Wild Open Faces

Book 2 in the Wild and Ruin Trilogy

Young Adult - Paranormal
354 Pages
Reviewed on 12/17/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Wild Open Faces by Jennifer G. Edelson is the second book in the Wild and Ruin trilogy. Since Ruby moved to La Luna, her life has undergone several changes from discovering that the mysterious Leo was actually the alluring Ezra, uncovering a gateway to the Otherworld, and learning that her origins aren't as simple as she thought. Now, she's settled into her new life with a deepening relationship with Ezra, anticipating graduation just around the corner, and an exciting internship at a nearby archaeological dig. But nothing is ever simple. Her friend Angel's father returns to unveil a shocking truth which comes with family drama that finds Ruby caught in the middle. As she digs deeper into her archaeological role, the discovery of mysterious artifacts unearthed at the dig come with a connection to an ancient Aztec city, but her role threatens to drive a wedge between her and Ezra. As secrets come to light, Ruby comes to understand what it means to fulfill her role as True of Heart.

This is a dazzling sequel that's even better than the first with Jennifer G. Edelson delivering more surprises, more drama, more secrets, and more addictive mythology. The Aztec mythology is woven in seamlessly with Edelson crafting this stunning Otherworld that seeps into our own through artifacts, gods, and creatures. The mythological elements bring a breath of fresh air into the supernatural/fantasy genre and serve as an amazing treat for those that love stories based on myth. Edelson weaves drama into Ruby's life through her family, friends, and romantic relationships which are rooted in secrets and discovery. Ruby is a realistic character that deals with moments of insecurity, jealousy, stubbornness, and anger which create a realness about her that gives her voice strength. The dig site is an important location to Ruby's origins and to the mythology with artifacts and a connection to the Otherworld. Wild Open Faces creates high standards for all sequels to reach with the use of a rich voice, the use of mythology, a blooming romance, the addictive drama, the uncovered secrets, and the next notch in Ruby's journey.

Jack Magnus

Wild Open Faces: Wild and Ruin Trilogy, Book Two is a shifter fantasy for young and new adults written by Jennifer G. Edelson. Ruby’s feelings of anticipation and excitement over her upcoming first year as a freshman at the University of New Mexico were heightened when her Aunt Liddy brought home the Anthropology Department’s newest draw, Tezca T. Lipoca, for dinner. Torrance, Liddy’s friend, and Ezra, Ruby’s boyfriend, were less than impressed by the enigmatic and serious-looking man’s offer of an internship for Ruby both during her academic semester and on the weekends until she graduated. Ruby couldn’t help but be enthused over the prospect of being a part of the Holy Ghost excavation. Her anthropology career seemed off to a good start already. But there was something off about Professor Lipoca, or Lee as he wanted her to call him. How off he actually was seemed inherently a part of the strange things that had begun happening in the sleepy town of La Luna since his arrival. For one thing, there was a new predator in the woods surrounding the town, a large feline whose presence was a challenge even to Ezra. Would Ruby actually survive this internship?

Jennifer G. Edelson’s Wild Open Faces is a marvelous blend of shifter romance, outdoor adventure story, high fantasy, and First Nation mythology that kept me enthralled and enjoying every moment spent reading it. While Edelson does give enough background throughout the story for it to be read as a standalone, I would strongly recommend beginning with the first book in this outstanding series, Between Wild and Ruin. This book follows on beautifully from the first one. Edelson’s characters become even more multifaceted and authentic, and the mythology underlying the series blossoms so nicely in this sequel. Wild Open Faces is well-written and an absolute joy to read. I enjoyed seeing how Edelson’s characters, especially Ruby, Angel, and Ezra, evolve and loved the mythological elements of the story. Edelson’s story also sits firmly in the tradition of classic fantasy authors, such as George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, and Hope Mirrlees while enhancing the shifter romance genre. Wild Open Faces: Wild and Ruin Trilogy, Book Two is most highly recommended.

Vincent Dublado

Author Jennifer G. Edelson continues to deliver in Book 2 of her Wild and Ruin Trilogy; Wild Open Faces. In this second installment, we follow Ruby Brooks who has fallen for Ezra and has developed a yet to be perfected telepathic communication with each other. Her Aunt Liddy introduces her to Tezca T. Lipoca or Lee as he prefers to be called. He is the current star professor in the University of New Mexico’s Anthropology department, and he offers Ruby an internship at the Holy Ghost excavation. New and stranger things are happening at Glorieta Pass, and Ruby is trying to find out any illuminating information on magic portals, lost cities, and the shapeshifting inhabitants of Glorieta Pass. Her absentee father appears, who gives her half-baked information about Angel, the ruin, and her mother. As new archaeological artifacts are unearthed from the dig site, she soon faces a tremendous task that involves stopping Lee and destroying a bridge that connects Earth to the world of gods.

Jennifer G. Edelson has effectively concluded the romantic interest angle in the plot by making Ruby choose Ezra. Of course, it does not mean that the romantic element in Wild Open Faces diminishes. In fact, Ruby and Ezra’s relationship will be tested. Similarly, more information will be revealed about Ruby, her mother, and her deadbeat father. All these elements serve as the strands that braid the plot into a strong rope. The multicultural characters moving within the element of Native American folklore are well-developed and do not lean on hackneyed stereotypes. It is an exhilarating and adventurous ride into a world of lore, magic, friendship, adventure, and romance. Reading Wild Open Faces will make you eager for the final installment.

Foluso Falaye

Following the discovery of a gateway to another world and the start of a loving relationship with Ezra, Ruby finds that she still has a lot to learn. As random animals appear, mysterious artifacts are discovered, and Ruby keeps having strange visions, the primary question on her mind is this: What is really happening? When Angel's long-lost, irresponsible father shows up out of the blue, Ruby begins to discover some deep secrets about her family that threaten to drive a wedge between her and her friends. Can Ruby handle the truth and not lose her friends and her mind in the process? The astounding Wild Open Faces is the second installment in the Wild and Ruin trilogy by Jennifer G. Edelson.

What I have discovered about life is that it doesn't get much better than the magical, therapeutic feeling you get from doing simple things like reading a good book. Wild Open Faces, with its relaxing yet captivating plot, had me on cloud nine as it took me through a warm and friendly atmosphere, some amazing supernatural elements, and an adorable love story. Though the characters can seem a bit much, the conversations between them are lively and infectious, which made me feel like joining in and making friends with the characters as if they exist in real life. Jennifer G. Edelson's book is a fantastic option for readers who love a smooth and satisfying young adult paranormal tale with elements of folklore and mythology. I am seriously eager to find out what I missed in Book 1 and to discover how the trilogy will end in the third and final installment.

Rabia Tanveer

Wild Open Faces is the second book in the Wild and Ruin Trilogy by Jennifer G. Edelson. This is the story of Ruby as she faces dilemmas that test her beyond her abilities. Las Luna has finally become a place where Ruby feels like she belongs, even though things are becoming difficult. However, she is ready to move forward and get on with her life. She is excited about graduating and starting her internship at an archeological dig. But things slowly get out of hand. Something strange keeps happening around Ruby and her friends and there is no logical explanation. Ruby starts having visions, some mysterious things are discovered at the dig, and it seems like the Otherworld is coming after her. What for? She has no idea, but it is up to her and her group of friends to keep her safe. Can they do it? Or is this the end of the road for Ruby?

Wild Open Faces has everything you need to keep you busy with a whole day of reading. The mystery behind the Otherworld, Ruby’s strange visions, and the strange discoveries made at the archeological dig are all well-handled by Jennifer G. Edelson to keep the momentum going and allow the reader to become lost in the story. Ruby is a fantastic protagonist; she is relatable, she is resilient, and she is smart. Her tragic past and her determined present make her a strong character that readers can rely on. The development of the story is perfect because it follows the pace at which Ruby develops. Ruby is the life and the driving force of this story and you know that in the way the author portrays her. Wild Open Faces is perfectly composed and brilliantly executed.