Shelley's Reviews > Killing Rocks

Killing Rocks by D.D. Barant
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's review
Aug 02, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: vampires, shifters
Read from January 25 to 27, 2011

Plot Summary: FBI profiler Jace Valchek's only ticket home from the twisted parallel universe where she's been called to duty hinges on the capture of serial killer Aristotle Stoker and an alliance with a sorcerer known as Asher (Ahaseurus). The problem: Asher has joined forces with some of the most dangerous creatures Jace has ever encountered including Stoker, Tom Omicon (founder of the Mantle (Golems), and Silver Blue an arms dealer looking to make a profit from the elimination of the pires and thropes.

Hours after she arrives in Vegas wither her teammates, she's abducted and her team lies in ruins. Charlie ends up siding with the radical Golem resistance who then round up all humans and place them in protective custory for their own good. She's not sure who the real enemy is anymore. The Mantle wants to help the human race repopulate and elimate the preternatural threat to their survival. Jace wonders if she's the predator or the prey in a very dangerous game that could change not only her fate, but the world's.

In Jace’s new world, humans comprise only one percent of the overall population after 6 million were killed after WWII in a deal with a fanatical God. Golems (artificial beings) make up 19 percent, lycanthropes 43 percent, and vampires 37 percent. Jace’s NSA boss David Cassius is a vampire, while her partner and enforcer Charlie Adelph, is a golem with T-Rex DNA.

We don't see much from Gretchen Petra the intel expert (vampire) who gave birth in the last installment to Anna), or Damon Eisfanger, forensics shaman and thrope.

After arriving in Las Vegas with her team, she is kidnapped by a mysterious woman by the name of Azura. Azura's mission is simple: Kill Asher, regardless of who else gets in the way. Azura and Jace eventually end up working together, and that was what made this installment different from the previous two. Azura is an Astonisher from another planet. We would call her an illusionist. She is trying to stop Asher from creating an access from Jace's new world to her own.

Las Vagas is then taken over by Golems who suddenly want to impose a new world order where humans are at the top of the food chain. The only problem is Asher, and his godlike determination to rule. Jace's partner Charlie ends up aligning himself with the Mantle, much to Jace's chagrin.

Asher is later revealed to be behind these events and Jace and Azura must stop Asher's dastardly plot. He has what's called the Balancer Gem that gives the user power over creation and sacrifice. He also places a memory inducement spell on Jace which takes her back to some her most awful cases while at the FBI.

Much to Jace's surprise, Cassius ends up in Vegas to oversee her operation and Tair temporarily aligns himself with Jace. In a desperate choice of self-preservation and to save Azura and her own life, Jace ends up shooting Charlie. Obviously, he doesn't die, but the scene and her reaction afterword actually made me like Jace.

In the end, Jace must make another huge choice: Kill Asher and Stoker, or save Tair, Charlie, Cassius, and Azura, who she considers friends. Was it an easy choice? No Was it the right choice? Yes

Review: I like the thought process behind this installment, especially the world building and mythology from Nightshade that intertwines with Jace's new world. I like Azura's character alot. She's determinated, can shift into anyone she chooses, and is very hard to kill, as we see throughout this story. Jace, on the other hand, at times really annoyed me. There are times where her snarky, sarcastic and often humorless commentary, grated on me. That being said, her choice at the end of the book, was very smart. Another choice she had to make involved the elimination of her partner Charlie. In the end, Charlie will have to decide loyalty to Jace, or his own race.

Personally, I'm looking for more of Azura's involvment in Jace's attempts to get her home. She seems to have Mages that are more than capable of doing so. I was happy to actually see the Stoker storyline expanded this time around. He has been a mystery for the two previous books. This time he becomes more of a player.

Questions: What's going to happen to Tair now that Cassius has captured him? Will Stoker keep his promise and not try to go after Jace's friends? Will Jace EVER get home? OR, will she end up as one of the pires or thropes?

Better Off Undead (October 4, 2011) will be the fourth book in this series.

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01/26/2011 page 82
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