I have been suffering a bit from series hangover. I have finished the completed novels of 2 series I really, REALLY loved (Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels), and have really struggled to find another. And then I found this little gem.
I often find myself lukewarm about the first book in a new to me series. After all, the author has to introduce us to new characters and set up new situations and create the world within which we are going to immerse ourselves. This is no easy task. Ms. Marshall, however, manages this ably. She jumps us almost immediately into the action and unfolds the world and characters slowly throughout the novel. Therefore, I never really felt like any particular section is an ‘info-dump’ but, rather, everything actually made sense in the progression of the narrative.
Our heroine, Aidan, suffered a personal crisis 10 years before the start of our story. Since that time, she has locked herself away from the world, preferring to live isolated away from other people – not even allowing contact with those who loved her. As the story begins, her (former) best friend appears on her doorstep to tell them the deaths have started again: one of their dearest friends has been found murdered. This, then, is they mystery set to solved in the remainder of the tale. We discover exactly *what* happened 10 years previously when Aidan tells the rest of the gang so that they can understand exactly what they are facing.
I love the relationship between Aidan and Sera. The repartee between these two is priceless and frequently brought to mind my sister and my best friend. Which means that, even if the conversations were not precious in their own right, the memories they inspired were. And, I think, that is one of the biggest gifts in this story.
There is a love interest. And, there are werekin. But, nary a vampire to be seen and no love triangle – at least yet. The heroines magic is in being able to control an element. While not a totally original concept, it is the first I have seen it in this setting, so that alone makes the book stand out. It is written in the first person, which I tend to enjoy for the simple reason that it puts me in the narrators head. I like playing head games. With characters in novels. Not with people in my life.
I hate giving glowing reviews of self-pubbed books as they tend to be unhelpful to the reader because so many appear to be friends/family of the author. So, please understand I do not know, in any way shape or form, the author. I absolutely loved this book. I’d probably rate it 4.5 stars, but as that is not an option, I rounded down. I may adjust this as the book picks up more reviews.