Originally posted on These Pretty Words.I actually read this book back in March of 2012, but with the upcoming release of The Guardians (Book #2 in the series) I figured I should read it again for a refresher. It is just as good the second time around.Let’s start with Ava – she’s a college student experiencing her first taste of life beyond her parents’ home. She’s going through some normal stuff (trouble with classes, trying to juggle a job, school and friends) and some not-so-normal stuff (nightmares, the feeling of being watched). She’s strong but not aggressive, kind but no pushover. She thinks through her decision and comes off as a mature young lady while being thrust into a world she never could have imagined. She is also realistic – not simply accepting the whole paranormal aspect of her life on face value. I think everyone knows an Ava Michaels…without he whole powerful-supernatural aspect of her.In a genre (YA/NA) where a lot of female leads tend to take a backseat to the ever-so-protective men in their life, Ava is a breath of fresh air.Now we get to talk about Caleb – Physics tutor, seemingly average yet he has this secretive almost dark edge to him. Due to the overall plot of the book, we don’t get to know Caleb’s backstory until late in the book which could make some readers feel a bit disconnected. I, personally, fell in love with him. He was protective without being dominant, understanding without being weak…and he could kick some serious ass when the chips were down. He is perfectly imperfect, and I love that about him.Overall I adored this book and gave it four stars. The pacing was a teensy bit slow at first but picked up quickly, pulling you along for the ride. The characters are as realistic as you can get in a paranormal story, and Ms. Franklin never wavers in their characterizations. There’s no questioning their motives or being pulled from the story by a decision that goes against what you’ve already learned about them. The plot is engaging and unique with an ending that will make you curse the next few weeks until The Guardians is released.