I cannot believe I did this to myself again. I opened this book and didn’t stop until I had inhaled it. And it was so good...more* Originally Read 8/21/11*
I cannot believe I did this to myself again. I opened this book and didn’t stop until I had inhaled it. And it was so good to revisit this world, but now I’m horribly aware of the looooong wait for the final book. And it’s Michael’s book, so that just makes it even harder. I don’t want to say goodbye, but I want it so bad. I know I’m not going to be able to hold out a whole year. I’m going to crack and have to reread them all to torture myself some more.
I was really surprised to discover how different this entry felt from the earlier books in this series. That’s not a bad thing, I actually liked seeing things from another perspective, but it was unexpected. I think if you were completely new to the series you could jump into this book without a lot of the same issues you would experience by jumping into one of the other ones. The third book, Demon Night, also seems like an easy place to jump in. I DO NOT recommend it, however, because I think this series is best experienced from the beginning, so you can watch each twist and turn develop in the story arc. And I seriously cringe in horror over the thought of someone starting with this book and spoiling themselves for the intense events in Demon Forged.
One of the most surprising things about this book was how removed it was from the Guardians. The hero tried his hardest to steer clear of them so he could fulfill his own mission, so we spent most of the story solely focused on Ash and Nicholas. We occasionally cut away to spend some time in Taylor’s POV (squee!) and eventually get some time with the Guardians, but for the most part it’s just them. Luckily, they were great together. Ash was especially hilarious, owing to her problem feeling emotion, and watching Nicholas become frustrated by her lack of memory was fun.
Ash is the worst demon ever, but that’s what makes her so fun. She cannot remember anything, so we get a crash course on the ins and outs of demons right alongside her. I really enjoyed getting a deeper look at the Rules and what was and was not allowed and how that could be twisted. Nicholas finds her a little frustrating at first, and is very suspicious of her—big surprise. Who isn’t he suspicious of? I loved watching him be bothered by her staring—she’s isn’t worried about making people uncomfortable—and I laughed to myself as he tried to figure out whether or not she really was that clueless and actually did want him. I can’t blame him for being suspicious, especially because what he knew about demons was pretty concrete, but I wish he had let it go earlier. Luckily, neither of them were unreasonable and both were willing to own when they screwed up.
I loved watching Ash and Nicholas grow into themselves together. They both started the book in a kind of childlike state. They inadvertently helped each other discover themselves, but it wasn’t without bruised feelings along the way. I also really, really liked how the author played with what makes a person who they are. I, personally, agree with the decision that Ash made, and the reason she did. I would have been very unhappy if it had gone any other way. I am firmly of the belief that the person you are is what life and experience has made you. Change one thing and it might change everything. You might never had ended up the person you are today.
In addition to a lovely romance, we are also treated to an ever deepening story arc. Each book has layered onto this storyline, which is why I really think people cheat themselves if they skip around. I am constantly impressed by the depth and intensity we get in each book and am amazed at how well balanced they are. Not only do we get a great romance, we also get an intricate story full of well developed characters and plots galore. I am really excited to see how this will all resolve in the end.
"And I wasn't thinking of a plane." When she looked at him blankly, Nicholas clenched his teeth and counted to three. "I know you can fly."
Her eyes widened and she looked down at her hands. "I can shape-shift into a bird? How?"
Jesus H. Christ. The next time he made a bargain, Nicholas would damn well make certain the demon knew more than a bag of bricks.
I had heard excellent things about this book and it turns out that everyone was right. I loved it! I was quite impressed with the fresh and complex wo...moreI had heard excellent things about this book and it turns out that everyone was right. I loved it! I was quite impressed with the fresh and complex world Pang created. The reader is dropped directly into the story and left to figure things out without any excessive infodumps. That style doesn't always work, leaving the reader too confused, but I think this author pulled it off nicely. The heroine, Abby, was relatively new to the OtherWorld, giving the author an easy way to pull the reader into the world without it feeling clunky.
Abby was in a bad place mentally six months ago and did something rash. She signed a contract making her the TouchStone of the Protectorate in return for seven years of agelessness and a wish granted upon fulfillment of the contract. She also got an enchanted iPod thrown in for good measure. She had no clue what she was getting herself into and the situation is made worse by the fact that the faery she's contracted to, Moira, hasn't bothered to teach her much about the new world she's a part of. When the book opens we see that Abby has been holding down the fort alone for the past couple months. Moira left her a vague note and disappeared. As Abby finds herself pulled into a search for some missing succubi she finds her lack of knowledge getting her into one bad spot after another.
I really liked Abby. Her personality made her very approachable for the reader. She had some baggage that made her insecure and vulnerable, but she didn't let it turn her into a whiner. She didn't let people get close too easily and she tended to lie to herself, but who could blame her? She was witty and occasionally self deprecating and had an easy charm to her. She was fully aware that she was in over her head, but she did her best to keep her chin up and brazen her way through it. She found herself in hot water again and again, the last one to realize how she had messed up, but I think she handled herself very well. She had her moments of ignorance and obliviousness, but she never strayed into the TSTL territory.
Brystion was another surprise. He was brooding and sexy and had his jerk moments (often in the beginning), which I expected, but he also was surprisingly thoughtful and sad. He struggled with his feelings of inferiority and unworthiness. His worry over a future between them rang true for me. Hooking up with someone like an incubus is not going to be easy. They may have laughed about him being a walking orgasm and may have teased each other about the his powers of seduction, but the reality of what he is and what he does is not something to take lightly. The author did a great job with making him likable and sympathetic, despite some of his more mercenary qualities. Actually, maybe because of those very qualities. It's hard to fault someone for intense loyalty.
In addition to Abby and Brystion, Pang created a wonderful set of secondary characters that gave us a glimpse of many different creatures in the four paths. I loved quite a few of them, including Phineas, the adorable little unicorn, but I could have quite cheerfully beaten the crap out of Robert. Man, that angel was a giant douche. I could do with less of him in the next book. I liked that the author managed to make each of Abby's friends have a bit of depth to them. That's quite an impressive feat considering how many characters there were and that the main characters were never shortchanged.
Pang has a very readable voice that made the pages turn quickly. She easily shifted between funny and serious without ever jarring the reader. This one didn't end on a cliffhanger but not everything was wrapped up at the end. I am quite eager to see what she has in store for us in the second book.
"Throw me a goddamned rope!" I wasn't sure if he could hear me, given the howl of the wind, but he signaled my words with a shrug.
"I tried to bring one, but it couldn't come through the *bleep*." His voice was husky, a midnight fury laced with the metallic edge of bullets. He paused. "Hold on! I've got something here, but it won't be quite long enough, so you're going to have to time it with the waves."
"You'd better not be talking about your dick. I mean, you're well hung and all, but it's a Shadow Realm, not Fantasyland," I snorted, trying not to laugh.
This book turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. Urban Fantasy books seem to be hit or miss w...moreReview originally posted at Fiction Vixen
This book turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. Urban Fantasy books seem to be hit or miss with me. First person narrative is not a favorite of mine—it makes me feel like I’m living in a vacuum—and too often I don’t like the heroine. It’s hard for me to read and enjoy a book when I’m stuck in the head of someone I don’t particularly like. I’ve also noticed that quite a few heroines seem to be bitchy and argumentative as shorthand for strong. Unfortunately, bitchy does not equal strong for this reader. My point with this surplus of information is that I actually liked this heroine. She hit me just right.
Another strong point in the book’s favor is the lack of love triangle. Thank you Christina Henry for not including that. I hate them! This book has enough tension and roadblocks in the relationship without the added headache of another man.
This was an incredibly quick read. Once the action starts it just doesn’t stop. You’ll find yourself sucked in and unable to set it down until you read just one more chapter. The writing is smooth and the author did a nice job of spicing the narrative with humor. It achieved a nice balance with the action and never strayed into the slapstick.
Maddy felt very real. Her reactions were more in line with a regular person’s, so it was easy to relate to her. There was even one part where she got her ass kicked and threw up from the pain before passing out. Now, you may wonder why vomit stuck out in my mind enough for me to mention it, but it’s just one more example of her atypical UF heroine behavior. She didn’t gracefully get beat up and still manage to not break a nail. Maddy had some knock-down-drag-out fights and she didn’t always win on her own. She doesn’t come out of the fight with her pride untarnished either. Some of those people cleaned her clock! But I liked it because it was way more believable than an invincible bad ass.
I really loved Maddy’s relationship with Beezle. He was so cute and protective. He was just like a grumpy teddy bear that you wanted to cuddle! His interactions with the people who interacted with Maddy were a lot of fun too. I love when characters have that wise talking sidekick, like Bob in the Harry Dresden series.
This is a UF that actually felt like a UF instead of leaning toward a PNR. There was the beginning of a possible romantic relationship, but that was just a small focus in Maddy’s new life. The most sexual contact you’re going to get is a kiss or two. I didn’t mind though—I actually think it made the book better.
The author did a good job of hooking my interest into Gabriel though. The things that we learned about his past made him very sympathetic—especially because he doesn’t seem to recognize that his life should be any different. Also, the reality that they face with Maddy’s new political position makes me invested in seeing them work it out. I’d probably root for them on pure principle even if I didn’t like them together just to thwart a certain someone who thinks that he can rule Maddy’s life now no matter what.
I really liked the details of the world. Maddy’s job really interested me. I especially was intrigued by the politics of it. How interesting! The new political world that she has stepped into also seems like it’ll be quite fascinating to learn more about. The only real complaint I had about this book was the lack of world building. Don’t get me wrong, I understood her world and I enjoyed it, but there was just something missing for me in the development of it. Possibly the author will add depth as the series unfolds a la Kate Daniels.
The only warning I would give is for those that do not enjoy books that play with how bad Lucifer actually is. If you don’t enjoy anything but the traditional role of Hell and fallen angels you might just want to pass on this one. They weren’t presented as boy scouts or anything, but they weren’t quite as reviled as some might prefer. So be warned!
That leads to one last comment I’d like to make about the author’s style. She had a very clean writing style with the occasional flip into a more descriptive, powerful style. I also really liked the way the angels were portrayed as beautiful, but it was almost a terrifying beauty.
pg. 32: ...opened her eyes to find the dark angel blocking out the sky, and all she could see was his awful beauty, haloed in starshine and moonlight, and his black burning eyes. He whispered her name, and his voice wound into her ear and down her throat and under her ribs, and she knew what he had come for.
I just loved the way it was written!
I urge all of you who are interested to go grab a copy of this book and try it out for yourself. Hopefully it works as well for you as it did for me!
His dark eyes were lit by starshine, and I felt I was falling again into the heart of the universe. Not by some spell of Gabriel's, but by my own foolish wants and needs. He had kissed me to save me--this much I understood. But my heart, my very lonely heart, ached for what I had never known before.
I wasn’t sure what to think going into this book. I haven’t enjoyed the last couple books in the series quite as much as I had wanted to. The...more4.5 Stars
I wasn’t sure what to think going into this book. I haven’t enjoyed the last couple books in the series quite as much as I had wanted to. They were good, but the secondary storylines took up way too much space and made me feel like the main relationship was getting shortchanged. I was thrilled to see that the main storyline got way more focus in this book!
I’ve heard some buzz going around recently about people being irritated that Haidee hooked up with Amun when Strider was interested in her first. Honestly, this didn’t bother me at all. I thought the eventual explanation for Strider’s attraction was a bit of a cop out, but at no time did I think that he should have taken Amun’s place. All Strider registered as (for me) was the vehicle to get Haidee into Amun’s vicinity. Besides, just because he was interested in her didn’t mean she was interested in him. I thought she got her feeling across very nicely in the last book with the sharp point of a knife. :)
I was a bit concerned (and have been ever since I met him) about how Amun’s romance would develop when he couldn’t even talk. Finding a heroine that knows sign language isn’t exactly a snap. Luckily that was solved nicely. I was worried about how the author would explain the connection between Haidee and Amun, but I shouldn’t have been. Their (unexpected) past together helped make sense of a connection that would have otherwise seemed a bit too convenient.
I really enjoyed getting to know Amun. He has been mentioned often in the past books, but he never developed much of a personality. I was surprised to find out that he was an incredibly nice, caring, non-Alpha man. He paired perfectly with Haidee, who had seen such pain in her long life. Speaking of Haidee, the reveals about her were a complete surprise. Not just her past, but what she was. I really liked it and appreciate the author for coming up with new reasons for a character to be immortal.
I liked that Haidee’s involvement with the Hunters and her part in Baden’s death weren’t just ignored. It wasn’t dealt with quite as seriously as I was hoping, but it was at least addressed. I was pleased that Amun was able to see Haidee’s side of things. He really was a very sweet guy.
The secondary storyline in this book revolved around Strider. He is quite the show stealer when he’s on scene. That goes doubly for when we get to see him interact with his future heroine. We also got to see William and Paris along the way and learned quite a few interesting things relating to them. William is even more interesting than before and I’m really hoping he ends up getting a book of his own so I can learn more about who and what he is. Paris also seems to be gearing up for a very interesting battle. I’m very curious to see how that will resolve itself.
Although I did enjoy the book, I had some minor frustrations. One, what was the deal with Micah? A big deal was made of him and Amun looking alike, but then it just fizzled out. That was a big coincidence to just ignore. Two, the whole cheating vs. not cheating thing really bugged me. I’m glad Amun pointed out that it was all cheating. Three, the end was too neatly solved. It felt a bit too similar to one of the previous books for me.
Even though I found some things about the story too easy, I didn’t let it bother me much. I knew going in that the books in this series are light and fun, with characters and events that are usually over the top and that there’s rarely anything truly serious or angsty about them. That’s all right though, because they’re fun to read, sexy, and addictive. I’m already dying to read the next book!
One last thing before I finish up the review. I really loved Hailee’s tattoos. I’ve seen that idea before, but it has always seemed like an extremely clever idea in cases like these. Also, I hope we get more info on Zacharel. He seems very interesting and I am amused by Strider’s reaction to him.
Hate. Huh. He'd never hated himself. If anything, he'd always liked himself a little too much. Once, a human female had even accused him of picturing his own face while he climaxed. He hadn't denied it, either, and the next time he'd slept with her, he'd made sure to scream, "Strider" at the pivotal moment.
Rosalia and Deacon play the lead in this book. If you've read the last book in the series, Demon Forged, you'll know...more*Originally Read 7/5/10 - 7/6/10*
Rosalia and Deacon play the lead in this book. If you've read the last book in the series, Demon Forged, you'll know the connection that Rosalia and Deacon have. If you haven't read Demon Forged I would not recommend you read this book. Too many things happened in the last book for you to skip it. The Guardians were fundamentally changed, and the back story for Deacon is played out in it.
I liked Rosalia and Deacon, but I think they had a hard time living up to my love of the characters in the last book. They're both great characters, but they're more subdued then the tempestuous relationship between Irena and Alejandro. This book is great, but it also has the feel of a set up book.
One of the best things about the characters this author creates is that they have real vulnerabilities and insecurities. They don't come off as flat characters, they feel real. Deacon is consumed by self loathing over his apparent failure to save his people. He made a deal with a demon and got burned for it. He wanted to die, but he pulled himself up and tried to find a purpose for himself. He cannot see the good in himself anymore. Because of the way he views himself he cannot believe that anyone would think he was worth anything. That's a major stumbling block in the path to relationship bliss for him and Rosalia.
Rosalia has a past consumed by what she considers her many failures. When she loves, she puts the wants and needs of that person ahead of her own. She'll take pain and heartache and never show it, she'll just move past it. Even with her horrible past she is still an optimist. She is optimistic that one day she'll be able to break that character flaw. :) Rosalia is not like many of the Guardians we have seen in the past. She does not have the history or connection with the other Guardians that most of them have. She has spent most of her time as a Guardian keeping her brother in line and watching over her vampires. She's always got a plan, and a back up plan.
In this book her plan is something so bold and daring that it will either be a huge victory for the Guardians or will be responsible for a lot of deaths. I liked the risks that Rosalia took with her role as a Guardian. She had to confront some hard truths about where the line really is between demons and Guardians. Is it just good intentions? Rosalia goes beyond the line most Guardians are willing to cross, all for the sake of the greater good.
I'm so glad that we got to see a lot of Taylor in this book. After what happened to her in the last book, I was dying to see what was happening with her. This book shows a rough time for Taylor. She's struggling with her new role of Guardian, and trying to keep control of her mind and body. What Michael did had a harsh consequence for Taylor. She's in a dominance struggle for her own body. I think that when Taylor and Michael get their book, they're going to have a lot of issues to work out before they get their HEA. Hell has stripped a lot of layers of Michael's humanity from him. He is down to instinctual emotion and reactions. Before the end, we find out why he's been struggling with Taylor, and we finally learn why Michael never wears shoes.
I can't wait for the next book. This world gets more and more interesting with every book. I can't wait until 2012, when we get Michael's book, but I dread saying goodbye to this series.(less)
I really had no expectations going into this book, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself with an absolutely engrossing story. There is a defini...moreI really had no expectations going into this book, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself with an absolutely engrossing story. There is a definite romantic angle at work here, but it would be a mistake to go into this expecting a HEA at the end. I’ll get into that more a little later, but I just wanted to make that clear up front. Sins of the Angels stays true to Urban Fantasy and has set up a romantic arc to span multiple books.
One thing I loved about this book was the fact that the romance never overshadowed the main storyline. I know that is an odd compliment coming from me–since I’m usually the opposite–but it really worked for me here. The connection between Aramael and Alex was intense enough that you could feel the tension in the background, waiting to spring up, the minute they let their eyes lock. There is barely any sexual contact in this book (they only kiss once) but the tension sizzled for me.
She didn’t know how long they’d stared at one another, neither moving, before she had blinked and the wings had disappeared. Before his eyes had taken on the torment that made her want, once again, to reach out to him, as if her touch could heal something in him. Heal something in herself.
I just loved them together. The romance was “forbidden” at its finest; A woman who refused to open her mind to the impossible and an angel unable to love a human. What made it all so excellent was the fact that their star-crossed status made complete sense. Alex spent a lot of the book in denial, which could be occasionally frustrating, but it felt authentic for a character with her background. I also appreciated the dislike she had for his role as her partner. Her fear of the flashes she saw of his true angelic self drove her dislike and determination to end their partnership, but it felt lifelike for her role as detective. Who wouldn’t be angry and suspicious over someone with no experience and a sealed file? Then again, her boss’s decision and eventual frustration with her also felt authentic.
Those realistic actions are one of the things that made me enjoy this book so much. It’s also why I liked the relationship staying low key. It wouldn’t have been realistic for a lead detective investigating a serial killer to let her hormones get in the way of finding the killer. At times the daily grind of Alex doing her job and investigating the murders felt slow, but it also fit. I occasionally wished that Alex would hurry up and face the truth so that we could hurry the story along, but I think I would have found it a little too unrealistic if she had. (See how fickle I am?) The author spent her time slowly developing Alex’s eventual belief and convinced me that the way it unfolded was the only natural way for it to have occurred.
The author’s take on the angelic and demonic world felt pretty fresh and new. I found parts of it a little frustrating–which had me a bit personally conflicted since the one I was frustrated with was the One (aka God)–but I really liked it overall. I felt religion was flirted with a tiny bit, but was avoided for the most part. What we learned about the angels had me intrigued. There were so many factors to it–The Highest Seraph, the Anointed, the Dominion, the Powers, the Guardians, the Fallen, the One…it all came together into a really interesting world.
Although I enjoyed most of the book, there were a few things that bothered me. One was the multiple POV’s we were treated to. I understand why they were included, but I got a bit impatient with being drawn away from the main storyline to peek into someone else’s head. It gave the reader a more well rounded picture of the events, I know, but it got a bit boring. Luckily they weren’t too long and I was able to quickly sink back into the main storyline. The other thing that I did not like was the ending. I am not a fan of cliffhangers, and while this one did wrap up some of the main threads of the plot, it also left us hanging on quite a few. Namely, the future for Alex and Aramael. We’re left with hope that they’ll hook up eventually, but I hate leaving a book like that. I don’t even know where the next book will find them individually, let alone what will happen to them together. I just find it frustrating to be left with so many questions after such a climactic event at the end. I’m definitely going to pick up the next book (and would have even without being left hanging) but I’m hoping the end of the next won’t be as jarring. I hate closing a book feeling frustrated.
Time, and Alex’s heart, stood still. For what seemed an eternity, she felt nothing but Aramael’s hand against her cheek. His truth. And then, with a ferocity that stole her capacity to breathe, elation exploded through her entire being and the universe narrowed until it encompassed just the two of them. Until she became nothing more than the heat of his body, the whisper of his breath against her face, the longing that flooded her veins.
Eden Riley is a skeptical psychic. After helping the Chief of Police's wife find her missing dog she was pressured into taking a job as a psychic cons...moreEden Riley is a skeptical psychic. After helping the Chief of Police's wife find her missing dog she was pressured into taking a job as a psychic consultant for the police. No one is more miserable about this arrangement than Eden. She freely admits that she doesn't believe she's psychic. She gets hunches that pan out, but she can't make herself have psychic visions. That means she's not psychic, right? Unfortunately for Eden, on her first consultant job she gets a hunch about where a serial killer is and ends up with more than she bargained for. All of a sudden she's hearing a man's voice in her head and she just doesn't know what's going on.
Darrak is a demon who has to jump from host to host to survive. Unfortunately for Eden, that serial killer was his last host and when Detective Ben killed him Darrak was forced to jump to another body. Guess who that turned out to be? Yes, Darrak and Eden now inhabit the same body. This is something new for both of them as Eden has never had a demon in her (obviously) and Darrak has never jumped to a female before.
Watching Darrak and Eden navigate the boundaries of their new life was fun. The author actually addresses subjects that the common reader would ask. What happens when Eden needs to go to the bathroom? What happens if she wants to get physical with someone? They have very funny exchanges throughout the book and the momentum never stops.
I really liked that Eden didn't trust Darrak right away. I think it was very realistic for her to try to take the measures that she did. She unwittingly started an undesirable chain of events, but how was she supposed to know? She was looking out for number one. I also really liked the facts that we found out about Darrak. I liked that he tried to present himself in the best possible light and that Eden had to figure out if she was okay with the reality of who he was once she found out more about him.
All in all a fun new series that I would definitely recommend. (less)
This book started out a little slow for me, but once I got into it I couldn't put it down.
I really liked the fact that Kara is just a regular girl (w...moreThis book started out a little slow for me, but once I got into it I couldn't put it down.
I really liked the fact that Kara is just a regular girl (who's also a summoner, of course) who gets caught up in a crazy situation. Her normalness is one of the reasons you can't help but root for her. She's a cop, but she's not automatically a bad ass. She has to work out to battle the stomach bulge like most everybody else. She has a weakness for chocolate donuts and she doesn't have the best social life. She's just doing her best to catch criminals while trying to be fair.
I found the demon lord, Rhyzkahl, to be an interesting character. I liked that the author made him dangerous and kept him dangerous. The author reminds us right alongside Kara that he'll make you regret it if you try to use him. He's not human and he lives by a whole different set of rules. He kind of reminded me of Raphael in Angels' Blood. He's not some one to toy with. I'm interested in seeing more of him in the next book. He won some cool points for what he did for Kara at the end of the book.
I liked all the time spent on describing the different levels of demons and the difficulty summoning them. I appreciated that those facts seemed to get as much attention as the police facts. I found the explanation of the origins to be interesting. They're not demons in the sense of heaven and hell. They're from another world entirely.
The sex scene in the beginning didn't really seem to fit with the rest of the story. It was kind of jarring. Kara seemed like an intelligent girl, but her actions didn't really fit with what I learned of her personality. She's scared for her life (with good reason) but suddenly that doesn't matter because she's turned on and ready to do it? It didn't seem like a very smooth transition from in mortal peril to hot sex.
I thought the police stuff was very well done. I, of course, speak from the position of no personal knowledge of that sort of thing, but it seemed authentic. The crime scene and autopsy descriptions were interesting. I feared that I might become bored by the surplus of details about it, but the author kept me engaged. The one thing that I found really odd about the investigation had to do with the man who had a connection to the victims of the Symbol Man. Shouldn't she (as a well trained cop) have considered him a suspect long before she did?
I liked that I didn't guess who the Symbol Man was. I enjoyed being surprised by it right alongside Kara. I found her relationship with Agent Ryan Kristoff a little odd. I didn't find him very interesting or compelling, but I thought it was really weird that Kara was totally fine with him basically turning into her roommate. You don't know this guy from Adam, why are you so accepting of him? Because I found him bland and a little irritating I hope that she doesn't get involved with him. I guess I'll find out as I read more of the series.
I'm looking forward to reading more by this author and thought this was a great start to a new series.(less)
Where have I been hiding? This book is the first time I have heard of this series or this author. It definitely won’t be the last, though. I enjoyed i...moreWhere have I been hiding? This book is the first time I have heard of this series or this author. It definitely won’t be the last, though. I enjoyed it so much that I jumped on Amazon and ordered the previous books in the series so I could read those too. Here’s hoping I enjoy them just as much!
Frostbound is part of The Dark Forgotten series, but it stands on its own very well. The author does a great job of introducing the world and the characters without making the reader feel lost. We’re dropped straight into the action, but I never felt like I was scrambling to understand what was happening. I really appreciate an author who can strike a nice balance between bulky info dumps and leaving a reader to puzzle the world out on her (or his) own.
I really liked how the author turned some of my expectations on their ear. At one point Talia is held hostage. At first it was because Lore was keeping her until he found out if she was guilty or innocent, but then he didn’t want to let her go for her own good. Instead of letting this go (as I’ve seen many, many PNR heroines do) Talia is angry and resentful. She also finds his plan to weaken her with lust (once again, something I’ve seen frequently in PNR) pretty insulting. Refreshingly, Lore’s friends also tell him that he’s not exactly walking the straight and narrow by “protecting” her that way. I really enjoyed that because too often I find myself frustrated by the heroines’ abnormal reactions to some of the heroes’ behavior.
Although there is a lot of witty dialogue and quite a few funny scenes, it’s not all fun and games. Lore and Talia deal with some very serious issues and stressful emotions that added a nice depth to their characters. Talia is almost broken in the beginning of the book and I think the author did a fabulous job of showing us her loss and despair. I loved that her feelings felt so real and that Lore was able to help her grow and heal.
I was very pleased that the author delved so far into the culture of the hellhounds. Lore’s dilemma over following his heart or staying true to his people worked very well for me. I loved that we got a firsthand view of his people and their opinion on the matter. The pressure he faced was no laughing matter, but I thought he dealt with it brilliantly. I also liked that a character that seemed pretty pushy and villainous was shown to possess depth and honor. I may not have respected the tactics used, but I was quite impressed with that character’s motivations in the end.
We were introduced to quite a few interesting characters—some previous characters, some new. We got to experience the POV of some of these characters in addition to seeing through the eyes of the hero and heroine. I never felt that the hero or heroine were being shortchanged on time, though. I actually felt that those POV scenes added an interesting level to the book. I especially liked getting to know Errata. She was pretty interesting and I can’t wait to read more about her later.
I really loved Lore and Talia together. I thought they had great sexual tension between them and that their personalities complimented each other nicely. The obstacles that they face on the road to happiness felt real, not like they were just thrown in to keep the characters apart. In addition to normal hindrances, they both have to figure out how a relationship will work between an immortal and a mortal. I liked the solution that the author came up with. It wasn’t perfect, and that right there made me appreciate it more than any solution that would have wrapped things up neatly.
Although I enjoyed pretty much everything about this book, there were a few issues that kept me from bumping it up to a full 5 hearts. I really liked that Talia didn’t insist that she be involved in every bit of investigation when Lore went out. It was smart and rational of her—which I loved—but it also had the unfortunate side effect of keeping them separate more than I wanted. I still enjoyed the romance, I just felt that there could have been a bit more development and togetherness if the separations had been fewer.
I also didn’t like that sometimes a chapter would end and we would skip to a new scene without having the closure and resolution I was looking for. It just felt like we would skip to a new section without letting me have the full impact of the first scene. They weren’t huge issues, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take away a bit of my enjoyment in Lore and Talia’s relationship.
Other than those two small issues, I thought that this was a great book. I loved the details about the hellhound culture and thought that Lore and Talia were great protagonists. I can’t wait to read more from this author!
“It means we share something deep. It means I’ll always find you, no matter where you go. I’ll walk at your side. I’ll sleep beside you and watch over you. I’ll walk the passages between life and death to come back to you.”
One thing I’ve learned while reading the Dirk & Steele series is that defeating the bad guy doesn’t necessarily mean that things are over. Storyli...moreOne thing I’ve learned while reading the Dirk & Steele series is that defeating the bad guy doesn’t necessarily mean that things are over. Storylines and characters are interwoven throughout the series and things have a way of coming back around. Such is the case with Soul Song. When we meet M’cal his situation seems eerily familiar. We have to wonder, is it coincidence or is history repeating itself?
Imagine falling in love and opening yourself to a person. But instead of happiness you find yourself made a slave; your will stripped. You are compelled to do unspeakable things, and over the years you find yourself emptier and emptier. You have no relief from the torment—the only pleasure you are allowed to feel is from the touch of the woman who enslaved you, and that in itself is a form of torture. That is the M’cal we are introduced to in the beginning of the book. He is a man lost and my heart broke for him. Watching him find happiness gave me a warm feeling inside.
I really appreciated having a book with Kitala Bell in it. Ever since being introduced to her in Tiger Eye I’ve been curious to get to know her better. I was very surprised to find that she is more than just the good friend of Dela, she has a hidden magical ability of her own. She’s gone out of her way to avoid further developing her abilities, so she’s stuck in a plateau. She can’t avoid seeing how these people will be killed, but she can’t seem to change anything and is frustrated by her inability. When she meets M’cal, suddenly she finds out that she has been living in a world filled with supernatural people, just like her, and never even knew it. She’s helplessly fascinated by him and his deadly music and can’t resist the urge to feel his music and add to it. Her abilities unwittingly compliment his own and give them both the opportunity to try to defeat M’cal’s captor and survive.
There are still twists and turns to be found here, but on the whole it’s a lot smoother than the previous book was. I didn’t have any of those odd moments of disorientation, where I wasn’t really sure if I had missed something or not. The plot unfolds smoothly and sucks you into the joy and helpless despair M’cal and Kit find in their situation. Once again Liu has managed to provide complex characters who will leave you questioning yourself as the details are revealed. Does personal tragedy make what the villain is doing okay? What exactly are you willing to forgive? Can one good act change your feelings about a lifetime of neglect? These are all things I asked myself as I read the book. Nothing is clear cut, and sometimes you’ll find yourself uncomfortable with how easy it is to sympathize with the villain.
I really enjoyed Kit and M’cal together and thought that they were both exactly what each other needed. I still winced a little over how quickly they fell for each other, but that was easily swept aside as I was sucked into the rest of the book. At times I found Kit’s actions a little idiotic, but she’s a steady enough character for the rest of the book that I didn’t hold it against her too much. My favorite crow, Koni, is back in the action and I am really hopeful that we might one day have a story about him. Sometimes he’s the only (much needed) voice of levity in a very serious situation. We also got to see some of the other previous Dirk & Steele characters, which gives us a nice character refresher before we head into the next book.
”Keep your hands above the covers.”
“Give me a break,” Koni replied, staring at the ceiling. “I am not a total pervert. Although, to be honest, consider the night we’ve been having. First handcuffs, and now this? Way more kinky than I expected.”
“Please,” M’cal said. “Do not talk.”
“You like the strong and silent type, huh?”
“If you do not shut up, I will kill you with my voice.”
“I love it when you talk dirty.”
“Fine. Which do you prefer to lose first? Your soul or your testicles?”
“You know, you’re just a bit obsessed with chopping off balls. Do you have issues with your masculinity?”
Yet another fun episode in the Lords of the Underworld series. I’ve noticed that word crops up almost every time I write a review for one of Showalter...moreYet another fun episode in the Lords of the Underworld series. I’ve noticed that word crops up almost every time I write a review for one of Showalter’s books—fun. The characters are always so funny, and even when they don’t get along, their dislike of each other always includes funny situations and verbal sparring.
I was a little uncertain of Kaia and Strider as a couple. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to have one of the protagonists have a sexual history with the other protagonist’s friend, but the author actually pulled it off pretty well. Strider was bothered by it, yes, but he eventually got over it and he never tried to “forgive” her, because he knew there was really nothing for him to forgive. I also thought the reason for a big part of his reluctance to be with her made a lot of sense. I never thought about what it would mean for a competitive guy like him to come after “the sexorcist.” I imagine anyone would have anxiety about that.
The setup for putting Strider and Kaia in close proximity was pretty weak, but once they were stuck in each other’s company it wasn’t too hard to ignore that and move on. The harpy games were exciting on their own, so throwing in a little extra heat with Kaia and Strider made it even better. The harpies were one of my favorite parts of the book! They were all so bloodthirsty and off the wall that any scene with them in it—which was most of them—really popped. The violence and heckling between them reminded me of the valkyries in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and Shelly Laurenston’s characters in her Pride series. In other words, they were a riot.
I was surprised to hear the backstory on Kaia. I felt bad for her having such a rough life based on that one incident. Especially when they were blaming the wrong person! I was a little surprised she was so emo about her mom not being proud of her, though. How long has it been? Shouldn’t you be over this by now? Either way, her determination to be better was endearing and it was sad to see her be underestimated by those closest to her.
Kaia and Strider were great together. They were both cocky as hell and enjoyed their constant challenges, although Kaia had a tendency to use his inability to refuse a challenge against him when she wanted to get her way. Honestly, I have a sneaking suspicion that no one else out there would put up with their egos so it’s lucky they found each other. ;)
We get to see some of the side characters, but the author kept them from taking over, which has been a complaint of mine in the past. William and Kane get some page time and it seems like there will be an interesting storyline developing with them from the events we see here. We also got a peek at Legion and how she’s doing. I was really surprised with how she seemed in this book. Is it possible that I might actually one day like her now that she seems so different??? That would be pretty shocking. We also got to see more of Sabin and Gwen, which thrilled me because I really enjoyed their story. Plus, more Paris. His storyline really seems to be heating up. I haven’t had much interest in him in the past, but he seems to be getting a darker edge and a bitterness about his demon that quite intrigues me.
I enjoyed most of this book but it was not quite as action filled as most of the other ones, so I felt like I was spinning my wheels quite a few times. It slowed the pacing down and occasionally caused my attention to wander. Luckily the rest of the book pleased me enough that this was not a huge issue. I’m really looking forward to the next entry in the series.
That damn kiss had ruined everything. Had he kept his tongue to himself, he could have continued thinking of Kaia as a friend and only a friend. Now, he just wanted to convince her that blow jobs were a mandatory part of their arrangement.
This is a really hard one to review. I think my opinion was skewed because of unmet expectations. I think if I gone into this book cold I would have e...moreThis is a really hard one to review. I think my opinion was skewed because of unmet expectations. I think if I gone into this book cold I would have enjoyed it a lot more. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but my opinion teeter-tottered throughout it. I finally decided on a four star grade because the end did pick up and once I was able to put aside my reasons for reading it immediately after Bitten I got caught up in it. I'd say that Bitten is a high four star while this one is a low four star.
When Bitten ended we left Clay and Elena on a hopeful note. Nothing was really worked out, but the promise that they would try was given. I was so excited to pick up this one and watch their relationship heal itself. For me, that's half the fun of reading about a couple. I don't just want to see them together, I want to watch them get together and strengthen their relationship.
When I started this book I was shocked to find out that approximately six years had passed since the last book. I was pretty pissed off about it too. All my expectations about watching them build their relationship collapsed. I was pretty surprised to see that even though she was still with the Pack and still with Clay, she wasn't really with Clay the way that a six year commitment implies to me. They're still in basically the same spot spinning their wheels. It was actually kind of sad for both of them. I guess I didn't miss as much as I originally thought...
The beginning of this book was very slow going. My attention kept wandering and I had to struggle to make myself focus. The attention is no longer focused on just the werewolves. For a good chunk of the beginning half there's barely any werewolf interaction at all. The focus is all on the new type of supernatural creatures we meet and the organization hunting them. I did enjoy learning about the different groups, but what caught me most in the first book was the feel of the "otherness" of the werewolves and their interactions together. I felt that that aspect was really toned down in this book. Yes, there were gruesome moments, but the mentality of it felt different.
Around page 200 is where the pace started to pick up for me. We were still focused on only Elena, but her personal demons started to come into play. It seemed like her captivity and isolation dug beneath her skin enough to break through her persona. We got to see the despair and the insecurities and the depression. It was great getting that raw view. I loved how Elena admitted she wasn't over her past and probably never would be.
When Elena was back with Clay I found it extremely irritating that they never talked through anything. Their mode of operation seems to be to ignore everything and move on. It drives me nuts. You'll get to see how they solved the issue of his betrayal of her 12 years ago, and you'll see why I feel that way. I don't understand how they could have been back together the last 6 years and never have sat down and talked these things through.
I loved the glimpse we got of Clay's point of view (sort of). I felt it added nice perspective for that time period. I loved Clay in this book. Even though we saw him infrequently his presence was still felt. I hear the next book is about Paige. I hope, for both her sake and mine, that she isn't as irritating in that book as she was in this. I was on Clay's side about her and I loved the nickname he gave her. Xavier and Adam seemed like interesting characters and I hope to see more of them in the series. (less)
Ah, the conclusion to the Living in Eden series. I didn’t realize this was going to be a trilogy, so that was a bit of a surprise, but it was a welcom...moreAh, the conclusion to the Living in Eden series. I didn’t realize this was going to be a trilogy, so that was a bit of a surprise, but it was a welcome one. I love that the author didn’t draw it out too long. I’m sorry to say goodbye to Eden and Darrak, but I’d much rather end on a high note, still wanting more, than have the series drag on forever.
This has been a really fun series. If you haven’t read the two previous books, I don’t recommend you start here. It doesn’t stand on its own very well. For the past two books we have seen Darrak and Eden struggle to come to terms with their feelings and the fact that they are stuck together. They haven’t had the smoothest path, but they’re both still hopeful that they can find a way to get Darrak out of Eden’s body, without hurting him. Also, they’re highly motivated to find a solution, given that they can’t have sex without repercussions until they fix his curse. Sounds simple, right? Right…
The Darrak we see in this book is a bit of a change from the guy we’ve known in the past two books. I’ve always enjoyed his voice, so I noticed right off that he was a bit more subdued than he was before. He still had some nice lines, but the jokes and sarcasm weren’t as frequent as before. Instead, we saw a more vulnerable side of him. He’s finally come to realize what Eden means to him and struggles to reconcile that with their situation and the person he used to be. He also has to come to terms with the fact that he and Eden might not being seeing eye to eye on their feelings and their hopes for the future.
Eden is not quite as likable as she was in the past, but it’s (mostly) understandable, given what all has happened to her. She’s trying to roll with the punches, but it seems like the hits just keep coming and it’s wearing on her. She’s stressed and having a hard time controlling her magic and just wants her body back to herself. She cares about Darrak too much to take the easy way out, but she could use a break right about now. She just doesn’t have the energy to deal with feelings and what-ifs when they don’t even know how to get out of their current situation. Eden’s desperate for a solution, but when things are taken out of her hands and solved for her, she starts to reevaluate how she actually feels.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book, and this trilogy in general, is that not all the characters are nice people. They’re not the “bad” guys of the story, per se, they’re just crappy people who sometimes make crappy choices. I liked that the author didn’t feel the need to excuse their actions and make everyone friends in the end. I know that some people like everyone singing “Kumbaya” at the end, but I’m not one of them. Take Ben, for example. I loathe him with a fiery passion. If I had watch him be excused for his douche behavior then I might have had to punch my book. And I don’t want to do that. Because that would be the final straw in convincing my husband that I’ve gone ‘round the bend. That loathing goes double for a person close to Eden who popped back up, by the way. They did some things in this book that cut even the slight amount of sympathy I had for them.
I found this book really readable and enjoyed seeing it all wrapped up, but it wasn’t perfect. As I mentioned before, Eden was less likable and Darrak was more subdued. We also ended up seeing much less of him than usual, due to things that I won’t discuss, so the usual dynamic was a bit off and not as gripping. I felt that things were a little too easy for Eden in regards to her magic. She never got any control of herself—no matter how much Darrak nagged—she just had the equivalent of an “Easy” button to clear up her problem. Way too convenient.
I found the developments with Lucifer very interesting. I like that the author didn’t make things as black and white as they originally seemed. I was surprised to hear the particulars of Lucifer’s connection to hell, but it made sense once I thought about it. I enjoyed how it all resolved and liked getting a little glimpse of the future for Darrak and Eden in the epilogue. I’m sorry to say goodbye to this series, but it was a fun ride while it lasted.
”Stanley?” Darrak said after a moment. “Do you know who this is?” A pause. “No, it’s okay. Don’t be scared. I’m not going to do that to you.” Another pause. “Seriously, I’m not. Evisceration is extremely messy and the cleanup is a—Come on. Stop crying. Be a man.”
I was so nervous to read this book! Things were settled to a point in the last book, The Demon in Me, but a...moreReview originally posted at Fiction Vixen.
I was so nervous to read this book! Things were settled to a point in the last book, The Demon in Me, but a lot of larger issues were still up in the air. Darrak and Eden still needed to find a way to separate without hurting either one of them, and they needed to find a way to break Darrak’s curse if they had any hope of ever trying to have a relationship.
I wanted to watch it all unfold, but I was worried that the author would drop the ball and I would end up disliking it. That’s not a slur against the author’s skill, that’s just my history with some other series making me skittish. So, I entered the book with mixed feelings but soon found myself just as into it as I was the first book.
I practically inhaled this book. The author has an extremely readable style and the pages just flew by for me. I reread the last quarter of The Demon in Me before starting this so I would be fresh. It was actually really helpful because I didn’t realize I had forgotten so many of the little details that happened at the end! I think skimming it again really enhanced my experience with this book. I was so much more attached and in the moment.
Darrak was such a fabulous character in the last book. For all those who read it, never fear, you won’t be disappointed with his personality in this one! I am pleased to report that he is just as funny and just as reluctantly caring as he was in the first one. His banter and inner dialogue just pops for me. One of my favorite funny quotes from him happens on page 9.
"I hate that guy," Darrak said. "Loathe him. And I can't believe you let him kiss you. I almost made you slap him, but luckily for him he didn't try to slip you the tongue. It's obvious to me that he's only after one thing from you and--" "He's gay," Eden said simply. "Oh." There was a pause. "I totally knew that."
He’s such a spaz sometimes! LOL!
While Darrak is still funny, we really get a more well-rounded view of him in this book. We spend a lot more time in his head and get to watch him struggle with his identity. I really appreciated the identity crisis (even if I wanted to strangle him a time or two). I think watching him struggle with who he was now and the question of whether he even wanted to be that person made him so much more to me. It really made me empathize with him and have more patience while he occasionally behaved badly.
Eden continues to be a character that I love too. She just feels so much more realistic than a lot of heroines out there. She doesn’t melt at the thought of being bound to Darrak. She wants him out! She likes him, but she hates her will being violated like this, and she’s still not quite as sure of him as she’d like to be. In short, she’s smart. She’s always looking out for what’s best for her, but she doesn’t constantly bemoan the circumstances life has thrown at her. She’s had it pretty rough lately, but she’s willing to cope if she can keep a light at the end of the tunnel in sight.
How can I not like her? Even the dumb stuff she does—which I thought was pretty freaking dumb at times!—is understandable. She’s scared, and she’s looking for a helping hand. How can I resent her being willing to trust someone else when that’s the same thing Darrak is asking of her?
Quite a few things happened in this book that I wish I could talk about more. Alas, the dreaded spoilers stop me! I’ll restrain myself, but I do have to mention how pleased I am with how their relationship is progressing. There are no real easy answers for them, but they’re both still pushing themselves to hope for the best. Their determination is such that I can’t help but believe in them, even when the odds are against them.
The only thing that kept this from being a 5 star for me was my impatience with some of Eden’s actions. I wanted to smack her a time or two! She kept making a specific promise (vague for spoilers!) to Darrak and then breaking it. I could see why she was doing it, but it was frustrating. I empathized with her, but I still couldn’t help but get an eye twitch at the same time. But don’t let that discourage you! It was a very slight irritant in my overall enjoyment of the book. I still love Eden’s character and I still love this series for the sheer fun of it.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the third book so I can get more of this excellent series!
This book reminded me of the Immortals After Dark series, the Midnight Breed series, and the Demonica series. Not the a...moreI received this book as an ARC.
This book reminded me of the Immortals After Dark series, the Midnight Breed series, and the Demonica series. Not the actual storyline, of course. What I mean is that it has the same feel as those other series. The world is set up and easy to understand, but the focus is definitely not on the world building. Most of the focus, and the factor that makes the book shine, is the character relationships and interactions. There's a lot of humor and even some sexiness in this book. I think if you're a fan of any of the series that I mentioned above you might want to take a second look at this series.
One of the things I liked about this book was the fact that I was able to come into the series cold and not be too lost. This is apparently book six in The Primal Instinct series. Since it's so far into the series I wouldn't have been surprised if I had been completely lost. Luckily I was okay. I knew I was missing back story and references, but it wasn't an overwhelming feeling. I never felt like I was missing anything that was important to this story.
Kellan was such an interesting character. At first he seemed pretty lighthearted and a bit of a player. While that was true in the past, Kellan was determined to turn over a new leaf. When the details were revealed about why he was so determined to change, I still didn't absorb his absolute devastation about it. It wasn't until later in the story that I understand exactly how everyone's low opinion of him had seeped so far into his soul that he actually believed it. He no longer fought against his own fate. While he was willing to fight to save someone else, he didn't give himself the same consideration. I think in some subconscious way he felt he deserved to be punished for that action, whether that meant unhappiness, pain, or even death. It made his personality quite interesting.
Chloe was pretty interesting too. I wish I understood the Mallory and Merrick side of her nature a little better. What a harsh existence being a Mallory was. The absolute loneliness that they all must have experienced is horrible to even contemplate. I loved Chloe's personality. She always seemed so logical and willing to bite the bullet and have conversations about uncomfortable subjects. She was afraid the curse was affecting Kellan, but after awhile she said screw it and decided to roll with it instead of agonizing over it. I also liked that she took action and decided to test her theory. It was really refreshing.
There was a lot of humor and even some tenderness in this book. There were a lot of great lines that I would have loved to quote. In the beginning the sex and tension seemed like it would be really hot. Especially because Kellan kept fearing to let his wolf control during sex. I felt a little let down by the heat factor. I think a lot of people will still find it really sexy, but I was a bit disappointed.
I saw the potential for a few future stories, but nothing felt like blatant sequel bait. They all actually contributed to this story so I didn't mind them being there. I did feel quite angry at Kellan's brother, but I'm sure I'll be more understanding once I go back and read his story. I felt the way things resolved themselves at the end was pretty convenient, but honestly, that's not unique to this book. While I was disappointed, it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book.
I think I'm going to have to check out the rest of this series to see if it is just as good. (less)
Let me start off by saying that Kiss of a Demon King is closely tied to another book in the series, Dark Desires After Dusk. To read this book you don...moreLet me start off by saying that Kiss of a Demon King is closely tied to another book in the series, Dark Desires After Dusk. To read this book you don't need to have followed the whole series, but I strongly recommend reading the book that I just mentioned. It is the story of Cade, Rydstrom's brother, and has a few scenes that are a duplicate of those in this story. Also, they basically follow the same time line and involve most of the same people.
Sabine, Queen of Illusions, is half-sister to Omort the Deathless. She's in a pretty messy situation. She and her sister, Lanthe, have been stuck with Omort because of the poison he has that they need to live. Omort is not her favorite person, and he's creeping her out with his incestuous lusting. She's determined to get her sister and her out from under Omort's thumb. She believes she has the perfect opportunity in Rydstrom. Omort knows of a prophecy that tells of Sabine being Rydstrom's mate. The child they produce together will unlock the secrets of the Well of Souls. He plans to have Sabine capture him and get herself pregnant. Sabine, being the ruthless individual she is, is totally ok with this plan. She knows that this is her perfect chance to take control. If she has a child she can unlock the Well of Souls for her own use. Better a queen of Rothkalina rather than a king anyway, right?
For Rydstrom's part he's determined to kill Omort and regain his crown. He believes he's finally answered the question of how to kill someone who is deathless. He starts his brother, Cade, on the search for the Vessel and plans to meet up with him. Unfortunately he gets caught in one of Sabine's illusions and becomes trapped in his own castle's dungeon. He's none too pleased about that and is incredulous over Sabine's plan. Unfortunately for her, even if she got pregnant the child wouldn't be recognized unless they were married first. While Sabine is plotting them getting married and getting pregnant, Rydstrom is plotting on how to get free and enact his own revenge against her.
I know that many people found Sabine unlikable, but I didn't. I was impressed with her `look out for number one' attitude. She's died again and again throughout her life. I'd think she was a fool if she wasn't always plotting about how to turn a situation to her advantage. I loved that she was able to move beyond the fact that her group, the Sorceri, weren't very strong compared to the rest of the Lore. I really liked the fact that she stayed basically the same character throughout the book. As she and Rydstrom got closer they had to adapt and be willing to bend with each other, but never did either of them break some supposed `bad' trait in each other. Very refreshing.
Rydstrom was less of a favorite character for me. However, I think it's because I sympathized with Cade more in the last book and thought his brother was a butthead. I guess I never really got over that. I liked that I got to see his point of view on the reasons that Cade got sent away. The reminiscing over little Cade made me have an `awwwww' moment for Rydstrom. I actually liked that Rydstrom was such a stick in the mud in the beginning. I think he and Sabine really complimented each other. I love that Cole did not make Rydstrom a martyr. I loved the insight into how he sometimes felt the burden of his people and all their expectations. I thought that was very realistic.
I guess my major dislike about the book was the ending. All that buildup through various books and the fight for Rothkalina is over? Hmmmm... Very unsatisfying. I thought I'd get more than a page of the fight. I had to re-read to make sure I hadn't skipped something. Very anticlimactic. Also, all this time was devoted to Rydstrom's kinky fantasies and there seemed to be no follow through. There was one spanking scene but that was it. I wondered why the kinkiness was brought up so often if nothing was going to be done with it.
One thing I really loved: A reason for being a virgin that makes sense. Finally! Also, someone who admits to being a virgin in only the technical sense. I thought that was more realistic than most virgins (or near virgins) who hated anything to do with sex because of one bad experience.
I'm also so glad that the titles have stopped being so similar. I was getting really confused!(less)
I just finished my reread of this book. I have two new books in the series - the final two books - and I want to be totally fresh for the conclusion,...moreI just finished my reread of this book. I have two new books in the series - the final two books - and I want to be totally fresh for the conclusion, so I plan to read them all again. Reading this was almost like reading it for the first time again. I remembered the broad strokes of the story, but I had forgotten all the little details and twists that made it so interesting. I'm very pleased to report that my enthusiasm for this story has not dimmed with time!
I absolutely love the way this story is set up. We are dropped directly into the action. We know something bad has happened, because Jo is on the run, but we are not certain of the particulars. Things unfold slowly for us through flashbacks and conversations with other characters. We slowly get to see Jo's world and the situation she has found herself in. We also get introduced to some very interesting secondary characters.
I absolutely loved the way the author set up the world. I have never read anything else even remotely close to this. I find it all quite fascinating. We have the Weather Wardens, the Djinn they control, a conscious Mother Nature, etc. It all combined to make a fascinating new world.
The detail that the author includes about the way the Wardens manipulate the elements was absolutely phenomenal. I loved watching Jo work out ways to get hostile weather elements to disperse without disrupting the entire weather system and creating a backlash. I found it all extremely interesting. I'm very pleased that the author didn't just brush over these details.
We got a very nice introduction to several secondary characters. David was very intriguing, and genuinely nice. I also loved that we learned a little twist about his history with Jo. I thought that added a very believable slant to his initial reasons for approaching her. I also loved learning about Lewis. Kudos to the author for creating such an interesting character through flashbacks alone. We don't meet Lewis for most of the book, but we feel that we know him regardless. I loved getting to meet Alice and Rahel. The Djinn are so interesting, but you can also see the clear capability for cruelty beneath the surface. They are not a race to be toyed with lightly.
Unfortunately, I couldn't give this book a full five stars. The action feels high paced, and I love the fact that things are constantly happening, but it leaves the character development feeling a bit of a lack. The characters are fun and entertaining, but they aren't very deep. It didn't bother me, but it might bother some people. Also, the romance is very underdeveloped. It's a nice side element, but don't go into the story expecting this to be a huge focus.
I also felt that there were a few details that were much too hazy on the specifics. I brushed most of them aside and blamed them on the weakness of the 1st person pov, but they can't all be all be excused by that. I was expecting to be unclear about certain details. By its very nature, 1st person prevents the reader from getting a well rounded view of events. We only get to see what the narrator does, and we only get outside events specifically explained to us when someone's explaining things to the character. Unfortunately, some things are left a mystery here.
How exactly was the "villain" of the piece throwing weather at Jo? That wasn't one of his/her powers. How did that same person capture and keep Lewis - who is super powerful? Also, how was that person controlling him at the end?
Other than those few gripes, I was pretty pleased. Even those irritants were easy to brush aside though.
The end was quite a big surprise for the reader. I'd recommend having the second book on hand when you read this one so you can start it immediately!(less)
I usually don’t bother summarizing the plot in my reviews because I find it rather tedious and awkward, but I have to point something out about the ba...moreI usually don’t bother summarizing the plot in my reviews because I find it rather tedious and awkward, but I have to point something out about the back cover. To me, the back cover blurb reads like Lucinda is kind of sassy and spunky but is in a bind and needs her ex-brother-in-law’s help. It gives the impression that there is more action than there actually is by mentioning all the people out to get Lucy. The book didn’t read that way to me at all.
For one, Lucy is not spunky. She’s been through some really tough times lately and is pretty beaten down. She’s not all emo, but it was hard not to feel bad for her.
He opened his senses wider, and emotions filtered through his shields: desperation, relief, panic.
"Where did she go?
"Don't know." She shook her head. "Sometimes, when people are damaged, dey view tings from upside down."
Gray's brows went up. "What does that mean?"
She sighed, as if he'd disappointed her. Irritation flashed through him. He wasn't a damn novice, and he hated that she made him feel like one. Battling his own impatience, he kept his gaze on her and waited.
"You ever play the opposite game?" she asked.
"Sure," said Gray, "when I was a kid."
She nodded. "Right. So everything you say and do during the game is the opposite of what you mean. But for Lucy, it's no game. She freed herself from a bad situation. Bad people. She learned to believe she has no worth. So, when someone is kind to her..." She trailed off and looked at him.
Gray felt like Ember had punched him in the stomach. Lucy had expected him to be a jerk, even though some small part of her had hoped he would be different from everyone else who'd rejected and shamed her.
"You were nice to her," he said softly, "and she couldn't handle it."
"Opposite game," Ember murmured. "She need some time to figure out how to right her world." She looked at him, one dark eye visible through the single purple lens of her weird glasses. "Maybe she not the only one."
Two, this book isn’t really that action packed. Even at the end when things started coming to a head, I never really got the sense that it was meant to be action-y. This didn’t bother me, but I wanted to give a head’s up.
I really, really enjoyed the beginning of this book. Lucinda’s struggle to survive—the fact that she had no pride left—really broke my heart for her. Pair it with Gray’s struggle with shame and you have some very compelling characters. At least for me.
I liked that Gray wasn’t willing to help Lucy at first. Who could really blame him? His struggle and eventual change of heart made his decision seem more realistic. It also said a lot about his character. I liked that Lucy never backed down from accepting the wrong the Rackmore’s did him. She also didn’t spend a lot of time bemoaning her fate as a Rackmore. I’m a lot more apt to sympathize with a character when I don’t feel like I’m being beaten over the head with how much I should pity them.
I found the setup very intriguing. I liked the idea of all the magicals living beside the mundane in a magically open society. I particularly liked the town, Nevermore, and all the characters we met there. Lucy’s power was actually really interesting as well. I particularly liked all that I discovered about the curse she was under.
I also liked a lot of the side characters, like the sheriff and his brother and the female character that popped up toward the end. I’m hoping that we’ll get to see more about them as the series continues.
Although I liked all that, I was kind of disappointed with the romance. I mentioned that I really liked the first part of the book, and I did, but what started to depress my enjoyment was when Lucy and Gray hooked up. Suddenly everything was happening too fast. He was affectionately calling her “Baby” and she was constantly reminding herself not to get too attached. Plus, they seemed to have sex all the time. It just felt out of place and less developed than I had been hoping for.
Also, the tone seemed to shift after their hookup into something a little lighter and cuter. I know that they both could use some happy in their lives, but I preferred the beginning tone.
Other than that, the only thing that bothered me was the caricature the exes turned into. I rolled my eyes a bit over how extreme their ‘badness’ was portrayed as. Couldn’t they have had a bit more depth and been less simple ‘eeevil?’
Despite those gripes, I still enjoyed my time reading this book. I’m already looking forward to getting my hands on the next book. The excerpt at the end of this one made the heroine seem pretty powerful.