Isamlq's Reviews > Once Burned

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
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Jun 28, 2012

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Read from July 03 to 04, 2012


Night Huntress is where it started for me. It was Bones and Cat (and Bones) whose banter had me chuckling; whose “interaction” had me blushing. But somewhere around book three, there was this sameness to what was happening. They'd love, they'd fight, they'd make up. Then somewhere in all that a foe'd pop up, forcing the inevitable “I shall save you” with one (or two) of them causing a surreptitious parting of ways; only later to end with an explosive (in more ways than one) reunion, yada yada. My point? Once they were a solid couple, all the funnier ha-ha’s came care of the secondary characters like Ian and Vlad. FACT? It was Vlad who was key in my reading and enjoying book 5 (and OMG, I’ve just realized I have yet to read One Grave at a Time!)

So, it’s been a long time coming but Vlad has finally come front and center; so, perhaps you can feel my surprise when it wasn’t completely the case. It’s less corny than NH certainly; with a set up that’s easier to get into. Still, if I'm being honest wasn’t it all the cheesiness that made NH more fun? (In much the same way all the shit kickers etc in Ward's books are corny but compulsively readable.)

Back to what I was saying: this is less about Vlad and more about Leila and how she’s scarred outside as well as in and what that’s cost her and those close to her. Vlad here… is not the Vlad I’d come to drool over crush on in NH. Perhaps that’s more to do with the absence of someone with whom to throw barbs at, but I missed that. How his wit could cut Bones to the quick, and how the other gave as good as he got. Then if you’d contrast that to how ‘there’ he was for Cat… well, YAY, Vlad! Sure, the little bits that had Bones in this one present allowed for old Vlad to surface, but otherwise, here he’s less funny and more serious, all up in himself and who he is, what he can do, and what he does do for his people.

But it’s mainly about Leila... though even her end of the story went by quickly as well… sometime too quickly. Her connection to Marty was a curious one, one I wish had been explained further. Her lack of a connection to certain people made her more sad; but there was also this quick feel to things on her side. One moment she’s walking into a bar and talking to a bearded lady the next she’s in Romania wielding a electrified hand. My head spun at how fast things happened (sometimes in a good way, others not so.) Overall I liked her, that she’s her own person, and not once did I find the opportunity to compare her to Cat (Oh wait, I just sort of did.)I just wish I knew more about her…. And I do hope I get that chance in the books that follow (which I am definitely reading.)

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Stacia (the 2010 club) Can't wait to discuss with you!

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