I am a big fan of Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin books, so I was excited to jump in to this new series. I can’t say I loved it as much as I do the Shaede books, but I am interested enough that I will give the next installment a try.
The worldbuiling here is well done and pretty unique. Jacquelyn is Waerd, a human of extraordinary abilities. She was honed from infancy to hunt the supernatural evils of the world. She leads a double life, drudging along as a barista by day, while risking her neck to fight that which goes bump in the night. All Waerds are joined with a partner, a Bearer, to help tend their injuries –to both body and mind.
Jacquelyn and her Bearer, Finn, spent five years as lovers. But he has been abusing his abilities to manipulate her emotions and she is tired of it. Unfortunately, ending their personal relationship didn’t put an end to their professional one, and now she must deal with the fallout. Finn doesn’t want to let go and he has no trouble using his gifts to try to get her back.
In the meantime, a new Bearer has stumbled into town. Micah is exceptional in his powers, but he has no idea what he is. He only knows he is drawn to Jacquelyn like a moth to a flame. Coming into her life, he finally learns the nature of his gift, and what may be his true calling. All this, just as a powerful and destructive power begins plaguing the town. And Jacquelyn is right in the center of its orbit. She must figure out who is behind the evil beings, while walking a minefield between her old love and a prospective new one.
I really liked Micah. He is a great blend of strength and vulnerability. He is a good man who has had to endure a lot. And he is sexy and stalwart and loyal. Then there is Finn. At first he is very offputting. I mean, how do you sympathize with someone who manipulates the person they love and won’t take no for an answer? But as the story progresses, Bonilla does a good job of making him more sympathetic… so much, that I kind of felt sorry for him. The male characters definitely held my interest.
But I wasn’t a fan of the heroine. True, Jacquelyn has had some hard knocks. But even as a reader, it’s really hard to see past the shell she has constructed around herself. She is hard and single minded and I had a hard time connecting to her. Other than the supernatural pull, I found myself very perplexed as to why all the men seem to want her.
Then there was the mystery of who was behind the Fury attacks. Although, sadly, there was no mystery at all. It was readily obvious from the beginning who the villain was. And while I kept hoping it was all a misdirection, alas, it was not. That was probably the most disappointing part of the book.
It wasn’t a bad read. I enjoy Bonilla’s writing style, and I am intrigued by where the story will go next. I’ll hold out hope that we see some more redeeming personality traits in our heroine as the series progresses. And anything with more Micah has to be a win.
*ARC Provided by author for review