The last book to a good series!
Author: Joss Stirling
Title: Seeking Crystal
Release date: 4th of October 2012
Series: Benedicts #3
Published by: Oxford University Press
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 258 in paperback format
Source: Borrowed from a local library
The hotly anticipated third book from Joss Stirling, featuring the characters from Finding Sky and Stealing Phoenix. Crystal Brook has always been the dud Savant in her family; paranormal powers just aren't her thing. Dropping out of school with a clutch of 'E' grades and no future, she lives in the shadow of her high-flying sister Diamond. On a trip to Denver, a chance encounter with the dashing Benedict brothers leaves Diamond head over heels in love and engaged to be married. Crystal, on the other hand, is unimpressed by their charms . . . in fact no boy can annoy her as much as Xav Benedict! Back in Venice, their families assemble for Diamond's wedding and a powerful enemy seizes the opportunity to attack. Crystal and Xav must join forces to save their loved-ones, unlocking a secret that, until now, has lain deeply buried . . .
I’ve read the first two books and liked them a lot, so of course I would take on the third one as well. And while I was good and it definitely followed the winning recipe of the first two, there was just something missing. Since I, however, can’t really pinpoint what this something was, then I still have to give it a four, because this installment further illustrates how incredibly cute, feel-good, pro tight-family-bonds and action-packed this series is.
The third book introduces us to Crystal, who considers herself the failure and completely useless member of her Savant family, with the pointless power of finding things lost (which sounds pretty fun to me, by the way), and Xav Benedict, the smart mouth and naughty one of the previously already introduced Benedict brothers. What’s different this time from the other two couples is that Crystal and Xav don’t know that they are each other’s soul mates and, thus, they don’t take their growing attraction seriously and simply enjoy annoying the other and flirting, lots of flirting disguised as dislike and mean sharp banter. Trouble, however, isn’t far off wherever the brothers are involved.
I really appreciated more deeper insight into the whole soul finder aspect of the story, since it is a major factor that till this book has kind of just excited without any details on how this affects couples, what happens if you don’t find your match, is being with someone else a waste of time, the possibility of giving up and being with someone else, how can you possibly find one specific person from the whole wide world, etc. While still not as fleshed out as I was hoping, I’m glad there was more info on this topic.
Other good stuff: The whole family dynamics of the Benedict siblings was topnotch again as I expected and the story was so fast-paced that it felt incredibly short, which however, I’m not sure yet is a good or bad thing.
Lacking: I would have liked to see more time spent between Crystal and Xav before they discovered they were the Ones, because as the book went by so fast, any additional bonding scenes would have made the eventual relationship more authentic and special. Also, the setting being in Venice did nothing for me. I’ve been there and (don’t hate me) it was quite underwhelming … I’m still upset about that by the way.
Crystal – I think I liked her because of traits others certainly will not apprechiate, she was moody, childish, disappointed in herself, annoyed with her family, somewhat of a pessimist and she didn’t pretend to not be all those things, I loved her for being herself and not showing a little miss sunshine façade when that was the farthest from her mind.
Xav – He was already quite prominent in the first two books with this funny-guy attitude and being the one who could never keep his mouth shut or keep himself from making stupid comments, so I knew I’d like him and I got just what I was expecting. They were a good fit with Crystal and I’ve always been prone to like these love/hate or banter-y couples, because they are simply loads more fun. So all is well!
Another great addition to a very likable series. I’m quite sad that this is the end now, but since this is a YA series and the brothers in the appropriate age group have now been paired off, then I guess there is no helping it. I will leave with very fond memories!