I went on a 90s (and earlier) fantasy nostalgia binge recently, which led to me re-reading lots of Mercedes Lackey. I was mildly surprised to see thatI went on a 90s (and earlier) fantasy nostalgia binge recently, which led to me re-reading lots of Mercedes Lackey. I was mildly surprised to see that she'd co-written a new SERRAted Edge book recently, so I grabbed it from the library.
This isn't much like the earlier books in the series; it feels like an attempt to reboot by adapting to and riffing on current YA conventions. (I've heard that the earlier books were to some extent a response to the Borderland series, but don't have a citation for that, so take it for what it's worth.)
Unfortunately, I found myself generally uninterested in the main character. Instead, I was following along mainly to see if it would be revealed that there was something other than the surface motivations to the stepmother (didn't happen).
There's a character who switches sides, and if they showed up in a sequel, I'd read that to see what happened with them. There are also hints that the group of elves that we know from the previous novels in the series might make an appearance. If they did, again, I'd read the sequel for that. But I wouldn't read it for Staci, based on this book.
Staci isn't bad, as a person or as a character. She just didn't jump off the page at me, and her story didn't excite me. I should probably note that I've generally moved on from reading YA; I was heavily into it for a few years (despite having aged out of the category, strictly speaking), but I don't find as many exciting things there anymore. If this were the story of how Staci's mom got to be the way she is, and where she is, that might be exciting. But it would almost certainly not be YA....more
I'm not hugely into werewolf stories, but on the fanfic side I read A/B/O stuff from time to time, and this seemed like it was at least adjacent terriI'm not hugely into werewolf stories, but on the fanfic side I read A/B/O stuff from time to time, and this seemed like it was at least adjacent territory. (This is not particularly a fantasy genre story, other than the existence of werewolves; its main roots are in m/m erotica mainly written by women for women. Yes, slash, I said it. If this isn't your thing, that's okay; this review is written on the assumption that it is your thing, to avoid getting bogged down in an explanation of terminology or fannish history.)
This is book three in a series, and coming into the story in the middle was unavoidable. This is still very much an introductory story, though, as its main focus is a new character and the relationships he develops. So I feel like there was enough background explanation for me to understand what had gone before and to have a sufficient idea who the characters were. If you aren't familiar with the tropes of m/m werewolf stories as commonly written in fanfiction, the beginning of the series might be a better place to start. And if you really like seeing a world and the character relationships within it unfold over time, then you would probably also be better served by starting with book one.
But near the end I realized something: Dessa Lux made me care about the characters. (This is harder to manage than you might think.) So if you like A/B/O-type werewolf stories with lots of erotic content and are ready to get invested in a series that is planned to be long-running, consider giving this a try.
So, funny story. I won a free copy of this in a tumblr giveaway, but I was actually only reblogging to bring it to the attention of a friend who I thought might like it. Once I won, though, I figured I'd give it a try. ...more