Inferno by Catherine Doyle

Inferno by Catherine DoyleInferno by Catherine Doyle
Series: Blood for Blood #2
Published by Chicken House Ltd. on January 7th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 416

Romeo and Juliet meets The Godfather in the second installment of Catherine Doyle's Blood for Blood series.

Sophie's life has been turned upside-down, and she's determined to set things right. But Nic, the Falcone brother who represents everything she's trying to forget, won't give up on their love - and it's Luca's knife she clutches for comfort. Soon another mafia clan spoils the fragile peace - and with her heart drawn in one direction and her blood in another, Sophie's in deeper than ever.

5 Stars

Inferno gave me ALL THE FEELS, and I have 5 half-moons in each palm to prove it. In contrast to its tame predecessor Vendetta, this sequel is darker, grittier, with a fast pace and tensions flaring high. And, of course, there’s a lot more of Luca. Jackpot. Inferno left me squealing, laughing, yelling, dreading, and in a state of utter shock.  

new girl it's possible i'm still in shock photo: ng_shock.gif

inferno (noun)
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfəːnəʊ/
1. A large fire that is dangerously out of control
2. (usually Inferno) Hell; with reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy
3. Luca is haaawt as hell

Ok, let’s do this.

For those of you who haven’t read Vendetta, I must clarify a few things: Although I thought Vendetta was a pretty solid start to this series, I had issues with the first book (predictable plot, insta-love, lack of character depth, …). All of those issues were crushed to dust by Inferno. In short, if you’re looking for a light, entertaining read along the lines of The Godfather meets Romeo and Juliet, then read the damn book. And then, read Inferno. And then, we fangirl.

For those of you who have read Vendetta and plan to continue with the series: This review will be as spoiler-free as possible but I will share quotes, so if you’re a reader who has a strict I-do-not-want-to-know-anything-that-happens-beforehand policy, then you might want to stop reading at this point.

Here’s what you can expect from Inferno:

❥ More character depth and development (in the aftermath of the events in Vendetta, post-traumatic stress disorder is a relevant topic as well)
❥ More female friendship moments (Millie FTW)
❥ More background on the Cosa Nostra (and when I say ‘more’, I mean that there had barely been any information in Vendetta, but I feel like Doyle is slowly introducing more aspects of the mafia itself besides all the character drama)
❥ More bravery (stupidity?) from Sophie (I was unsure whether I liked her in Vendetta, but I’m pretty much sold on her character now)
❥ More hot-headed impulsiveness from Nic (I think the 180 Doyle pulled with his character was a bit extreme, but I can see how the foundation for his development had been laid in Vendetta and I also know that Doyle is trying to prove a point by the example of Nic)
❥ More action and fast-paced scenes (club shootings, car pursuits, fires – need I say more?)
❥ More and crazier plot twists (How did I not see that coming?)
❥ More Italian cussing, and you all know how I love me some of that (while the language is not at its most accurate, I’m glad that “Vaffanculo” is correctly spelled and used, and when the insult is directed at Dom, I’m a very, very happy girl)
More Luca.
More Luca.
More Luca.
More Luca.
More Luca.
More Luca.
More Luca.

**Announcement by sterile female voice**: Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, we are experiencing an overdose of oestrogen. We apologize for the inconvenience.

My expectations for Inferno had been stratospherically high, and it delivered on all possible levels. It’s not like I could put this book aside to study for my impending exams, or to eat (thanks Mum, for tearing me to the dinner table), or to sleep. It’s been a long time since a book last left me in an emotional turmoil like this one. As I mentioned, I’m supposed to study for finals but every time I sit down and study, Luca messes with my neurons in a counterproductive way. Hitherto thought of as unnecessary, I might set up a can-i-please-meet-you-in-real-life shelf because of Luca. Good Lord, Catherine Doyle, what have you done to me.

This was a 5-star read for me on an emotional level, yet the book is not without flaws. I thought one or two events were a bit unbelievable, which I was able to overlook because the plot was so gripping. In addition, Doyle keeps depicting Sicilian mafiosi as some kind of olive-skinned supermodels. All I can say is: No. (If you want to see some real mafiosi, stop watching Hollywood movies and google actual members like Luciano Liggio, Salvatore Riina, or Bernardo Provenzano) ((And if you’re interested, check out the work of Giovanni Falcone who lost his life in the battle against the Cosa Nostra. But I digress)). And then, of course, the use of Italian is at times still far from authentic (check out my friend Giulia’s review of Vendetta, as she picks apart the linguistic flaws in a most hilarious way). So what happened, you ask? Why am I still awarding this book 5 stars? Now, see, Luca strolled down the streets, took one look at those pestilent little flaws with his searing blue eyes, and they went up in flames *poof* (and besides, if you’re looking for the perfect book, you better give up reading, which I would strongly advise against).

Am I biased you ask? Yes. I mean, have you met Luca? I do think, however, that a book which 1) sticks with me for long after I had read it (and makes me hunt the author’s tumblr page for clues about the third instalment) and 2) clearly made progress compared to its predecessor, is more than deserving of 5 stars.

Can we all just agree that Luca’s a beautiful, fascinating human being? Yes? Yes.

He ducked through the fence and got lost in the grass. It brushed against his knees as he walked through it, bending low and scouring the ground. Clad completely in black, and with a switchblade sticking out of his back pocket, Luca ran his fingers along the grass.
He was completely and utterly out of his natural environment. And it didn’t bother him at all.

Oh, Gianluca, tesoro del mio cuore.

Rachel berry have you ever shipped a couple photo: ever shipped so much... tumblr_lxkgoy9QUJ1r1nfz7o2_500.gif

If the middle sections of the book had put me through an emotional tempest, the last few chapters were a maelstrom, a rollercoaster, an inferno. I was torn between sadness, a murderous rage and warm fuzzy feelings.

New girl bretzels photo: jess-day-talking-about-pms_zpse11ac7ec.gif

Overall, Inferno was a stellar read for me. The Blood for Blood series had a solid but tame and tropy start with the first instalment Vendetta, yet quickly stepped up its game with this heart-stopping sequel. For lovers of YA contemporaries with a soft spot for forbidden love amidst danger, violence, and guns, I’d highly recommend this series. And now, let the agonizing wait for Mafiosa begin.

By the way, check out Catherine Doyle’s short stories published prior to Inferno‘s release. You get Luca’s POV at the Gracewell diner, just saying.


  1. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! Luca alone sold me on it. But it’s such an amazing book and I am in limbo waiting for Mafiosa. I am so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!

    • nina

      October 2, 2016 at 10:30 AM

      AHHH THIS PRECIOUS BOOK. I absolutely adored everything about this: The character development, the intense plot, and Lucaaa. I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on Mafiosa! Why must January be 3 months away WHY

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