The Damned

Putnam. (Beautiful: Bk. 2). Jul. 2020. 416p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781984812582.
Gr 9 Up–Forbidden love, sultry romance, and clashing immortal factions fill this sequel to The Beautiful. Sébastien Saint Germain has been cursed to live forever as a vampire. The love of his life, Celine, saved him from certain death at the end of the first book by sacrificing all her memories of him in exchange for his immortality. Now Sébastien must learn to accept his fate, obey the rules of his kind, and forget the mortal Celine. Yet watching her from afar on the streets of New Orleans as another courts her, he can’t forgive or forget. Celine herself remembers nothing about the night she was attacked and left brutally scarred, but she’s haunted by strange dreams and mysterious recollections. Then she encounters Sébastien, and knows him only as a hedonistic man she feels disturbingly connected to. Meanwhile, their reunion becomes a catalyst for the warring immortals around them. Heavily laden with callbacks to events from the first book, this installment suffers from slow pacing. The secondary characters are intriguing with unique backstories (i.e., a prizefighter who’s half-man, half-cat), but they make few appearances.
VERDICT Where the first book circulates well, this sequel will keep readers engaged. But with main characters who spend most of their time delving into their own emotions and inner conflicts, this is more for fans of vampire love stories than those seeking action or mysteries.

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