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Impulse by Vanessa Garden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Buy from: Harlequin AUS website
When Miranda Sun returns to Marin on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, this time of her own free will, she quickly learns that her worst fears have been realised. The glittering underwater city is not as she had left it, nor too is Marko, the young king who has dominated her thoughts and heart for the last twelve months since leaving Marin.
Miranda, however, has not made the journey to Marin alone, and now must contend with not only Marko’s evil brother Damir but more surprisingly her sister Lauren who has an agenda of her own. Marko’s power begins to wane and with cracks beginning to show in the domed Utopian city, and veiled danger lurking everywhere, she quickly learns that in this dazzling city full of beautiful people she can trust no-one but herself.
If Miranda wants to survive, she must decide between the hardened sensibilities in her head and the hungers of her heart. Will her decision cause more heartache or can she help to save Marko’s throne?

A copy was provided by HarlequinTEEN Australia in exchange for an honest review.

In case you haven't noticed, I heavily panned Captivate, book 1 of the Submerged Sun series. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't go near its sequel, Impulse, for obvious reasons. However, I received Impulse together with Captivate and it has such a glorious cover (I mean, come on, look at that cover!), so I thought, why not?

Wow, I mean, wow! A sequel that is thousands times better than its intermediate predecessor? Dear Vanessa Garden, I don't know what happened between Captivate and Impulse...but deyyumm gurl, you made me rethink my entire existence. JK! You made me rethink of my 'dropping the series if the first book is no good' policy.

I think what worked so well in Impulse is the political drama-llama which usually reserved for high fantasy books. In Impulse, we have a small-scale, underwater Game of Thrones. No shit. I didn't know who to trust, who I should loathe, what's their motives etc. In Captivate, I was under the impression that Marin citizen are a bunch of boring, nice people. I didn't expect to see the darker, uglier side of Marin citizen when faced with desperation of wanting to bear children. Even the main and secondary characters whom I thought as very one-dimensional in Captivate such as Sylvia, Anne, Damir, Lily and Lauren have morphed into more complex, layered characters in Impulse. Special honourary mention: Blake - I loved this guy! He's so creepy in the right way! One thing that still bothers me is whether I should hate Lauren or not. I don't know if the author wants me to hate Lauren at first then to like her once I learned her true motive or just continue to hate her because ***spoilers ahead*** her motive is still very ambiguous up until the end of the book. ***spoiler finished***

Now, another interesting bit about this book is its undefined genre. It could be a dystopia - organised underwater civilisation but it's not set in the future. It could be a fantasy - because of the mention of a mythical creature and just the general atmosphere of the book, but the creature is yet to be verified to have existed. It could be a sci-fi - hell yeah, alien technology but this bit is also still very much wishy-washy. Honestly, it could be a romance and thriller and mystery book. Unbelievable, isn't it? I saw a lot of people shelving the books from this series under 'mermaid' tag and this confuses the hell out of me. THIS IS NOT TECHNICALLY A MERMAID BOOK. Yeah, there are some mentions of mermaid but mermaid isn't the main thing here, okay.

Okay, here's the thing that made me feel so relieved; the relationship between Miranda and Marko is properly built and developed in this book. No more outlandish, insta-love declarations, no more unnecessary pseudo love triangle. Although, in Impulse, there is a part where I actually held my breath because I felt like another love triangle is coming but this time it's for a good reason. So yeah, I felt myself warming up to Miranda and Marko although towards the end I cringed a bit when Miranda wants to take things too fast.

But Impulse still had the same problem as Captivate. The last one third of the book has once again suffered from sketchy plot and it felt like it was dragged forever but ended up at the same point. But contrary to the first book where it's just plunging to the abyss of the deepest hell-hole, this time it was still bearable and readable. I think with better editing, this last part of the book could have been much better.

So yeah, Impulse - totally worth 
Me gusta! 4-stars.

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