Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
Grace was savaged by a pack of wolves when she was a child, yet she isn't afraid of them. She finds herself particularly drawn to a yellow-eyed wolf and spends all her extra time watching him in the woods behind her house. Unknown to Grace, that yellow-eyed wolf is actually a werewolf named Sam. He's watched her from a distance all these years since he only gets short periods to be human during very warm times. However once they finally meet while they are both humans, their feelings cannot be put back in the box. With a love doomed from the start, they know they are in for one heck of a fight to keep each other, as the cold and the future's uncertainty are looming over their heads.
This romance between Grace and Sam was absolutely beautiful! It was so heartfelt and sweet, making it probably the most enjoyable relationship to read about in any YA book that I have ever read. While they definitely had a physical attraction to each other, their relationship was so much more than that. It just felt natural, like they were truly meant to be together. It actually is amazing that they were even able to develop such a strong bond together at all considering the circumstances. I really hope they are able to stay strong in the future, no matter the obstacles that may try to come between them.
While this book is technically a YA paranormal romance, the characters really aren't paranormal in the strictest sense. When the werewolves shift into wolves, they do not retain their human minds as in most other books. For all intents and purposes, they are just regular wolves. In fact, once they make the final transition to complete wolf, they only live the live span of a normal wolf, about ten to fifteen years. The only thing that makes them paranormal at all is that they spend some time as human, and they heal faster than normal. I found this to be a really interesting take on the "werewolf" aspect, making it seem more like an accident of science than mystical or magical.
This book kept me up into the wee hours of the morning as I made the mistake of starting it right before I went to bed. I just simply could not put it down. The ending almost seemed to stop mid-stride, but still left me with a sense of happiness and satisfaction. I'm extremely glad I already have the sequel so I won't have to wait. However, if it is even half as good as Shiver was, then I have a feeling the wait for the final book will be agonizing. If you enjoy a good love story mixed in with a little conflict, then Shiver is definitely the book for you.
It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.
It's a holiday, so I'm just now getting to a computer to post this. Things are hectic right now from getting home from our traveling so I won't get into my thoughts on each book. You can check out my reviews to see what I though on each on. If you have read Hard Bitten I would love if you would check out my spoiler section on the review and tell me your thoughts.
On a side note, I'm going back to three reviews a week for a while so I can get a good "cushion" built up again. I like to have about a month's worth of reviews written ahead of time, and I definitely do not have that now. ;)
My Upcoming List:
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Num8ers by Rachel Ward
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won't want to miss.
Amelia doesn't remember anything from her past life other than her name and the fact that she died, or drowned I should say. She can't feel anything she touches or use any of her other senses. No one can see her either no matter how much she screams. Then one day, by some miracle, she saves a boy from drowning and as a result he can suddenly see her. With each passing day the two get closer, all the while unraveling secrets behind her past. Of course things couldn't be easy, which is proved by a particularly malevolent spirit known as Eli who will stop at nothing to claim Amelia for himself.
I have to admit that I was a little gun shy to read this book. I just didn't see how a romance between a girl and a ghost could really work out, or at least be realistic at all. I mean the whole insubstantiality of her physical body would have to make things difficult, to say the least. However, after reading hereafter, I'm really glad I gave it a chance. The romance between Amelia and Joshua was really sweet, and quite realistic even if it was a little rushed. Of course, when you consider the circumstances, with Amelia saving his life, and Joshua being the first person to ever be able to see her, it is no wonder they fell so fast. Despite the difficulties and obstacles they face, they find a way to make things work. I can only hope that they continue to push past everything and find a way to be completely together, but I imagine only time will tell.
This book was spooky without actually being scary. The things Amelia has had to deal with in her afterlife as well as some other elements that I can't mention without spoiling things are really horrible. Yet, despite all this she never once gave up or turned hard. I fact, the more things that happen, and the more "evil" that tries to claim her, the more determined she is to do the right thing, making her quite admirable. However, speaking of once of those forces against her, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed at the "bad" guy. I realize he was supposed to be really scary and a huge threat, but I just didn't feel it. Perhaps if one specific secret had been revealed earlier it would have made a difference, but by that time Amelia had already "grown" so much that it only fueled her anger rather than her fear. This really isn't a huge complaint, I just prefer the bad guys to make me actually feel the threat rather than just tell me about.
It took a little while for me to really get into Hereafter as it had a pretty slow start, but once things started to be revealed, I was hooked. I really found the "world" to be fascinating, and it feels like we have only scratched the surface of what the afterlife really is. While the ending was sweet and left me with a sense if satisfaction, there were so many questions left unanswered, making me quite eager for the next installment. In the end, Hereafter is a really great YA debut novel that you won't want to miss.
Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals--and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are ... tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.
Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's supernatural society--a world full of vampires who seem too ready to fulfill the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands...
After the fallout of Merit's relationship with Ethan in Twice Bitten and his subsequent mind change, Merit is extremely gun shy about giving him another chance. Of course the sexy Master Vampire only sees this as a challenge rather than a deterrent, as he continues to try and win her back. Things get tricky when Mayor Tate informs them that three girls were murdered at a rave and if they didn't stop them then Ethan would take the fall. With protestors gathering outside their gates and the human population up in arms of what to do with the vampires and shapeshifters, Merit knows it will only take one more straw to break the camel's back. Cadogan house has never needed its Sentinel more.
One of my favorite things about The Chicagoland Vampires series is the incredible dynamic between all of the characters, especially Ethan and Merit. From the very start they were polar opposites clashing with each other, yet feeling inexplicably drawn to the other at the same time. Every emotion between them is always full throttle be it anger, frustration, love, or even fear, making them one of my top favorite couples, or well love interests, as I can't exactly call them a couple in the strictest sense. What they are is complicated, yet everything is so very real and raw that you can't help feeling everything right along with them. I have high hope for them in the long run, I just cannot imagine anything less considering all the build up.
I have to confess that I read the end of this book first. I ver rarely do this, but after hearing the blogger community ranting about a shocking ending I knew I would not have been able to enjoy the book because I was too nervous and anxious to find out what happens. I'm actually really glad I did because I was able to calm down and enjoy the build up. Even though I knew what was going to happen, the ending still had the emotional impact intended when I read it for the second time, it is that shocking. I'm not sure I would recomend this method to anyone else, but I really hate to be too anxious while reading a book as it makes me rush rather than savor it.That being said, no matter when you read the end, prepare to be shocked. Chloe has said to trust her, and all I can say to that is that it will take a huge leap of faith. In the end I guess I will just have to take her at her word, as the alternative is quite thinkable. I only hope the next installment, Drink Deep will have things fixed, as I just don't know what I will do otherwise.
The title Hard Bitten really suits as this truly was a very hard and difficult read. However, I am going to be a good little reader and trust that there is a master plan. I just don't think Ms. Neil would have done what she did without a really good reason. So, now the waiting game starts until I can get my hands on the next book. Putting the ending aside, Hard Bitten was everything I have come to expect from this fabulous author earning a five star rating.
(If you scroll down past the ratings and challenge category you will find a spoiler section. Please do not read if you don't want to see a HUGE spoiler).
Okay, so Ethan is dead. See, I can say that calmly. *Pauses to scream* Or not. Now that I've gotten that out my system I wanted to discuss some things about this. I refuse to believe he is dead for good. I mean the whole dynamic between Merit and Ethan is so integral to the story, I just don't see how things could really work without him. I mean why would the author spend all that time building their relationship and make us root for them if he was just going to be eliminated from the story. That dream at the end really felt like it meant something, with Merit hearing Ethan scream her name as she woke up. Perhaps Ethan's soul is stuck somewhere and Merit has to find him in order to save him? Plus there is the vision Gabriel showed her of someone with eyes that were Ethan's but different. I'm wondering if he will come back as human or something? The only question is how, because as of yet there hasn't been shown a way that vampires can come back from ash. I'm sure in the end things will make sense and be believable, but that idea is no small comfort while we wait in agony to see his fate. If you have any other theories, I'd love to hear them!
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
Helen has always tried to hide her differences and knows that her face holds a beauty like no other, yet instead of this being a asset in her eyes, she finds it be a major flaw as it draws attention to herself. She is painfully shy, to the point where she experiences horrendous pains whenever any attention is drawn to her. When she starts having nightmares that come to life as well as startling visions of three screaming women who cry tears of blood she knows that she won't be able to hide her true self much longer. To make matters worse those three women go into an absolute fury driving Helen with the need to kill whenever she runs into one of the Delos teens, especially Lucas. What Helen doesn't know is that the fates have ensured that these two will replay the roles of one of the greatest tragedies of all time, destined to be star crossed lovers with the highest stakes imaginable.
I've always loved anything to do with Greek mythology, especially books that turn the myth into reality in a modern setting. Starcrossed does exactly this. However, what is different is that it paints the gods as petulant beings that no longer have a role in human's lives. Well, as long as the demigods keep their end of the bargain that is. This was a really interesting twist on the typical mythology story, and made Starcrossed really stand out from the crowd. The idea of fated roles is really intriguing, especially since there is still the possibility that the characters could potentially find a way around that destiny and choose their own paths.
This may seem to be a little funny, but I couldn't help but be a little frustrated at the major roadblocks standing in the way between Lucas and Helen, especially considering the title. I knew before I even started reading that things would be rough between them, perhaps their love being forbidden but not by insurmountable odds. Of course that thought got quickly put out of my mind once things started to be revealed. Considering how sweet things were between the two of them and how much their heartache sucked me in, I really hope that they find some way to overcome those obstacles so they can be together. As Lucas points out, never say never, as the gods like to torment those who use absolutes.
The best thing about Starcrossed is that while you are kept in plenty of suspense to keep you sucked in, you are also given just the right amount of information to ensure that you never get overwhelmed or frustrated from a lack of information. This can be a hard balance to find, but Starcrossed does it perfectly. I'm really eager to see what happens next as there was a twist at the ends that can only spell trouble for the future. All in all Starcrossed was a really great read, that may have been a little slow to build at first, but it never once lost my attention. Prepared to be sucked in from almost the start and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to read this one as you won't be able to put it down. Definitely a fantastic debut that you won't want to miss if you are a fan of mythology in the YA genre.
Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn't easy when the Order starts disparaging her good name. And being the mate of the Beast Lord doesn't bring in the customers, either. So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt.
Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging unseen in the dark corners of her glittering hometown. Now Joanna Archer is just another mortal -- still born of an impossible union of Shadow and Light . . . still hunted by both -- and carrying the unborn child of a lover held captive by a depraved demon goddess. Joining forces with a band of rogue Shadow agents, Joanna's ready to storm the stronghold of her demonic foe, risking everything to enter this ghastly, godforsaken realm where the price of admission is her eternal soul. Because in a world that has stripped her of her power, identity, and fortune, Joanna has nothing left to lose -- except her baby, her future, and the epic war poised to consume the city.
Joanna has been knocked down time and time again. She's gone from a damaged woman to an incredibly strong superhero who was prophesized to be the Kairos, and then back down to being mortal again. She's taken up with the grays, or the rouge agents of the zodiac as she is being hunted by both the Shadow and the Light. She carries her trapped lover's unborn child and will do almost anything to free him, even risk her soul. The thing I have always loved most about the Signs of the Zodiac series was the characters and their relationships with each other. Of course the constant danger was more than entertaining, but when it all is said and done, it will be the characters themselves, Joanna most of all, that have made the lasting impact on me, not their journey. Joanna could be described as nothing less than damaged goods, however instead of being weak from that damage, she turned it into a strength like no other. Countless times she is battered down and torn apart only to pick herself up and come back even stronger. It is a funny thing to say, but at times I think her sister's death may have really helped her in the long run. Of course she will always have that pain associated with the loss, but in taking Olivia's identity, it also forced her to allow a softer side, capable of love. This brings into play her relationship with Hunter, who was the only one who saw her for who she was, not what he could use her for. I could go on and on all about all of the characters, especially the two-faced Warren, but I'll let you read the books and find out for yourselves.
I have to admit that I never really cared for the Midheaven aspect in these books. I would have preferred for it to have taken a less important role. In fact, it really lessened the Tulpa's "big bad" aspect, as Solange just seemed so much worse. Of course you know what they say about "A Woman Scorned." All of the conflict and danger was so immense with Solange, that when it came time to deal with the Tulpa, I just didn't really feel the threat. Perhaps it just was the fact that by the time he reared his ugly little head, Joanna was completely done with being pushed around and used, making the Tulpa just another annoyance to her. In the end I guess it makes sense as Joanna states several time that she would sacrifice anyone, including herself in order to protect Hunter, and since the Tulpa wasn't really threatening him, she just really wasn't affected that much.
The Neon Graveyard did have a slightly slow start, but it quickly gained a heart pounding momentum. While the ending wasn't strictly a happy ever after, the characters did find a resolution of some sorts. At the very least, Joanna will be getting the break she so desperately needs, but who really knows what is in store for the future. I did feel a sense of closure and satisfaction with the ending, however things were left more than open enough for Vicki Pettersson to pick things back up in the future if she wants. So, it was the perfect blend of completion yet left me wanting more, and a fantastic place to end the series before reader fatigue could even think to set in. The Neon Graveyard is one you won't want to miss as it really is a great ending to a fantastic series.
It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.
I read the final four books in the Jaz Parks series this past week. I absolutely love these books. They are full of danger, yet convey plenty of humor at the same time. If you haven't checked these books out, you just do not know what you are missing. The final installment comes out on June 2nd, and you can check out my early review here.
My Upcoming List:
The Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson (Early Review)
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (Early Review)
Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
Hereafter by Tara Hudson (Early Review)
I have two choices. Carve Brude's name into Hell's bile-encrusted gates. Or lose my soul.
After an assassination attempt on Vayl, I find myself pulled into a tangled web that takes the gang to Romania. So how will I save a ghost, rescue a demon, and cheat the Great Taker out of a soul he's slavering for while defeating my nastiest foe yet so that Vayl can, at last, cherish a few precious years with his sons? With careful planning, major violence, and one (hopefully) final trip to Hell.
Jaz is determined to get Brude out of her head once and for all. She has very little time left as he is slowly killing her from the inside. If he can't have then no one will. She has the means and the tool she needs, but not the location to use it yet. Things are further complicated when an almost successful assassination attempt is made against Vayl. Even worse yet is that Jaz isn't even allowed to hurt, let alone kill the culprit. Everything has been leading up to this point, and Jaz's final showdown, for this is her last hope at a happy life.
So many questions have been building over the course of the series. Will Jaz and Vayl get their happily ever after, or at least as happy as it can get for two assassins? Will they take Bergman up on his offer, and will Vayl finally find his sons? What about Cole, will he be able to overcome what happened to him in the last book? All these questions and many more will be answered in The Deadliest Bite. It has been a very long time since I have read a last book in a series and felt such as sense of completion as I did with this one. Many other ending books still seem to leave so much unanswered, and make you desperately want more. Of course I would have loved to have been able to have read more Jaz book, but due to Ms Rardin's passing, that just wouldn't be possible. So with that in mind, I just have to say that I am so glad that this book left me with a sense of fulfillment.
One of my favorite things about this series is that while the danger is very real, and downright palpable at times, the books also have more than their share of hilarious moments. I've read countless books, and very few, if any have been such a perfect blend. Several times while reading The Deadliest Bite I burst out laughing. At one point I was laughing so hard I was crying and of course my hubby looked at me like I was a nutter. Between Jaz arguing with the women in her head, and of course the constant quips she makes both to herself and others, Jaz is one funny gal. Add in the hilarity that is Cole, and it's a wonder they can ever get anything done for all the laughing they do. Of course, the stakes are high enough that the comedy simply provides the levity that is needed to go on.
The Deadliest Bite is a fast paced book full of high stakes and incredible danger. This final installment in the Jaz Park series really doesn't hold any punches. However, I really wouldn't have expected any less. Everything has been leading to this point, and we finally get to see the resolution Jaz and Vayl deserve. Of course the other characters get their own resolutions as well. This book is sure to please fans of the series, and if you haven't read the rest of the books yet, make sure you check them out first, as this definitely is not the place to start. All in all an excellent book, with a very satisfying ending that will make it a little easier to say goodbye to these fantastic characters.
Jaz Parks here. I. Am. Pissed. Just as Vayl and I arrive in Morocco to secure an ancient artifact, he wakes up calling me by another woman’s name. And it’s not even a good one. But since any form of argument transforms him into an unholy terror, I’m forced to play along until the gang and I can figure out what kind of power has so vastly altered his perceptions.
So it’s time for me to do what any well-trained assassin in my position might do. I attack. What follows is a hair-raising, breath-taking bullet train ride to the finish as the crew battles on multiple fronts. I now know what I have to do – I must return to hell one last time.
Now that Jaz is possessed, she and Vayl have been scrambling to find a way to "cure" her. They may have found the way in an ancient artifact that is located in Morocco. They thought it would be a simple smash and grab, but someone has tampered with Vayl's memory. He wakes up with him mind way back in the past, thinking Jaz is actually his very large housekeeper. She and the rest of the gang must play along less risk his destructive rath. It is a race against the clock to save both herself and Vayl as neither one has long to live if they can't defeat the various fronts they are battling.
This book had a slightly different feel to it as the group wasn't on an actual assassination mission. Their objective was to get a device that will get Brute out of Jaz's head as time seems to be running short. Of course complications ensued, just like they always do, yet the gang has never once thought about giving up. The beginning was slightly rough as Vayl wasn't on board with the mission as he had no memory of anything that has happened since the 1700s. I actually missed Vayl being the top dog in the situation. He is usually the one keeping Jaz's head level, yet the roles were reversed. It definitely made for one heck of an interesting situation to say the least.
Wow, talk about a major road block in Vayl and Jaz's relationship. I still can't believe Jaz didn't just wind up strangling him when he woke up thinking she was another woman, and had no memory of who she really was. I realize Cassandra warned her that she must play along with the "game" or Vayl could be permanently damaged. However, Jaz isn't always the one to see reason when she is angry and being called another woman by the mans she loves, well that is right up there in nuclear proportions to setting off her temper. I cannot count the number of times that the rest the gang had to pull her from attacking him. Granted, he was being a major jerk to her, as he was mentally stuck back in the 1700s, and apparently he was not a very nice vampire back then.
I'm giving this a four start rating due to the fact that the first third of the book was rather confusing. We were thrown into the middle of the situation with Vayl's lost memory yet not given any information. The rest of the characters were playing their parts, and they knew what was going on. So, it was frustrating to be left in the dark for such a long period of time. Otherwise, the book was everything I have come to expect in this series, full of high stakes, danger, romance, and just the right amount of humor to keep me coming back for more. Definitely another highly rated installment in this wonderful series that you won't want to miss!
Jaz Parks here. But I'm not alone. I'm hearing voices in my head - and they're not mine.
The problem, or maybe the solution, is work. And the job's a stinker this time -- killing the gnomes that are threatening to topple NASA's Australian-based space complex. Yeah, I know. Vayl and I should still be able to kick this one in our sleep. Except that Hell has thrown up a demon named Kyphas to knock us off track. And damn is she indestructible!
Vayl and Jaz's assignment is of the utmost importance. If they fail, NASA's entire infrastructure will crumble leaving one heck of mess in its wake. The job should have been just another notch in their belts, but when Cassandra's Demon comes out to play things get a little hairy as she is one heck of a force to be reckoned with. Add in some crazy voices in Jaz's head, and you have one heck of bumpy ride that may just lead to disaster for this assassin team. They haven't failed a mission yet, but this one may be the one to knock them down. Permanently.
Something I have loved about this series is that while it is full of action and high stakes, there also is plenty of humor and witty comments from the characters. This book however took the humor to a whole new level, yet still maintained that sense of looming danger making it one heck of a ride. Between Cole's kangaroo issues and Jaz's conversations with the "crew" her head, I can't count how many times I burst out laughing. There was another hilarious aspect that was a new element to the series. I won't say too much to keep from spoiling things, but just wait till you meet Jaz's new cat. She sure has one heck of "personality" that will leave you in tears from laughing so hard.
Jaz and Vayl's relationship is still growing and there are some trust issues on Jaz's part. However, since she is literally what you would call damaged goods, I imagine full trust is still a long ways off. She has either lost or been betrayed by everyone she has ever cared about in her entire life, so it is no wonder none of this comes easy. She also has a tendency to let her temper over run her and jump the gun in certain situations. However, this is all why Vayl is the perfect match for her as he calms her fire and stays the voice of reason she so desperately needs at times. It also seems like Cole has finally realized he just wasn't they guy for her, and is taking it with his usual sense of humor. Which of course causes problems of its own, but at least he isn't trying to come between them anymore.
This book had a whole lot going on. Between Jaz's possession, the gnomes and their plot to destroy NASA, and a Demon that is bent on dragging Cassandra to Hell, I barely had time to catch a breath. A lot of series by this point can give a sense of deja vu with the dangers just seeming to be a rehashment of previous ones. This is definitely not the case in these books, and I really admire the author's ability to keep things fresh. Bite Marks is a must read that will suck you right in and make you desperate for more. I'd recommend having the next book ready as you won't want a delay in being able to dive into reading it. Definitely another great installment in a fantastic Urban Fantasy series!
Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging unseen in the dark corners of her glittering hometown. Now Joanna Archer is just another mortal—still born of an impossible union of Shadow and Light . . . still hunted by both—and carrying the unborn child of a lover held captive by a depraved demon goddess. Joining forces with a band of rogue Shadow agents, Joanna's ready to storm the stronghold of her demonic foe, risking everything to enter this ghastly, godforsaken realm where the price of admission is her eternal soul. Because in a world that has stripped her of her power, identity, and fortune, Joanna has nothing left to lose—except her baby, her future, and the epic war poised to consume the city.
It's Jaz Parks. I've already smoked the guy who was the pain in the CIA's you-know-what for the past few years. But now, in the power vacuum left by the death of Edward "The Raptor" Samos, a struggle for supremacy has begun between his former allies: The Flock, The Valencian Weres and the Coven of Inverness.
The CIA feels the balance must be maintained. So when an agent planted among the Weres discovers a plot to assassinate the Coven's leader, I and my vampire hottie (and boss), Vayl, are brought in to take out the woman hired to do the deed, a killer who might be as wily and Gifted as ourselves.
So it's off to the Scottish Highlands for some twisted fun among murderers, demons and half-crazed relatives. Sometimes being a top-secret CIA assassin isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Now that Samos is dead, those left standing are scrambling to gain power. Jaz and Vayl's bosses feel that the balance should be kept, so their latest assignment is to stop the assassination of one of the rising powers. Posing as a bunch of ghost hunters they set off to stop a very gifted female assassin with some nasty powers of her own. To make matters more complicated, Jaz's dad has somehow wormed his way into the mission and for the first time ever, Vayl was denied a request by the CIA. The force they are up against needs a warlock's magic to contain it but the new oversight committee gave them Cole instead. Something fishy is going on, so Jaz and Vayl will have to keep a wary eye out if they are to have any hope at surviving this one intact.
In my review of the last book I said I would do a happy dance when Vayl and Jaz finally get together. I am very happy to say that they are definitely on the right track as they pretty much are an official couple now. Of course there still are some issues between them and I'm sure the road will never be completely smooth. That being said, they have taken things very slow, so they should be stable enough to last. There were several points in the book where Jaz is overcome with emotion. As we all know, emotion is not something she is very comfortable with, so it really was monumental for her to be able to show these feelings for Vayl.
The mission for this book was a little confusing at times as it wasn't really the main focus. Much more time was spent on Jaz's personal growth, her relationship with Vayl, and her issues with her father. Another main issue was this new oversight committee that seems to be meddling in their affairs. I got the sense that they were supposed to be a big potential threat, but I just wasn't feeling the danger. I'm wondering if they will be more of a problem in the future as it seemed like things were being set up for more later. Even if things escalate with them, I'm not sure how much of a threat they can possibly be. Jaz is always paranoid at losing her job because it's practically her entire life. However, I don't think it would hurt her too much in the long run as she could always go "private," like a mercenary, but only for good causes. I guess will we just have to wait and see where things are heading.
Sometimes it can surprise me how much I'm enjoying a series, especially when the fifth book is as good as the first. This series isn't slowing down at all, if anything it is picking up steam. The characters are great and I can't help but to feel everything right along with them. Each new book is harder to put down than the last, and this one is no exception. Be prepared for one heck of ride with plenty of character development along the way. I cannot wait to dive into the next book to see what more trouble is in store for Jaz and the gang. Definitely a top rated Urban Fantasy series!