Serra Vetrov, still bruised from the latest (and according to her last) broken heart event caused by the man she's loved for the past twenty years, isSerra Vetrov, still bruised from the latest (and according to her last) broken heart event caused by the man she's loved for the past twenty years, is suddenly helpless to resist the compulsion (n: you might read the book, blurb-writer!) to travel to Saint Louis without telling anybody. But Fane isn't anybody, and he doesn't have to be told anything. He knows Serra is in danger, and he promptly follows.
Only for the two of them to discover, Serra must find a kidnapped child. If she doesn't, she'll die.
The premise didn't make any sense. Why force Serra to do something she always does without coercion? Why blackmail a psychic specializing in finding missing kids into finding a missing kid? Serra put it best, he could've simply picked up the phone, told her a version of the truth, that no one, not even Valhalla must be aware or the kid dies, and done. But no, the villain had to be all obscure and witch-y about it, and I hated it. And since I hated the idiotic premise (without which there wouldn't be a story, which made me hate it all even more), I didn't enjoy the book as much as I could've. As much as I should've.
Serra and Fane were lovely together, but there was this strange, slightly bitter aftertaste after their scenes together. First, they were brought together because of the danger they were in which, second, didn't exactly scream eternal love and devotion because she's who she is for me on Fane's part. It was more one last f*** before you die kind of vibe, the way Serra suspected it was. Why did it take him so long to decide he did want her no matter what? Why did it take a life-or-death situation to make him pull his head out of his ass? This sudden pivot didn't make it genuine, and even at the end, left doubts about this "romance" and where it was going.
Now to the anti-hero, who was more of a villain to me than the real one, Bastard Cavrilo. I hated him. Hated him with a passion, no matter how much he seemed to care about his daughter. Not all ends justify the means, and I just wanted Fane to kill the SOB. He kept appearing, intruding, stealing the spotlight from Serra and Fane and their (yes, iffy, but still) romance, until, in the end, I just skimmed his scenes, simply because I didn't care. And since he's the hero of the next (last?) book in this series I guess I'll wait a while to forget a little what a bastard he is.
The suspense could've been a little better, less convoluted, and a tad more "scary". As it was, I knew they were getting the kid back alive, it might've worked better if that outcome had not been so obvious. Keep us guessing, keep us at the edge of our seats.
The best this book had to offer was the Mave/Tagos side-plot. Boy, would I love so read their book. Which is, apparently, not possible due to their roles in Valhalla. Damn....more
A high-blood (a.k.a. freak) has escaped Valhalla in desperate search of normalcy and knows just who to go to—genetics expert Angela Locke, and NikoloA high-blood (a.k.a. freak) has escaped Valhalla in desperate search of normalcy and knows just who to go to—genetics expert Angela Locke, and Nikolo Bartev is dispatched to keep the scientist safe.
This was a rather weird read for me. Not in terms of genre, but in terms of story-telling, I guess. I've never read a book (long or short) with such clear delineation between the two halves of it as this one.
In the first half the world-building was good, making this "new" universe interesting without seeming rehashed, the pacing was solid, the character of Angela, although naïve and a little bit needy, rather nice, and the villain and the hunt for her intriguing.
Then came the second half, and Angela turned a little annoying, then the supposed romance came into play with little to no indication to it in the previous half (making the hero appear calculating by using the heroine's attraction to him and sex to bind her), and the paying went haywire first by halting due to the "romance", then speeding up with the final confrontation...And then it was over. Also, I didn't appreciate the info dump toward the end about the binding or whatever the hell that was about. Not because of the info, but because of the "lack of finesse" in the dump, compared to the gradual world-building (and info providing) of the first half....more
***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***
When a body of a young, beautiful woman is found naked in her house, with no apparent struggle signs***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***
When a body of a young, beautiful woman is found naked in her house, with no apparent struggle signs, and missing a heart, Sergeant Duncan O'Conner knows it's the case for high-bloods. Enter his little obsession, Callie Brown, a diviner able to glimpse into the minds of the dead, searching for their last memory.
What, or better yet, who she sees seems to be connected to her on a yet-unknown level, and will put the police department and Valhalla in an uproar, changing her and Duncan's lives forever.
I was a little leery of this series after the rather disappointing introduction to it, but my fears and doubts were soon put to rest. The world-building was wonderful, the "new" universe intriguing and interesting without descending into the been-there-read-that territory (it was a paranormal romance without a vampire or shape-shifter in sight), the plot was gripping, the pacing good (despite some iffy passages), and the characters nicely-developed and fleshed-out with great (and rather realistic) interactions, and the villain and his nefarious plot intense and just the right amount of chilling.
The romance was solid, growing and developing rather organically after the slightly rushed start, with Duncan and Callie nicely complimenting and balancing each other. The relationship between Fane and Callie was also well-written with its slight ambiguousness at the beginning, the unbreakable bond of friendship shining through. I loved the animosity between the two men, the dick measuring something so utterly male, and realistically believable, it was a pleasure reading any scenes the two shared. And the dangling of the bait as to just what might be between Fane and Serra was a little evil (since it's apparently resolved in the next book) but very well done at the same time.
In the end the suspense took a backseat to all the relationships (romantic and non) in this book, but that doesn't mean it was bad, dull or boring. Far from it, and kudos for the surprising twist about Callie and her connection to the evil necromancer.
I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment....more