Born in Blood by Alexandra Ivy – 4 Stars

Blood in Blood
Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book #1 in Sentinels series

I own an e-copy of this book

Book Synopsis:

In a stunning new paranormal romance series—even edgier than her bestselling Guardians of Eternity books—New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy lures readers into the dark, seductive world of the Sentinels—humans outcast by their hidden abilities, treading the line between life and death, good and evil, pleasure and pain…

Born In Blood

Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful erotic dancer is found murdered in her 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-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures.

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 Review:

I think I might like this series more than I like this author’s vampire series.  Blaspheme, I know!  The world has some great elements in it and I have hopes that the next book is going to be even better.  The setting of this story, or world, reminds me of several of my favorite movies and TV franchises.  Fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Avengers, and X-Men should definitely give this book a try.  I’m classifying it as a paranormal, but it is really a supernatural story full of characters with superpowers, essentially.   There were just two points that kept me from giving it five stars and I’ll get to them later.

So what did work for me.  I enjoy a good fight of good vs. evil and this world had it on several fronts.  Not only did we have the typical psycho-egomaniac hell-bent on taking over the world, we also have this element of a group of society being different and therefore discriminated against.  It makes you connect with these would-be heroes and root for them to overcome the prejudices of society.  It helps us see the wrong in our own world and teaches us readers what it feels like to be on the other side…or gives those who are also suppressed someone to identify with, a role-model.  I also adored this campus like home of Valhalla, what a cool place to explore and hang out for a few hours.  That part of the story really reminded me of the X-Men movies.  The pacing of the story was good, a nice mix of action, romance, and world building for a first book. We learned a lot, but Ivy didn’t bog the story down by spoon-feeding it all to us in on big chunk in the beginning.

The romance between Callie and Duncan was believable, to me at least.  I liked the chemistry between them and that they seemed to have a history, having worked together over different crimes over the years.  There was kinda a love triangle, but not really, when we take Fane into account, his being Callie’s guardian Sentinel.  That part of the story is left hanging at the end, but I can see that Fane’s story is up next, so I expect that to be resolved there.  I wish we could have had an epilogue at the end with one more scene (that I won’t share for spoiler reasons), but the ending was pretty sweet.

What held the story back from a five-star rating.  The ending kind of fell apart for me.  I found myself having trouble paying attention and just wanted it to end in the last 50 pages.  Not that it was bad, just I was ready for it to be over.  Perhaps some element was missing to keep me enthralled.  Also the whole zombie aspect of the story,  yeah I know it was the main plot, but I’m just not a fan of zombie movies or stories.  If the world didn’t have the potential for more than just necromancers and zombies I would be done, but I think Ivy is going to be exploring other powers in future books.   Fortunately for me the romance and world building over-powered the zombies for much of the book and I was able to still enjoy the story.  The very end really ratcheted up the zombies, so maybe that is why I struggled with those last pages.

I’m looking forward to what happens next.  I really liked Fane and can’t wait to start his story.  Good thing I scored an ARC of the next book, so my wait isn’t going to be long.  If you are looking for something a little different, but enjoy the paranormal genre, I suggest giving this book or series a try.



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