I've kind of been an jerk lately about the Immortals After Dark books. Lately a few have been missing the mark with me, but overall still solid. My isI've kind of been an jerk lately about the Immortals After Dark books. Lately a few have been missing the mark with me, but overall still solid. My issue has been with how each installment's romance has 5 steps that they follow. I'm not going to get into them, because I'm not going to be a meanie. Nope. Because in between those “5 Steps” I was still having fun. The romance was still building, and for each read it normally does. The world is building. Character growth is happening. I feel the feels! Well it's still a great read!
After that epiphany and finally realizing that I didn't want to be a mean bookworm I decided to enjoy Sweet Ruin. (And any future books of this series.)
Because this is a game changer! It is frustrating jumping around the Ascension, the Lore being imprisoned on an island, and all those open cliffhangers. (MacRieve anyone!) Then boom totally new turn. All the new elements introduced here—sighs—are too good. I'm eating it up. Sweet Ruin was just what the series needed to rejuvenate the series. Despite all those open plots. The introduction to the Morior and Orion the Undoing is a breath of fresh air for plot possibilities. Not to mention that it's awesome seeing beloved characters through the eyes of Jo and Rune.
Jo is brilliant. She may be clueless about certain things, but she knows her self. She knows what she deserves and she doesn't take no. She gets what she wants; or she's smart enough to know when it's time to walk. No self hating. Well at least for things she knows aren't in her hands. Her love for her brother Thaddeus is beautiful. Both when they're young, and when they are reunited! Getting to know more about Thaddeus was such a treat. It's just nice to see a decent female lead again, I haven't been fond of the last few.
Rune is an interesting male lead. And when I found out he was quite the whore, I thought it was a cheap gimmick. In the last book the female got around and now it was time for a role reversal. That was not the case. Rune is one of the most fascinating male leads since Lothaire (at least for me). He felt more thought out and not quite as “me caveman” as is Cole's specialty. It was refreshing to see the male POV on sexual abuse. It felt real and I loved his revelations in the end. It's a great message on self love and worth.
Jo and Rune are amazing together. Sure Cole has a formula, but the magic of her books has always been her characters. Romance tends to follow a pattern and I love these characters—and world—too much to miss out. Not to mention that Cole's writing is solid! The snark, accents, flavor of each character, and the crazy-amazing-ness of the IAD is on point! Cole knows how to write a good book, if she uses her formula to do so why not? It works, it's good. And I shan't be judgy any longer.
I've been vague because I want readers to go in being absolutely surprised—and very delighted—by what Cole is bringing to the table. Nix is pretty epic here and I wonder if we just met her fated male? But I think that's too on the nose. The whole cast of the Morior that was introduced are characters I would very much like to get to know and see get HEAs. Not to mention that I want to see Nix take them away from Orion. How are Nix and Orion going to duke it out?!!!! No, really, it is going to get epic. Plus, I'm dying to know who is going to be next. Especially since there was a FURY in one of the showdowns. What the flying books!? Way to tease us Cole. I'm in for wherever this series is going to go. Because the characters are awesome; the world is super-duper-fun awesome; there's decent plots and world building shit going on here!
Sexual Content: Plenty of sexual humor and bedroom scenes. Duh. That's how we Cole fans like it.
First off before I read this book, I was prepared to dislike it. It's shelved in the romanceGenre: Paranormal Romance (AKA Romantic Fantasy)
First off before I read this book, I was prepared to dislike it. It's shelved in the romance genre, and no matter how many romance books I read I'll still always be wary of that lay of the land. The description on the back of the book had me giggling with it's silliness, and then someone told me this was a series about finding ones soulmate. Personally the over the top soulmate thing had me trying to check out before I could even crack open a page. Before I found out anything about the book I had already bought it, so I new I was going to read it. This book has loads of great reviews for it, and then there are the reviewers who are skeptic romantics like me who just thought it was hokey.
Well this skeptic has been silenced. Turns out this book has more then hot sex scenes surrounded by thin plot lines. In fact it was quite the oppisite.
The world Wilson built is a fantasy world that many an aspiring writer would love to have developed. You can see the races, sink into the life of the people, and let the history of this rich land poor over you. The Faye are intriguing people who live VERY long lives, many of the Faye characters living for over a thousand years. It's had creating character that can show the weight they carry living that long--sure Wilson doesn't really pull it off--but you can feel it at times. Its a sorrowful note that she hits. The Celierians are the humans in this book that are "good." They've had alliances with the Faye and have fought to keep the Elden off of them for generations. The Eld are the evil Mages of this tale. Who want to crush the Faye at all costs. Of course not all of the people of Eld are mages. Instead of being free people they are nothing but tools, Marked at birth until the age of six when they are nothing more then pawns for the mages to take control of there bodies. There are also other races, notably the Elves. Not much is said about them in history or in the progress of this book. I've always been a fan of elves so I'm curious to get more information on them. Plus, why aren't they really mentioned in the history?
Wilson has created a cast of characters that interact so well. Many times I found myself laughing out loud with the characters, to fist pumping in the air victoriously. Side character stole my heart just as much as our leading characters Ellie and Rain. I found myself at times respecting, laughing, and enjoying the Celierian Queen--clearly she's a bad apple. The plots that are building up around her making me worry, especially after Wilson reveled the love story around how the King came to court her. The Faye protectors of Ellie have warmed their way into my heart with their fierce loyalty and their humorous antics.
The plot builds up nicely with this title and I had no problem sinking into the politics and culture. If you're afraid that this is going to turn into sex and no plot, be assured. There's a lot of plot threads that start to build up and not all of them are resolved at the end of this book. There's a lot of lip biting moments in Lord of the Fading Lands.
The love story between Ellie and Rain plays out nicely. All that sex I was afraid this book was going to be dedicated to, not here. The Soulmate/bond thing isn't something that makes the two characters just jump in bed together. Instead Ellie still gets the choice of falling in love with Rain. It's a pleasure to watch both of them discover each other. Rain at times can be over protective, but lets be honest his enemies are going to want her dead or worse. So clearly a little over protectiveness is nice. Rain nearly destroyed the world when his lady love was killed over a 1,000 years before of the events of this book, so I was worried how much Wilson would play that card. She plays it nicely, never making the reader feel over powered by Rian's suffering, but still making us want to shed a few tears for him. At times Rain can be annoyingly ill tempered to a fault, sometimes reminding me of a spoiled pouting child. In the end that's the charm of Rain Faye to the bone, flying cat at heart. Ellie is still getting fleshed out in this book. You can see the strong and determined woman she is gong to develop into.
This book needs to be checked out just for the buzz alone that it's stirring. Don't let the soulmate and romance shelving fool you, this book could hold its own in with the Epic Fantasy. It has a fantasy world that rivals many that I've come across, plus has the added bonus of making me fall in love with more then just the main characters. You'll laugh out loud with this book, have "fist pump of victory" moments, bite your lip in worry, and just get all tangled up with this book.
Some witty sexual jokes, a few slightly graphic scenes, and then one sex scene at the end. Nothing to over the top.