REVIEW: “Toxic,” Jus Accardo
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Title: Toxic (Denazen #2)
Author: Jus Accardo
Published: October, 2012 by Entangled Teen
Pages: 317
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez’s problems.

After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of the Supremacy project. Forced by Denazen to remedy the situation, he poisons Dez and offers her a choice–surrender to Denazen for the cure…or die. Determined to find a solution that doesn’t involve being bagged and tagged–or losing someone she loves–Dez keeps the poison a secret. But when a rash of Denazen attacks hit a little too close to home, Dez is convinced there’s a traitor among them. Jade.

Sacrifices, broken promises, and secrets. Dez will have to lay it all on the line if there’s any hope of proving Jade’s guilt before they all end up Residents of Denazen. Or worse, dead…

Final Thoughts:
Second-Book-Syndrome strikes again. I really wanted to love this one as much as I did Touch, but just couldn’t get over the decline in Kale’s character. Once loveable, and cute in his blank-canvas of a guy ways, that trait seemed to bring him down here. With so much angst holding up Dez and Kale’s relationship—a lot of it due to Kale’s inability to see what was going on around him, or how to treat someone’s feelings with respect—I found it quite to enjoy the romance, or lack of it. And with the rest of the plot revolving around Dez keeping secrets from everyone, as a reader, it just wasn’t a fun ride to be on.

There was no real mystery to keep you guessing, and the action, it came about in short bursts every now and then, quickly being diffused so we could go back to more scenes with Kale oblivious to how badly he was making Dez feel. If Dez had spoken up about everything that was going on, there would have been no book. It sounds harsh, but after such an exhilarating adventure in the first book, this one just had me wondering what the point of it was.

Barely any insight was given on Denazen, the evil organisation that had seemed so important to the plot in the past. There was enough of a mention to keep me interested in seeing how it plays out, but you could skip chunks of this one and you wouldn’t really miss much. A few new characters were introduced, but none of them were likeable. It was quite disappointing, but I’ll be back for book three at some point, hoping it gets back to the plot. As far as the romance goes, though, Kale and Dez have been ruined for me.

Recommended to:
Anyone after a book full of angst.