Wednesday, January 30, 2013

eBook Review: Lycan Unleashed

Detective Astrid Holmes is a sensitive, a human capable of feeling the energy of otherworlders. When she is dispatched to the horrific murder scene of a local vampire, she expects it to be just another day on the job. But when evidence is stolen on her watch, she is removed—not only from the investigation, but from her job as a member of the Chicago police department’s paranormal unit.

Astrid’s only hope of reinstatement lies with her ex co-worker and almost-lover, Lycan Mason Sanderson. But convincing the OWEA agent to let her assist with the investigation isn’t nearly as difficult as staying alive when the murderer realizes that Astrid may hold the key to unlocking his identity.

Fighting to take down a killer could have deadly consequences for Astrid and Mason, but working together puts their already fragile relationship in jeopardy.

Three things to keep in mind - 1) I really liked the old covers a lot, but that being said I like the colors of this cover quite a bit. 2) Astrid! I'm so happy we got her tale! and 3) Please please please tell me there will be a book about Claude? Everyone keeps talking about him and his 'mysterious' disappearances, but I really want to know!

Also I wasn't quite as happy with Mason's reasoning as I could have been

With a new OEA book, third in the series following BANSHEE CHARMER and SUCCUBUS LOST, comes new covers!  I thought the original covers for BC and SL were nice and engaging, they were different and more serious feeling, giving some credence to the not just romance angle these books aim for.  That said, I really like the colors they chose for each one (BC's cover and SL's cover), but I miss the emphasis that the women are the focus.  Granted in this book, which to my knowledge no other cover was released for it, the 'lycan' refers to Mason, not Astrid, but still.

Moving on.

Astrid has been a minor character in the previous books assisting Mac and Marisol.  As a sensitive she's not particularly fond of going out into the field and with her partner (the oft-mentioned Claude) on one of his mysterious jaunts she's normally tied to the desk.  And she likes it that way, but almost from the first she's intrigued by the murders being committed.  The facts don't line up--either from what she senses or the murders themselves.  I think its her curiousity that mainly drives her at first, and then after being the victim of a magical attack, well she became very determined.
I really admired Astrid.  I think of the three so far, she's my favorite character.  Part of what helped was that the case(s) were less personal for her than either of Mac's or Marisol's.  Even after being attacked and taken off under susipicion she keeps a very cool head.  Was she manipulative?  Oh yes, but really she was given no choice.  If she didn't omit certain details to Mason than she would have been framed and then where would the story be?

Mason was harder to read.  He ran hot and cold in the same sentence if he could manage; his eyes and body language saying one thing (very loudly) and his tone of voice claiming the exact opposite.  His reasoning was a little flimsy and cut against the representation that Allee portrayed him under.  It didn't make sense under scrutiny (which Astrid was happy to tell him) and as a reader it took the shine off him.  Astrid at least could legitimately claim her past sucked and it wasn't going to get rosier.  He didn't have that, it was all on him.

A larger mystery is playing at the fringe of these novels.  One dealing with the Head Vampire in Charge and his skeezy son.  This book put the son squarely in the crosshairs, making it abundantly clear that he's a bastard and his father is covering for him (through loyalty, complicity or to save face isn't clear).  I want to hope that when we FINALLY get Claude's book its going to wrap up that whole shebang, but honestly I'm not pushing to have this over with.  These novels are fun, engaging reads.  Why mess with that?