The Nine Lives of Chloe King: The Fallen; The Stolen; The Chosen - Liz Braswell The Nine Lives of Chloe King written by Liz Braswell writing as Celia Thomson
I have to admit that I started reading this book series for the same reason that many other people did in the last year or so…I saw the TV series. In my case it was on net flicks, well after its airing on ABC and with all ten episodes at my fingertips and the ability to look up and find out that the series had not been picked up for a second season I came to the book looking for, originally answers; after reading the reviews and getting the general gist that the book and show were quite divergent I settled on replacing the cliffhanger in my mind from the show to a hopefully more decisive ending book series. As I am still on book one I can’t say yet about the ending, but am enjoying the material so far. I understand a bit more about some of the grumbling from the family-friendly TV series to the teen directed written word, and have decided I am among the lucky to be able to enjoy both, albeit in different ways.

The Fallen book one in The Nine Lives of Chloe King series:
This book was a good ride; following the teen transformation archetype, it was in turns highly hormonal and completely clueless, with the interpersonal spats of any high school cast and the added twist of an unexpected metamorphous. The Fallen is a journey through the teen experience that was well written enough that I enjoyed it even out of my teens.
I liked the characters in this book, and while I will admit that it was not as “family friendly” as the TV series, as it included dinking, swearing, smoking and a decidedly not “poster child” mother-daughter relationship, it did strike as closer to reality. It had more shades of gray. Where as in the televised version Brian is pretty much perfect; he is nice, sweet, shares his deepest self with our heroine, patient, funny, motivated, and has that mysterious past that he needs help with…in the book he is sent to make friends with Chloe as he is a fully cognizant member of the order that is trying to kill her. Which isn’t to say that he is not also nice, sweet, and funny in the book; he’s just not perfect. In the end we are left wondering whose side he is really on. Alyec in our regularly scheduled program is an egomaniac, but highly protective and well trained…whereas our book has him more of an adrenalin junkie with roving hands. I personally found this a more likely high-school student. The TV series I felt played him a little too wise for his years. I will say I kinda missed the portrayal of Chloe’s mom from the TV show. Throughout the book she is referred to only as Mrs. King, which flattened the book for me somewhat. While I don’t necessarily need the perfect relationship between mother and daughter, in fact by starting out with a more fractured connection the book allowed the rapport between these two to grow throughout the story, which was nice; however the almost formal tone set by Mrs. King being our only address was a disconnect for me. It felt almost “Peanuts” in tone with the adult some distant WaWaWa…WaWa.
In The Stolen, book two in the Nine Lives of Chloe King Series, we are turned upside-down from our version of “normal,” even the cat-claw people-out-to-get-me version we are left with at book one’s ending. Chloe wakes up from a nightmare involving the events in book one’s finale in a bed not her own. Here is where we start our trip down the rabbit hole and a slight disconnect between books.
Chloe finds herself at the headquarters of her new Pride; incidentally a real estate office and the “mansion” Alyec took her to in book one. She is told her mother was informed that she is in protective custody after witnessing a violent crime, her school was informed she had mono and btw people are still out to get her so she can’t leave. My biggest problem with this installment was that she swallowed all of that for most of the book without asking too many questions, but I digress. In this book Chloe learns about the Mai, her heritage and meets some fellow shifters. The stand out new character in this book is Kim, a Mai who has chosen a path of devotion that leaves her shifted at all times complete with functioning cat ears. While known as “the freak” to most of Chloe’s new family, she turns out to be an unparalleled ally and generally fun librarian-type character that serves as the information spilling side-kick through this installment.
This book really starts to get going once we discover that Chloe’s mom has been kidnapped and we move from the “learning about the Mai phase” to a real progression of plot. Brian returns as an unlikely hero, our two human friends, Paul and Amy, get into the mix and a conflict between the Mai Pride and the Brotherhood ensue. During this end-battle we learn that Chloe is a biological “Leader of the Pride” a characteristic that gives her nine lives. This disclosure has the effect of halting the battle, disquieting some of the Brotherhood, awing some of the Mai and as we learn in closing making her a perceived intolerable threat to the current Mai leader.
The result of all this being that Chloe goes home, explains everything to her mom and at least thinks she is going to be able to re-capture some form of normal. We shall see how well this hope plays out in the third and last volume of this series, tho going from the fact that even parts of her new family are now out to kill her I have my doubts that this is an achievable goal.
The Chosen, book three in The Nine Lives of Chloe King series, was all one could ask for in the wind-up of a trilogy. It pulled together loose ends, allowed our hero to find her voice and carve out a place for herself in the world, and my favorite part…had a happy ending.
This installment of the series followed up nicely on our past two books, and did manage to find that balance between “normal” life and the supernatural whirlwind that has swept Chloe’s life in the previous 500 pages or so. This isn’t to say that there were not plenty of bumps along the way: a psychopathic Pride Leader, a reappearing assassin and our love interest being beaten almost to death by his former Brotherhood compatriots. There was drama with boyfriends, (leading to what I felt was a very abrupt, tho not disliked, twist involving Amy) the growing pains of any parent seeing that their child had problems that they couldn’t fix, and the changing-of-the-guards progression of a whole race being brought into a new country and time…oh and the breaking of a 5000 year old curse.
I really liked this book series; I felt it was fun and imaginative and had a storyline arc that fulfilled the promise of telling a great story. And while it did do the job of replacing the cliffhanger in my head that the TV series left, I am still left with the question of where THAT storyline would have taken me. A different medium, tone, and style—these two versions of Chloe King may have little in common but their claws when it comes to where their stories where taken and how they and their worlds progressed—and while I am satisfied that the written word did her justice and found a place in both her world and my heart, I am also saddened that the living color alter-ego was cut short.