I think this has to be my favorite of the series so far. I've always liked Caillen when he's mentioned in the other books. He's been the one I wantedI think this has to be my favorite of the series so far. I've always liked Caillen when he's mentioned in the other books. He's been the one I wanted a story on, and I was not disappointed at all with his back story. You can see why he's a badass but can be vulnerable underneath. I really like how Kenyon gives her guys a lot of depth and doesn't make them on extreme or the other. I also have to say that I really like how she writes her women. So far in the series, minus the heroine in Nyk's book (I can't remember her name right now), all the women we've met have been bad asses on their own right. Desideria was no exception. She wasn't infuriating half the time, nor did I want to smack her in the head, and go, "Are you really that stupid?" I really liked her as a character, and I think she's going to rank in my top 20 of Favorite Kenyon's Heroines.
Another thing I have to say is that even though Kenyon is a "romance" novelist, she has strayed far away from using sex as the primary basis of her stories. Yes, it's still in there, and yes the romance is still present, but it is not the sole focus of her stories anymore. I really like how she's becoming move involved with the story, in the League and Dark Hunter stories, instead of relying on sex to sell a book. Don't get me wrong, she writes some of my favorite love scenes ever, but I don't feel slighted because I'm too caught up in the story to even care. ...more
**spoiler alert** I've said this before about Kenyon, but for me, reading her is definitely like coming home. There is a way she writes that is just s**spoiler alert** I've said this before about Kenyon, but for me, reading her is definitely like coming home. There is a way she writes that is just so familiar to me. That feeling didn't change with this book. I've been a huge fan of Kenyon's for years. I've read her Dark Hunter/Were Hunter books since there was only a handful of them published. I love that series with my entire heart, but I have to say that Kenyon really has found her niche with the League Series. You can obviously tell that science-fiction is a deep love for her. It's not that she doesn't write the other series with the same passion (although, the last few books in the DH series, I've begun to wonder), but she really shines with this genre.
I have to say that Kenyon really knows how to make her characters suffer. I mean, REALLY make them wish they had never been born. Darling saw no shortage of horrors in his lifetime. From the time he was a young lad up until his late 20's, he had been tortured, sodomized, beaten to near death, disfigured, stabbed, shot, mocked, humiliated, and everything else that is horrible in the world. By the middle of the book, you kind of just want to go, "Jesus Christ, there's more?" Every time you thought it got as bad as it is going to get, something else happened to Darling to make the last bad thing seem like it was just any other day. I'll be honest, it kind of got tedious after a while, but before it could be come too overwhelming, Kenyon finally puts a cap on the torture porn, and puts on track to getting Darling on the path to healing.
The love story between Zarya and Darling wasn't the best. I like it when it starts fresh, and we can see that love blossom. In this book, the love was already there, it just took severe damage because Z is probably the WORST Resistance Leader on all the planets, and just let her crew do whatever they liked. It was a clear case of letting her emotions rule her job. I kind of have an issue with that, because it seemed like if it had been the other way around, Darling would have been shown as the clear headed hero who didn't let past prejudices get in the way of doing what was right. I guess Kenyon had to have the snag in the love tapestry, I just wish that it wasn't the woman who screwed up ALL the time. Granted, Darling was pretty freaking intolerable after he killed his uncle and decided to take a Swan Dive off the deep end into the crazy pool, but for the most part, it was Z trying to make up for her gross insight. I really wished she had finally told Darling that she made a mistake, yes it did cost him a lot, but he did some crappy things as well. I guess he forgot about the time he indirectly had her sold into the sex market.
The book was rather brilliant in its subtle commentary on gay people. The derogatory terms were a bit much at times, and I wonder if Kenyon was doing that to be a little sensational, but nothing the "bad guys" said aren't anything that I'm sure homosexuals don't hear today. It's still a little saddening, though, that even in an alternative universe, homosexuality is still considered a 'sin' and an 'abomination'. Then again, if it wasn't, then Darling wouldn't have had half of his back story.
All is well, though, and eventually they make up and she gets pregnant (another thing I find redundant in Kenyon's verses), he becomes the Darling the Greatest Emperor To Have Ever Emperored and everyone lives happily ever after...with the League waiting in the shadows to strike. I'm interested to see where she goes with the next book, and if Kyr will finally meet his doom. I hope, above all hope, that is' Maris that finally takes him down.
I don't think I've loved a character as much as I loved Maris. I hope he's featured more in the other books, because he is amazing. A-MAH-ZING....more
Born of Fury is Dancer Hauk's book, and we finally get more of his story as well as more into the Andarion customs and race relations. We also meet hiBorn of Fury is Dancer Hauk's book, and we finally get more of his story as well as more into the Andarion customs and race relations. We also meet his HEA, Sumi and her daughter Kalea. We have our Band of Brothers once again, and it was nice to see everyone this time around. We saw far more into the higher ups of The Sentella. I haven't read Maris' book (it was only available online), so the little bit of the Phrixians that we saw was a treat. Don't care for their homophobic and sexist ways, but if Kenyon is good at anything, she's good at creating people that we don't like very much.
I really enjoyed the book. Even when it started becoming one trope after the other, and was so bogged down by super special snowflakeness between Sumi and Kalea, I still enjoyed it. I love the League series because the women are always, ALWAYS very head strong, independent, and can fend for themselves. They don't EVER need someone to save them (except Nyk's wife whom I never really cared for). Yes, everyone needs saving, and these women do just enough saving of their men as the men do for them. It was a really nice balance of Sumi helping Hauk and Hauk helping Sumi. I really liked their relationship, even if it was very fast, but I've learned to expect that with romance novels, and Kenyon does write some of the best mush scenes ever.
My main issue with these novels is how overbearing all the parents are. I know they're part of a group that is going against the League, and they pretty much are always in danger, but Jesus Christ, the amount of eye rolling I had to do when Nyk would threaten someone for even looking at Thia caused them to almost pop out of my head. We get it. All the kids are super special amazing slobbering rugrats that changed everyone's lives for the better, and they must be protected. Shooting a guy because he's into your daughter or getting into a rage because your 4 year old self-proclaimed daughter is holding hands with another 4 year old boy who have NO INKLING OF ANYTHING REMOTELY SEXUAL bothers the ever living crap out of me. It kind of makes me wonder how Kenyon is with her own children.
My other issue is how easy it was for Kalea to accept Dancer and Sumi as her parents. "I'm your father." BOOM. Instant love on her part. "This is your mommy." SECOND BOOM. They're the closest beings every to be close. I get it. It's a romance novel, and everything kind of has to wrap up nicely by the end of the book, but a nice little chat between Sumi and Kalea as to why Kalea had to live the first several years of her life in a League orphanage would have made their connection more believable. A "I've been looking for you for so long" didn't really cut it. But it did it's job, everyone got their happily ever after, and that's all that matters in the end.
All in all, I really liked the book. I really enjoy the League series because it's pretty straight forward. I really enjoy the characters as well. Another winner from Kenyon, and I'm excited to see who is next to tell their story....more