Great read! I have a new 'must have' author.
I loved the opening with decrepit Miss Mabel whacking our hero with her walker because she thought he was hurting our heroine. The setup, secret warriors guarding the world from evil monsters, is not new but the author makes it her own.
The hero's people are born with a tattoo of a tree [lifetree] which grows and matures as they do. As they move through life, their bodies suck up power and store it. This power is meant to be used by their mate to fuel their magic. Unfortunately most of the women were killed [no details yet on how] 200 years ago leaving the men unmated. The power builds up causing extreme pain and slowly destroying their lifetree and their soul.
Our hero, Drake, finds Helen who takes away the pain and refreshes his lifetree and he mates her. He does not force her but he doesn't tell her all the repercussions, either. In his defense, when he tried to walk away he went into convulsions and would have died without her.
Helen has serious issues learning to use magic as the first thing they want her to do is call fire and Helen is terrified of fire. [She has a repeated vision of herself burning alive while a man, who turns out to be Drake, watches.]
One thing that I had trouble with - although I'm not sure how else the author could have handled it - was the monsters. There are several different types [none of which have common analogues in our culture] and they all look weird and have strange names. I really wanted a glossary - or at least a scorecard!
There are a lot of strings left for future books. There's a creepy little kid [who isn't a kid] who has visions, a plot by the Sanguinar [they don't like to be called vampires] and not much explanation of the source of the monsters.
There is also a teaser built in for the next book which leaves you hanging...
1. Burning Alive (2009)
2. Finding the Lost (2009)
3. Running Scared (2010)
4. Living Nightmare (2010)
I am typically not a big fan of the para-normal. I usually find then silly and far-fetched. But, I was actually believing this could happen! The story was good, as were the characters. A great kick-off for the series.
Helen Day is far from a "normal" human woman, but she does not know that. This story will take you through 72 of the most action packed hours any woman has ever lived. I could not put this book down. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
I decided to read this book based on the rave reviews. However, I am wondering if the reviewers read a different book, because I found he story disjointed and the heroine insipid. And when I thought a character was interesting, the author killed him.
Very enjoyable! I found this book to be fast paced and thrilling. It didn't feel like I was reading a "first in a series" book. The plot line and characters were new and fresh...not just the same old vampire book or paranormal warrior book. She also had a way to introduce the characters that didn't feel forced or an after thought. Having read Kenyon, Showalter and JR Ward, I would most compare her style to Ward's: fun, gripping, unexpected, the characters met challenges and disappointments. The eroticism was fun and certainly arousing but not violent and graphic like Showalter. I didn't laugh out loud like I do with the afore mentioned, but that may come in time too.
I look forward to the next Sentinel book! Hope you enjoy this as well!