ARC Hunt the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy – 3 Stars

Hunt the Darkness
Click on the cover to visit book’s Goodreads page

Book #11 in the Guardians of Eternity series release date May 27, 2014

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Book Synopsis from Goodreads:

The vampire, Roke, is raw, sensual, always in control. Yet somehow he’s allowed the unthinkable to happen: a nymph-like witch named Sally has used her magic to trick Roke into mating with her. The pair will remain bound for eternity unless Sally breaks the spell. The trouble is, she has no idea how. . .

Mating with Roke was an accident; at least that’s what Sally keeps telling herself. She’s on the hunt for her demon father, whose identity holds the key to releasing the spell. The search won’t be easy with Roke shadowing Sally’s every move. As they mate with a ferocity that leaves them both aching for more, Sally isn’t sure if her world is more dangerous without Roke—or with him. . .

I was already a fan when I requested this book for review over at Net Galley, and was thrilled to receive an advance copy of the book.  So why only the 3 star rating then?  If you are a fan and enjoy the series so much why not give it a higher rating?  The thing is when I go back and look at all the other books I’ve read it seems that 3 stars is my standard rating for books in this series.  I don’t think I’ve given one of them four or five stars, and this one was no different.  If I was to rate the series on a whole it would get a 4.5 stars out of 5, and I do thoroughly enjoy the books and this complex world that Ms. Ivy has created and will continue to buy her books.

This addition to the Guardian’s world is Roke and Sally’s story.  I believe Sally was introduced a couple of books ago, but Roke popped up as a possible love interest for her in the last story.  If I remember right in the last book I was more interested in their budding romance than that of Santiago and Nefri’s. This book did not disappoint, sure there was some points that I will make later that brought down the rating, but definitely one of the better stories in the series.

I liked their pairing, probably liked Sally’s character a little more than Roke’s, but she just felt fleshed out more or yanked on my heart a little more with all she has been through.  Roke had some issues with his past too, but it felt like he got over them pretty quickly.  The whole drama around his skeleton in the closet just seemed to be handled a little to smoothly, wrapped up too neatly for my taste.  There was just something about it that bothered me, so it wasn’t a problem for me that it didn’t get much page time. Sally on the other hand struck a cord with me.  The fact that she was constantly being dumped on by those who should have cared for her, that she was always being betrayed, but still found a way to survive made me admire her quite a bit.  She was a tough girl and Roke is lucky to have her.  I’m happy that they found a way to make it work.

As with all the stories in this series there are several threads that we follow in each story.  Which is always a delight because that means we get to see past characters we enjoy and are introduced to upcoming hero and heroines.  And as always there is Levet, the small in stature but big in character gargoyle that is the bane of every vampire’s existence in this world.  I love levet, he always bring some comic relief to lighten things up and keep the vamps on their toes.  He has come in and saved the day on several occasions in this series and I hope someday he finally catches his elusive Yannah who has captured his stony heart.  Styx and Viper also play important parts in Roke/Sally’s story.  

So if its so good why always the 3 stars?  Sometime we just enjoy stories, don’t love them.  This series is that type of series for me.  There are parts that make me roll my eyes or that annoy me.  For example Roke was constantly grabbing Sally’s chin or face in this book.  I got to the point where I wanted to smack him myself.  It almost got the point where it felt controlling or demeaning to Sally.  I’m sure the author meant for it to show how he cared about her or for it to be endearing, but it just came off annoying to me.  Then there is the complexity of this world,  while I enjoy getting lost in what I read, I often feel like I need a cheat sheet to keep things straight in this world.  There are tons of different species and creatures and I forget the different rules and history that go with each one.  I end up just shrugging it off and read on because most of the time it doesn’t affect my ability to enjoy the story.  It is just little things that pick at me and in the end drop the rating down to a 3.

But to end on a positive note, because I do hope you give this series a try.  I love how the series is based in Chicago.  I have long weekends in that city several times a year and it is always a plus for me when I am familiar with the location.  The story also bleeds out to the bluff areas near the Mississippi which is fun too.  The author represents the Mid-West well.  I would call the series an Urban Paranormal, but it has elements or can feel like Urban Fantasy as well.  It’s not just about the vamps, even though the main focus is around them.  If you enjoy strong alpha males, a battle for the good of all, plenty of romance and steamy scenes, and a complex world give this series a try.  I do recommend starting at the beginning and reading in order.  The story lines travel from book to book and will make more sense that way.

 

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