You'd think that life would finally be dealing Mack Smith a kind hand. Living in London and with the opening of the new and improved city version of Clava Books mere days away, things appear to be settling down.
Other than the terrible nightmares about dragons, that is. Or the fact that she's being constantly tailed by a string of mages, shifters, and faeries, all of whom are constantly demanding her attention. And that's without even bringing the temptation of Corrigan, Lord Alpha of the Brethren, into the equation. Then, when a local dryad asks her for some help, things really start to fire up. There are some long, hot summer days ahead.…
©2013 Helen Harper (P)2014 Tantor
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"hmmm, Not really thrilled... Thoughts?"
Have you ever started a book in the middle of a series where some amount of time has past for the characters between the books (i.e.: 10 years later). When that happens they will usually summarized things for you during the main storyline. That is exactly what this book should have been (a Summary). With the exception of one thing all of which happened over the last few chapters. This book should have been book 3.5 (Not book 4). I want to give more details as to why but even though I am disappointed I don't what to give any spoilers.
For those people who are really into the drama behind the relationship buildup (not sure if that is a spoiler or not) then that is what this book is about. I think I could have pulled out about 5 chapters and put them at the beginning of the next book to get the same result. You know when a writer completes a novel and it is not quite long enough for the publisher... The writer will go back through the book and add what I call filler, more details here and there and maybe a side adventure, With the exception of a few chapters, that is how I feel about this whole book. I would not be surprised if she wrote book four first, then decided she needed something in between and wrote this one.
Another thing that bugs me is the ending didn't really fly for me. The writer pushed the last part without any real reason behind it. Yes it did add some senseless drama, but the urgency didn't make sense to me, the writer was clearly trying to hook you in for the next book (skip a little common sense and BLAM, you have DRAMA), which after reading this book I can see why Helen Harper panicked, however I was already invested, I know the Lord Alpha wouldn't be manipulated by the last event like the drama suggests, it's out of character. I have no doubt something will be explained in the next book to iron out the ridiculousness of the final drama. Still like I said the last few chapters were good, it felt more like the beginning of the book should not the end.
I am with HIGH HOPES, the next book brings it... !!!
I'll let you know. :)
I am by no means a wallflower but seriously... it's really irritating when the main character can't speak three sentences without saying f**k. I have never listened to a book with so much swearing and the bad tempered heroine routine got tiresome - almost didn't finish and I'm doubting the next book.
I am so devastating by this ending I want it all to get better. Great series and recommend book but have to hear the next one now
This book is not as gripping as the two previous books and also doesn't stand alone like they do. It ends with the plot's main conflict unresolved while setting the stage for another twist.
This series is the first
I haven't listened to Saskia before and I believe it's her performance that egged me on to buy each book in this series
Each book has portrayed the heroin, Mack, as a character unable to really think for herself. I've taken to calling her a little twit. Not very flattering.
"A Roller Coaster All the Way"
I am not the kind of person that becomes absorbed by audiobooks easily, which is why these little-known books are such an incredible surprise to me. In the Blood Destiny series, Helen Harper has created an outstanding balance between world building and character development, often conveyed in a way that I am not expecting.
This book, HANDS DOWN, has got to be the best so far in the series. I laughed myself silly multiple times--and cried a bit at the end. Mack's normal scathing wit is still present, but she continues to reflect personal growth through increased control and self reflection with none of the irritating back-sliding found in many other popular urban fantasies. A delightful turn leaves newer character, Aubrey (master vampire), as a constant source of ridiculous fun, though to be honest I almost had a nervous breakdown when he first appeared in this book. Additionally, Corrigan makes juuust enough frequent and short appearances when he is not directly involved in the proceedings to prevent the story from feeling like an obstacle to the wicked fun interactions between he and Mack.
Oh, and the story? Instead of thrusting us directly into a stagnant world of magical intrigue, Mack's new situation is conveyed through a creative slant: taking a vacation from it all. Of course, the relaxation part of the vacation goes up in a ball of fiery death almost instantly when Mack volunteers to run a few harmless errands during her free time. Who knew helping out some gentle dryads and a greedy troll could cause so much mayhem?
Almost every character that has been introduced in the series makes an appearance in either memory or reality, but their placement and timing are so well done that it doesn't feel like a single scene is frivolous. Of course, I do have some small complaints--several major characters are described exactly the same in every single book, and their descriptions are so sparse that it is a noticeable feature. It would be great to get a new detail thrown in every now and again to flesh out their image--though this may be done on purpose to allow the reader's imagination to fill in the blanks. Also, there is some rare word repetition (example: "She noticed the gleam of the silver, gleaming dagger," or something like that). The quality of the content tends to highlight these mistakes, although there are only one or two instances of it. Saskia Maarleveld does a fabulous job when this happens, never indicating any sort of awkward hitch or pause in her reading.
Oh and, by the way, I had never heard of Saskia Maarleveld before listening to these audiobooks. I don't think there's any way I could forget her after her performance on this series, though! Her skill at conveying a variety of emotions for a multitude of different characters while maintaining their unique accents, pitches, and speech patterns completely amazes and captivates me. Would I love these books so much if I were reading them directly? I honestly don't think so because my reading voice sucks toads compared to her performance, and she lends a dimension to the story that I could never give. I hope Harper and Maarleveld continue to work together for the next forty years, because I don't think they would ever produce a novel I wouldn't want to listen to. In fact, I think I'm going to go listen to the next book right now!
"Disappointing - Quality Sacrificed to Create Drama"
I think the author knew that she wanted certain things to happen in the end, so she came up with events that would lead to that conclusion- BUT, the events were out of character for both Mac & Corrigan. Corrigan goes from being mr. understanding and patient to mr. unreasonable and irrational, and it doesn't make any sense. There were two main instances where he got angry, to different degrees, with Mac for prioritizing saving lives over whatever was going on with them. Has he MET her? And, seriously, he's the leader of the entire shifter world, like he doesn't know about that kind of sacrifice? I don't blame him for being upset or disappointed or whatever, but it made no sense for him to be mad at her, especially the time towards the end of the book (won't give it away, don't worry). It was totally obvious why Mac did what she did, and although I wouldn't expect him to be happy about it, I WOULD expect him to understand. The fact that he didn't understand makes me just not like him very much. He was being a selfish jerk, yet Mac is the one who is apologizing. Also, it's one thing for him to be mad, but another thing for him to act the way he did etc. That was just ridiculous, and I found myself rolling my eyes. Mac also did things totally against her character. She's pig headed and stubborn and doesn't give a crap what other people say or think, yet suddenly towards the end she lets another character bully her into a ridiculous situation that was so contrived. I get why she agreed to what the other character wanted, but not the manner in which it was carried out. The author tried to give a reason or why she went with things that way, but it fell flat. Plus, both of them were total idiots in the park while waiting for the threat to arrive, like they knew when or how or where it would come? Seriously? I know that the author is trying to keep the tension and drama going, but it just didn't really work. It was too extreme and, well, it just annoyed me. The events were just too obviously plot devices to achieve certain goals, instead of events that made sense within the context of the story and the characters.I will, of course, listen to the next book whenever it comes out because I'm totally attached to the characters. If it's as ridiculous as this one though, then it will be my last.
"Too many sidelines"
This book took way too many turns for me. And too much whining by the cast of characters. Pick one story line, two at most and deal with it.
"I disagree with the negative reviews"
I'm not sure what all of the complaints about this book (and others in the series) are about. I really like the characters and the story. In this book, Mack is new to politics and not used to being manipulated by people so much. They have switched tactics from trying to control her to manipulation. It took her a while (in other books) to break away from being controlled and I am sure she will do the same with manipulation.
She is also prickly and hot tempered, but has learned to control it. She is still finding the balance and sometimes goes to extremes in being too angry and too passive.
I have seen complaints about Helen Harper killing off characters. I don't think these books are meant to be light little paranormal romance novels, they are almost in the same category as the Anita Blake books (but with a lot less horror and a lot less sex). Mack and Anita are similar in their complexity and temperament.
I have not been able to stop listening to the series. As soon as I finish one, I download the next one. I am glad the series will wrap up though, I have things I need to do. :)
I'm really enjoying this series and characters, except for the fact that the author manages to suck the joy out of the story at the end of most books. Good read though. Ms Harper, end one on a happy note would you please.
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