Having escaped Athena's dark prison (in Darkness Becomes Her), Ari returns home to New2 and begins to feel the power of Medusa growing in her and fears what she may some day become. Each day she trains at Presby, a special school for the sons and daughters of the Novem, three branches of paranormals: descendents of vampires, witches, shapeshifters and demi-gods.
New2 is owned by the Novem, the richest families bought what was left of New Orleans and are now in control of it. Ari lives with other unfortunate, young squatters--including hottie Sebastion--in an old Victorian in the GD (Garden District). So far, the Novem have left the GD alone, but it's only a matter of time before they begin inhabiting the old mansions and forcing the kids out.
As Ari learns to control her powers, Athena is playing games. Athena has long been the arch-enemy of the Novem--ever since she tried controlling them to do her bidding in an ancient war among the gods. The Novem came together in an alliance against Athena--now Ari, with her Gorgon powers, is the one Athena fears the most. Athena, who turned Ari's ancestor Medusa into a Gorgon in the first place out of petty jealousy because of her beauty, had stupidly created a god-killer, and Medusa's descendants would be equally as dangerous to Athena's very being.
Sebastian and Ari enter the Novem's library to seek the answers they need to defeat Athena, and Ari ventures into Pandora's Box, which really isn't a box after all, but a giant jar filled with all the Novem's history and secrets. Ari finds a way to enter Athena's den and takes her friends along for the war games. Nothing good can come from breaking and entering the goddess of war's realm--Ari and Sebastian soon find out.
Breakneck storytelling and non-stop action at this point will leave teen readers breathless as they finish this page-turner in one sitting. Girls will love hot Sebastian and swoon in terror when he's tortured and taken hostage by Athena; they will cheer when the good guys win -- wait a minute, vampires and a gorgon are good guys?
My favorite line from the book is when Ari says to Sebastian, "Just a myth...says the warlock vampire to the gorgon?"
Highly, highly recommended grades 7-up with a warning. The word for human excrement is used a number of times and there is some vampire torture--but nothing that can't be seen on the CW Channel. 304 pages
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA Visit her ya novels blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/