Release Date: 8/26/14
For Sam Ryan, life began at age fourteen. She has no memory of her parents or her childhood. In a decade of service with the State Police, Sam has exhausted the resources of the force searching for clues to her identity. But all mention of her family seems to have been deliberately wiped off the record. Everything changes the night Sam’s missing partner resurfaces as a vampire . . . and forces her to kill him in self-defense. Now Sam is charged with murder. Suspended from the force, and with no one left to trust, Sam accepts some unexpected help from Gabriel Stern, a shapeshifter who conceals startling secrets.
While investigating the circumstances surrounding her partner’s strange behavior, Sam discovers that Garbriel’s been involved with a dangerous organization that’s planning a war on the human race. More immediate, someone is guarding the truth about Sam’s past—someone who’d rather see her dead than risk her knowing too much. To stay alive, Sam must unravel the threads of her past—and find out not only who she is but what she is.
My thoughts on the book:
I went into this book not knowing what to expect. This is a completely different world than any of the others that Arthur has created. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I got hooked right away and couldn't put the book down. This novel is action-packed and full of adventure. This is very much an Urban Fantasy novel instead of Paranormal Romance. There isn't any romance at all, honestly, and I found that refreshing. Sam and Gabriel are both very well-developed and realistic. The plot is fast-paced and has a sense of urgency to it, and the world-building is fantastic. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Sam is a very strong leading lady, and I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. The book is third person limited, but it switches between Sam and Gabriel, nonetheless. I really admired Sam and could understand and relate to her feelings and actions. Gabriel is also a very strong leading character. He's loyal and protective, but not condescending. The secondary characters are also well-developed and seem real. I hope to see more of Stephan because he seems interesting.
The plot is part mystery and part action. There are plenty of plot twists, and the sense of urgency Arthur instills the novel with will keep you on the edge of your seat. I'm really curious to see what Sam ends up being. Some ideas were thrown out there by some characters, but nothing has stuck yet. Arthur does a great job painting the setting, and I never forgot that this book is set in Australia. The world-building is also well-done, and I felt that I had a good grasp on what the rules of the world are. While I saw some of the plot twists coming, I still kept reading to see what would happen in the end. I had to know if the bad guy would be stopped. This is a really fast-paced read, but nothing feels rushed. The ending ties things up nicely and sets up the next book.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who is looking for something a little bit different in the Urban Fantasy/Mystery/Detective genre. Arthur is a great author, and this book is a fantastic read.
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