4* for the first half of the book, 2* for the second half. I'll lead off by saying I usually love the way Deidre Knight writes. Her first two Midnight Warriors books have been some of my favorite sci-fi romance, rating close to Linnea Sinclair's works. Butterfly Tattoo, a contemporary book of Ms. Knight's, is one of the most powerful and beautifully written books I've come across in the past few years. That said, I am left wondering who actually wrote the last half of this book, Parallel Seduction. The overall premise is good, and Ms. Knight weaves a complex and interesting story throughout the book. (Her complex, multi-tiered plots are one of her strong points). Her characterizations, however, were sorely lacking in this novel. Hope was 2-dimensional, sounding more like the image of what a budding adolescent writer may think a feisty heroine should be. Hope recited stupid lines and stuck her stubborn little chin up a few too many times to be tolerated. In one scene she actually tells the "bad guy" (yes, they are actually called the "bad guys" in the book) that she's never let anything intimidate her all her life, not her diabetes, her short stature, yada, yada. Shes at the mercy of a madman, but we're suppose to be impressed with her impassioned speech? Are we really suppose to think she's not intimidated? The scene gets more melodrama as we are told Scott has never loved her more than at this moment. Hmmm. Hope's lines, and actions, never seemed to quite fit throughout the book.
Then there is the big "bad guy," Veckus. He's cardboard and feels like the product of an amateur writer. The dialog and scenes in the warehouse are poorly done. Finally, the explanations for both the virus that infected the Antousains and the reasons for Scott's attraction to human women were weak and unsatisfying.
I did enjoy getting to see Jared and Kelsey again, and even the relatively brief look at Thea and Marco. And, since I previously enjoyed all the books I'd read by Deidre Knight, I will consider the weak spots in this one an aberration, and will definitely pick up the next in the series, Parallel Desire.
Last note: These books aren't going to make sense if they aren't read in order.