that Rebel Belle had. Yes, it was great, and Harper was the same kick-ass, well-mannered, profanity filtering heroine that we know and love, but it just didn’t have the amount of oomph that the first book had. Still, if you liked Rebel Belle, the you absolutely must read this one, too, because it picks right up where the first book left off.
I got really sad at the end of the book, and while I’m not going to ruin my spoiler free review here, I was disappointed that the author chose to end the book this way. It was kind of heartbreaking, and I really wished it could have gone differently, but at the same time, it leaves a lot of room for the third and final book, Lady Renegades, to complete the story. I really do hope it has more of an uplifting ending than this installment, though. I’m really glad that I waited to read this book right after Rebel Belle and right before Lady Renegades, otherwise I probably would have forgotten all the stuff that happened in this one.
While this is a bit lackluster compared to the first book in the series, the characters are all back and it’s nice to spend more time with all of them. There’s still tons of action going on, so no need to worry about missing out on that.