by Larissa Ione – I really like this book… in fact, until the final pages, I loved this book. It’s a paranormal mystery romance filled with steamy, slightly kinky sex between beautiful, troubled characters who are trying to find ways to survive. In their way are other people like them, people who oppose them, their own biochemistries and, oh yeah, each other. The female lead is a Guardian, a slayer of the demonic creatures who plague the world. The male lead is a demon who is also a doctor who runs a hospital for the care and treatment of other demons. They are drawn to each other by an earthshaking lust that just might be strong enough to keep them from killing each other long enough to see beyond their diametrically opposed natures.
These two are flawed and multifaceted, strong and vulnerable, rich and relatable. I wanted them to work through their circumstances (personal, societal and biochemical) to find happiness together.
The secondary characters are well drawn, too, with their own quirks and motivations, which makes the reading experience all the better.
The author’s world-building is first rate. It’s a permutation on the world as we know it, with enough rich and subtle detail to make the changes seem natural and easy to accept.
The language is evocative and succinct, without getting squicky or repetitive in the explicit bits. And there are lots of those, making this a HOT read and probably not for the prudish.
So, you may wonder, why am I dissatisfied with the ending of the book?
Because the author decided to resolve the romance in this book, but not the mystery introduced in the first chapter: who is harvesting demon organs and selling them on the black market. The actions of our protags here do interrupt the practice, but the reader is left hanging. Perhaps this is because this novel is only the first in a series, but that’s no excuse. Each volume in a series should be complete, with no “three months later” glossing over the fact that we still don’t know what the hell is going on. And if this series is a trilogy, I fear the second book may be as unsatisfying in that way as the first, forcing readers to buy all three books before getting a real answer to the mystery that purports to motivate the book’s plot, if not its characters.
I call foul. (finished 3/26/13)