The Forgotten - Wendy Beck
This book. This. Book. It pulled the feels straight from my gut and still left me begging for more. Emotional torture at its finest, and I loved it!

The author continues the story of Skyler and Bastian, and let me tell you, it is becoming EPIC. At about 1/4 through the book, the plot grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go until the end. And of course it squeezed all sorts of feels out of me.

There were times I yelled "NO!" at the screen and contemplated threatening the author to make it all good in the end, because dammit, if she didn't, then I'd come banging down her door and -- well, let's just not go there.

One of the things I appreciate most about these stories and the author's writing is that there is no all-compassing EVIL, no antagonist that is bad just for badness' sake, with no reason or rhyme except he's TEH EVIL ONE. No, in these stories, the antagonistic forces arise from differing interests, interests that, taken by themselves and looked at from the point of view of the person holding them, make sense and are not evil at all. I could -- to a certain degree -- sympathize with the antagonists, and I could see where they were coming from, and that they are not, in fact, bad people. But their interests still are in total and complete opposition to our heroine and hero's goals, which makes for crackling conflict. And that is awesome writing.

By this second installment in the trilogy, I cared so deeply about these characters -- even about one of the (former) antagonists -- that I felt split between wanting to read on to find out what happened to them, and wanting to stall reading so I could just stay in this world a little longer.

Bastian and Skyler's romance deepens and is taken to the next level, as does the thread of events that was kicked off with the destiny-altering end of 9th Life. Things have been set in motion that go far beyond anything Skyler could have guessed in book one, and the threads of fate grow tighter around all of the characters, leading to a culmination of the story in book three that no one could have envisioned.

Or could they?