I was given this book through the Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Fanatics R2R
for an honest review, thank you.(view spoiler)[
The story held my attention from start to finish. I didn’t want to put it down. The author expertly wove a contemporary romance together with Nordic Kings, homelessness and the mysterious ‘Snatcher.’ If it wasn’t one thing it was another that Birdie, the female protagonist had to face.
Birdie, aka Rebecca Orin, is an 18 year old homeless girl who had been living on the streets for a short time when she runs across one of her previous teachers who is spouting strange words and is followed by a group of people. The teacher ‘Jeff,’ proceeds to toss loads of money into the air and from the moment Birdie takes some, her life is changed.
People start to enter Birdie’s life that will hinder her or help her and all of them have their own problems or agendas. There is Grey, a handsome dark haired young man who comes from a well to do family. Unhappy for a long time, he is searching for purpose to his life. He has a sister named Kate who is kind and upbeat and the same age as Birdie. There is Scud, Grey’s best friend and the boy Kate is in love with, and Izzy, the beautiful, snotty woman who wants Grey for herself and does whatever she can to chase Birdie away from him. There is Jeff the man who starts to show up in her life and takes Grey and Birdie under his wing and becomes their ‘Sensei’. And there is Fenris, a massive black dog that is more than he appears, and who is probably my second favorite character after Grey. I wish we'd learned more about Fenris because he was very interesting. There are more characters, but I think the last most important is Scott Mathews, Grey’s and Kate’s father who like some parents, has a plan for his kid’s lives and doesn’t realize that his children are already wonderful people as they are.
Each character had flaws and positive attributes and almost all of them grew as the story developed. What I especially liked about Birdie, was that even though she was terrified, she stopped running and did the right thing. Another theme was learning to trust and love because of her great fear of people dying or leaving her. Birdie’s issues and the way she reacts to them made her very real for me. I didn’t have any trouble visualizing her. I loved her sarcastic comments about other people and also comments she’d direct at herself.
The pacing of the story was great. I can’t remember any point where it slowed down. And though the story was told in first person through Birdie’s eyes, I had no problem with it. I usually don’t like first person POV, but it worked in this book very well.
The final battle was well written and didn’t skimp on the gore or how a person could get sick from fighting. While reading the battle scene I wondered what kind of research the author did to make it so real.
I have to mention this one scene. When Birdie steals boy’s clothes to disguise herself at the battle, Birdie mentions how the woolen stockings she uses to tie down her breasts are activating her wool allergy. I was so surprised. I have never met anyone in real life with a wool allergy other than myself. And here the author had created a character with a wool allergy. It had me shaking my head and made the character much more real to me. These kinds of extra tidbits made the characters and scenes more vivid in the book.
I think there were only a few grammatical or editing problems, nothing really major. However, there are a couple of parts in Chapter 19 that are confusing for me. The first one is this line on page 155 when Birdie and Grey are looking at the leather bound book:
Jon Orin, killed in Battle at Gunnarr Blot, 2012
Crux sounds like it’s based in our present time of 2012, and it was mentioned previously that Birdie’s father was killed almost ten years ago. So shouldn’t the year be ‘2002’ in the journal and not 2012? If the Wielders fail in their duties they don’t return to present time.
The other part that I don’t remember is at the beginning of Chapter 19 page 153. It’s this paragraph:
Full of artifacts and history, Jeff’s office is my favorite room in the house. It’s also the place Grey first said he loved me.
Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember Grey saying he loved Birdie yet. That comes near the end of the book. I’d been waiting for Grey to tell her that and he’s told her many things, but I don’t remember him saying he loved her before page 153. If I’m correct, then that sentence makes it sound like Birdie is looking back on all the events, rather than in real time. Can someone point out to me where Grey said he loved her before page 153?
Because the book does not end on a cliffhanger, it appears like it might be a stand-alone. But there are a few things that happen near the end that make me think there’s more to come for ‘The Wonder Twins,’ after what happened to them at the battle of Gunnar Blot. Also, some of Izzy’s words to Birdie at the Christmas party are ominous. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Izzy turns into a serious antagonist in a future story if the author continues on with this book.
I highly recommend Crux to anyone. It’s exciting, well written, and easy to read with great formatting and editing and the characters and scenes are fully fleshed out. This book definitely deserves a 5 star review.