By Richelle Mead
Zebra Book published by Kensington Publishing Corp. / 850 Third Ave.., New York, NY 10022
First Printing: August 2008
A review by Kelly for Book Lover's Hideaway
Concept: “Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl’s got to eat. Her most recent case however, is enough o ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie come face to face with a startling prophecy – one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie’s first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.
Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldly ne’er do well, and the ones who don’t want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her…”
Review: Richelle Mead is the author of one of my favorite series, The Vampire Academy. The main problem (and maybe the ONLY problem) I had with that series was just not enough romance for me. Well she certainly fixed that here. I’m starting out this review by saying, hold on to your hats girls! because there is some hot luvin’ ahead. Okay, perhaps not BDB hot, or Demonica hot, but I really thought this book smoked. Another correlation to VA was the main character Eugenie to VA’s Rose: they are both strong, thinking women as well as having a striking resemblance to me. ::winking::
So we start out the story learning about Eugenie’s determination to do her job and send all those wayward spirits onto their appropriate worlds. Sort of like a softer Anita Blake. One night at a bar, she hooks up with a delicious and of course, mysterious man (the pick-up conversation dialogue was mucho calliente as well as intelligent). She is hired to locate a wayward teenager who is supposedly being held against her will by a fairy king and is probably being raped and abused (as was Eugenie’s mother and in fact, Eugenie herself was a result of the rape her mother endured). With mysterious man’s help, and the help a few spirit guide/friends, she is introduced into um, shall we call it “fairy world?” One of the characters she meets, another fairy king (a good king, not the bad-raping king), helps her learn magic that Eugenie discovers she has and helps her come to terms with a parenting revelation that Eugenie learns as well. Mysterious man turns out to be part of the fairy world in the role of a shape-shifter. He helps Eugenie along the way as well. Part of the parenting revelation that Eugenie discovers has a prophecy built into it and has every male fairy in fairy world wanting to boff Eugenie into pregnancy because having a child with Eugenie would mean major job perks for the poppa to be. So there’s a few aspects to the story going down. Oh wait, I have to mention that inbetween all this, various supernatural creatures are attempting to either rape (for reasons I explained above) or even kill poor Eugenie. She definitely has her hands full.
What I liked: I loved the sense of humor. I found myself chuckling several times throughout the book. I loved the characters (Tim, Eugenie’s roommate and her spirit guides especially), I loved the sexy, sexy banter between Eugenie and Dorian and Eugenie and Kiyo, oh such hot stuff! I loved the setting (Arizona). I loved the story line-mystery involved.
What I disliked: At the end, there was a scene where Eugenie travels over to the “death” world to try and save Kiyo. She has a scene with her father and some other characters (I don’t want to give anything away here) that I found kind of weird. Like I needed to be smoking peyote or something to get it. It was a little strange for me. But, it was only a few pages of the story and I loved so much of everything else, that I’m forgiving it.
If you are a paranormal romance lover, you will love this, the first book in the Dark Swan series. If you really love Vampire Academy, you will love this book. If you love Anita Blake but wished she were a little softer, you will love this book. If you are a stickler for realism, run far away. If romance and escapism are what you are looking for, well then, stop here and crack open a spine.
My rating: A very STRONG 4 stars.