Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: Born In Blood by Alexandra Ivy

Title: Born In Blood
Series: The Sentinels
Author: Alexandra Ivy
Read copy: eBook
Published: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Zebra
ISBN: 1420134116
ISBN-13: 9781420134117

In The Heart Of Darkness

Sergeant Duncan O'Conner has seen it all before. Beautiful erotic dancer, murdered at home, no suspect, no motive. But there's one clue: she's missing her heart. It's enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro—one of the dead-channelling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It's a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desparate measures.

Lies The Kiss Of Death

Unlike the other "high-bloods" in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer's final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie's skills to the test, O'Conner's career at risk, and both their hearts on the line...literally.

My rating:

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

When a body of a young, beautiful woman is found naked in her house, with no apparent struggle signs, and missing a heart, Sergeant Duncan O'Conner knows it's the case for high-bloods. Enter his little obsession, Callie Brown, a diviner able to glimpse into the minds of the dead, searching for their last memory.

What, or better yet, who she sees seems to be connected to her on a yet-unknown level, and will put the police department and Valhalla in an uproar, changing her and Duncan's lives forever.

I was a little leery of this series after the rather disappointing introduction to it, but my fears and doubts were soon put to rest.
The world-building was wonderful, the "new" universe intriguing and interesting without descending into the been-there-read-that territory (it was a paranormal romance without a vampire or shape-shifter in sight), the plot was gripping, the pacing good (despite some iffy passages), and the characters nicely-developed and fleshed-out with great (and rather realistic) interactions, and the villain and his nefarious plot intense and just the right amount of chilling.

The romance was solid, growing and developing rather organically after the slightly rushed start, with Duncan and Callie nicely complimenting and balancing each other. The relationship between Fane and Callie was also well-written with its slight ambiguousness at the beginning, the unbreakable bond of friendship shining through. I loved the animosity between the two men, the dick measuring something so utterly male, and realistically believable, it was a pleasure reading any scenes the two shared.
And the dangling of the bait as to just what might be between Fane and Serra was a little evil (since it's apparently resolved in the next book) but very well done at the same time.

In the end the suspense took a backseat to all the relationships (romantic and non) in this book, but that doesn't mean it was bad, dull or boring. Far from it, and kudos for the surprising twist about Callie and her connection to the evil necromancer.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment.


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