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Reviewed by Karen Walpole for Readers' Favorite
In Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate by Wray Ardan, fifteen-year-old Jaden, her sister Ava, and their mother inherit a family mansion in Louisiana. The three travel there to spend the summer preparing the home for sale. Jaden happens upon an old, dilapidated building on the property and accidentally awakens some mutant creatures. Releasing these “Mal Rous” sets nightmarish events in motion that threaten the entire town. The Mal Rouse were created by Jade and Ava’s grandfather by crossing plant DNA with human and animal DNA. Jaden is attacked and bitten by one of the animals, which causes her to begin to become evil like them. A local teenager, Bris, who has fallen hard for Jade, joins her and several others in an attempted to reverse the effects of the bite and destroy the creatures permanently. They search for the grandfather’s lab reports and seek help from three albino sisters. These triplets had been able to concoct antidotes for the Mal Rous bites and scratches when the evil beings were first created.
I never wanted to put this book down. The story was suspenseful and the writing imaginative. In Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate by Wray Ardan, Jaden and Bris are in many ways typical teenagers, but have been thrust into a life and death struggle. Bris, as Jade’s boyfriend, struggles with doing the right thing for her. Jaden realizes that teens, and even children in other parts of the world, are forced to grow up too early because of war and national disasters. This thought helps her accept her role in the disaster, and demonstrates real growth in character and maturity. The reader is inspired by the courage of the teens as they deal with their desperate circumstances.