RYAR Review: LAILAH by Nikki Kelly

Previously published on


LAILAH by Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 7, 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Provided by: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars


This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.


The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.


I was instantly intrigued by the prologue to LAILAH which reveals this to be a story of Angels and Vampires and the mixing of darkness and light. And it develops into an exciting tale of one girl’s search for answers about who and what she is, why she’s immortal, why she’s being hunted, who her mysterious protector is, and who is the boy in her dreams.

With only brief flashes of her previous lives, a ring she wears around her neck that she’s had for many lifetimes, and the memory of a boy, Gabriel, who she’s desperate to find, Francesca is forced to live a solitary life, never getting too close to anyone, never staying anywhere for too long. Until the night she meets Jonah, a wounded Vampire whose life she saves, a night that changes everything.

Because now the Pureblood’s are after her and she’s on the run. Now Gabriel is more than just a distant memory, he’s an Angel with answers about who she was, an Angel who is keeping secrets about who she is. Now she has to put her trust in Vampires to keep her safe, when she has every reason to want to keep her distance. And now she’ll have to rely on Gabriel, even though he may have done something far worse to her in her past than any Vampire ever did.

Author Nikki Kelly delivers an interesting twist on the Angel vs. Demon mythology in LAILAH, with the Vampire as Demon. The world she created around them and the history she imagined for them is also quite unique. And the story’s backdrop, set in both England and France, with characters who are mostly not American, gives it a different feel.

After the initial battle and chase, in the first third of the story, the pace slows a bit as the characters and story are developed and the world is built. Much detail is given about clothing and fashion that might have been pared down to keep the suspense and tension up. But things pick back up again and don’t let up until the story’s end as the threat to Cessie grows, as her past life as Lailah is revealed, and as she learns who she is and what it means for her present and her future.

There is a swoon-worthy love triangle, with a “good” boy – Gabriel – and a “bad” boy – Jonah, though both boys can’t claim to be entirely good or entirely bad. It adds tension and angst, but more than that it is relevant to the story, and the reason for Lailah’s attraction to both becomes clear as the story progresses.

LAILAH is a captivating and incredibly entertaining read. There are characters to love and characters to hate, a mythology that is intriguing, secrets to uncover and a mystery to solve, a choice to be made between good and evil, and an ending that will leave you wishing for the next book in the series.

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