This series maintains its high level and doesn’t disappoint. I do have one complaint, however, and that it that sometimes it does feel a bit ‘too much’. …But it is possible that I feel so because I read to fast, and when you read this book within 2 days (while doing full-time work in between) all the angst, gore, sex, and the emotions that do run thick in these books come in a doze that is too concentrated to feel good. (It affected my sleep, and I didn’t enjoy that>.) But otherwise, this is a great, very well written and unique series.
I find myself very cautious reading this. There is simply too much senseless violence and gore. Their whole world is based on the survival of the strongest and proving it in the cruellest ways possible. Blood, torture, too many innocent victims… Too many triggers at every step. But then there’s also a certain kind of captivating elaborateness that makes me keep reading.
It’s not a big surprise that the biggest factor that keeps me with these books is the main relationship. The kind of love that is longer than forever and strong enough to destroy the world for each other. I usually don’t like books where the relationship is wobbling near the line of using force and other dominance play tendencies, but since they don’t actually cross that line and are striving for a two-way street on most aspects of the relationship, I find myself captivated. Also, the fact that the main character tries to stand against all the cruelty and heartlessness certainly helps.
It’s a very well-written book, with a complex and well-built world, multitude of no less complex and interesting characters, and captivating story. But I find myself constantly waiting for it to cross some line where I won’t be able to follow it… because too much gore and sadism is too much.
I haven’t really read any angel-themed fantasy before (though I’m aware there are plenty), so this world was new and unique to me. The world and its concepts are interesting and well-developed, even though it’s also full of ‘intimidating and possibly sadistic alpha males’ that are kind of old hat by now. The characters, including minor ones, are well developed, as are the relationships between them. The main character has a head on her shoulders most of the time and is interesting to follow. I enjoyed this more than I expected, despite how very bloody and violent it is. I was also positively surprised by the level of writing, because before this I’ve read only Slave to Sensation and it was difficult to believe this was written by the same writer.
Another one of my ‘I needed more books and wasn’t really paying attention to what I was buying’ episodes. When I skimmed the description, I ended up under impression that, despite of its title, this would be more of a contemporary fantasy thriller set in universe divided onto three major races–humans, shifters, and psy; and involve unusual alliances and hunting serial killers. With some romance as a bonus. However, the first impression I got when I started reading is that this was going to be a book where characters think about sex 98% of time, and then somehow maybe find time to do something else in between…like hunt a serial killer, or build a housing project (which everyone seemed to completely forget about less than half way through), or hack the psy network. I don’t know if it got better or I just got used to it, but it did stop bothering me eventually. What didn’t stop bothering me is the less than stellar quality of writing… Constant head-hopping, poor wording choices, same thoughts repeated over and over again, and unfortunate ‘romance’ related narratives that mostly enticed a lot of eye rolling. After first 6 or so chapters I felt that if I had to see words ‘sensual’ or ‘predator’ one more time my eyes would bleed. Also, the rather disgusting habit of the main male character (and some other characters) to call the main female character pet names. ‘Kitten’ I can live with, but all the ‘darlings’ and ‘sweetcheecks’ or whatever it was… More than a bit disturbing, really. All of the ‘mysteries’ were a bit too obvious. The main characters identity, the serial killer’s identity, the answers to many of their problems, all of it was amazingly easy to predict half way through the book. Though, to be honest, right now I appreciate the simple answers and non-angst happy ending more than I would have things being more complicated. All in all, this book has a lot of flaws you could pick up on. But there are also some interesting ideas and story elements that maybe just enough to ignore the other uncomfortable stuff, and I personally am currently grateful to any book that actually deals with its angst and puts emphasis on such ideas as loyalty, honor, love. P.S. No Russian would ever call their daughter Nikita, only western people do. Some research before assuming would be nice.