Friday, April 25, 2014

Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11) by Kresley Cole

Note: This review and the book reviewed reviewed contain adult themes. Please, do not read either unless you are above the age of 18.

SUMMARY (from Goodreads): He Vowed He'd Come For Her...
Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.

She Awaits His Return...
When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals – unaware that he belongs to their world.

To Sate A Desire More Powerful Than Death...
Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared – even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?

MY OPINION:

I had been excited about Regin’s story since the very first book in the series and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Since the first half of the book happens in the same timeline that the previous two books, it seemed a little tedious at a few spots, because I was so eager to find out what happened next. Nevertheless, the already recounted events are presented from new perspectives, therefore they are as much novel as they are familiar.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior is probably the first book in this series where I was able to almost guess the solution to the main problem. However, there were still enough twists all around which kept me pleasantly surprised throughout the novel.

Considering his deeds in the previous book, Declan is a different type of hero, a little difficult to get to love, despite the sympathy he invokes with his brokenness, but eventually he won me over with his determination and independent will, picking up the pieces of his life and reshaping them to his need, and fighting for Regin, even against himself.

I loved Regin’s fierceness and vulnerability, her wit and her inner battle with her own recklessness and proneness to act instead of think, her newly found tendency to self-reflect, as well as her weighing her old knowledge against the new.

I loved the sarcastic and witty writing, the battle of words running alongside the actual physical battles. And, there was even a LOTR reference. It doesn’t get any better that that.

In Dreams of a Dark Warrior, Kresley Cole stays true to what I love most in this series: the broad scope of her world with so many intertwining characters’ stories, which she keeps completely consistent with one another, and yet still unpredictable and surprising. I loved the new characters she introduced as well as the reminders of some details from the previous instalments and the elements setting up the following ones.

To conclude, Dreams of a Dark Warrior is much more than just Regin’s and Declan’s story; it’s the story of their individual lives, finally merging into one against all odds, and at the same time yet again an epic setting up for the following stories, especially Lothaire, which I cannot wait to read next.

 4-stars_thumb1

RECOMMENDATION: Dreams of a Dark Warrior is yet another great instalment of IAD series, about love overcoming all obstacles, adding still more flavour to the amazing world Kresley Cole has created in this series.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark #10) by Kresley Cole

Note: This review and the book reviewed contain adult themes. Please, do not read either unless you are above the age of 18.

SUMMARY (from Goodreads): A DANGEROUS DEMON SHE CAN'T RESIST...
Malkom Slaine: tormented by his sordid past and racked by vampiric hungers, he's pushed to the brink by the green-eyed beauty under his guard.

A MADDENING WITCH HE ACHES TO CLAIM…
Carrow Graie: hiding her own sorrows, she lives only for the next party or prank. Until she meets a tortured warrior worth saving.

TRAPPED TOGETHER IN A SAVAGE PRISON…
In order for Malkom and Carrow to survive, he must unleash both the demon and vampire inside him. When Malkom becomes the nightmare his own people feared, will he lose the woman he craves body and soul?

MY OPINION:

Of all the books in IAD series, I had the least expectations of Demon from the Dark. Carrow had only shortly appeared beforehand – or had even just been mentioned as Mariketa’s friend – so I didn’t feel the need to learn her story, and Malkom hadn’t even been mentioned before, so I didn’t expect anything from him, either.

Therefore, I expected Demon from the Dark to be sort of a filler book. I should have known better. I was sucked into the Malkom’s and Carrow’s story right in the beginning and I couldn’t put the book down; I finished it in two days. I haven’t read a book so fast in more than a year and a half, so that says something.

As usually, Kresley Cole spins a captivating story with intricate background and history for both  characters, while including mentions of details from the previous instalment's, which makes this series so amazing: all the mythology and events are consistent throughout it and the new data always makes perfect sense in relation to the old information.

Malkom’s a and Carrow’s lives are, on one hand, diametrically opposite, yet similar and relatable on the other, which makes them a perfect fit once you look beyond the surface. I loved how they manage to understand each other despite their differences. While they have their share of misunderstandings, there isn’t any huge drama; they resolve them quickly and in a plausible way.

Speaking of opposites, the settings themselves represent a huge contrast: Malkom’s home dimension, Oblivion, a desolate desert plane; and Earth, in particularly an island in the middle of ocean with plenty of water, food and greenery.

We don’t often get to see child characters in paranormal romances, so I loved that Ruby, Carrow’s young protégée, plays an important role in this story not just as a background motivator, but as an actually present character, who helps the adults find their focus. I loved her interactions with the adults, especially with Malkom, and their reactions to each other, since they hugely contrast each other: a vulnerable (still) mortal child vs. a fearful vampire demon. Ruby, with her views and quirks of a child is absolutely delightful.

On top of everything, a bunch of other, already familiar characters appear (which always makes me happy): some only glimpsed at (no, I’m not saying who), and others, such as Lanthe, with a prominent role throughout the book.

Perhaps the only quibble I have about Demon from the Dark was that it ended too fast. I would love to see how Malkom adapts to living in the modern world, but I guess we will get a glimpse or two of Malkom and Carrow in the following books. 
 
4,5 stars

RECOMMENDATION: Demon from the Dark is not only an amazing story on its own, but a crucial part of the series both for tying up some loose ends from the previous stories and setting a starting point for the following ones, and is as such certainly not to be missed.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark #9) by Kresley Cole

Note: This review and the book reviewed contain adult themes. Please, do not read either unless you are above the age of 18.

SUMMARY (from Goodreads): A Dangerous Beauty
Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbours secrets that threaten to destroy her – and those she loves.

An Uncontrolled Need
Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.

That lead to a pleasure so wicked...
From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia's greatest weakness – her wanton desire for him.

MY OPINION:

Finally! I’ve been waiting for Garreth’s and Lucia’s story since the first book. And it didn’t disappoint. The only problem I now have is how to review it without spoiling it and half of the series with it. So, I am going to be terribly vague.

In contrast to some other stories in the series, Garreth’s and Lucia’s love story is more on the slow-burn side and in more tender in a way, yet still just as intense and heated. This makes it refreshing and unique, and that’s what I love about this series: even though the novels follow the same basic concept and their stories intertwine, they never feel old or too repetitive; Kresley Cole is really a magician of combining the familiar and the new.

Pleasure of a Dark Prince spans the timeline from almost the very beginning of the series and past the point of the previous instalment (Untouchable). I loved the little reminders of the past events and glimpses into the lives of other beloved couples (especially Lachlain and Emma; and now I want to reread their book), always just enough to refresh one’s memory and see how the protagonists from the previous novels fare in their future.

Garreth’s and Lucia’s adventures are as crazy and unpredictable as you can expect from Kresley Cole and the ending just as wittily resolved and satisfying.

The only downsides were that I had to not read some parts too attentively, because mega caimans and, even worse, anacondas are a major squick for me (I scream and squeal and feel sick when I see and earthworm, okay?). Additionally, the villain of the book is extra gruesome, too.

Lucia’s benefactress and saviour, goddess Skathi, is somewhat shady, and I resented her that a lot of Lucia’s pain, fear and shame and self-flagellation was her fault – although she may have meant well (and maybe actually did Lucia good with her attitude, I’m still not sure.)

Nevertheless, Pleasure of a Dark Prince is overall another amazing instalment of Immortals After Dark series and if you read the series to this point, don’t stop now.

4 stars

RECOMMENDATION: Not much to say, if you loved the previous Immortals After Dark books, you will love this one too. And if are a fan of paranormal romance and you haven’t tied this series yet, you definitely should.

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