Thursday, August 8, 2013
A chaos magic Goldilocks and a Russian bear-shifter team-up for a rollicking fairytale retelling--and maybe a little romance.
Ariana Golde may be known for breaking and entering but she's no thief, she’ s a returner. She retrieves stolen objects and gives them back to their rightful owners. Her latest job: retrieving a statue from the Medveds. But Ari is having an off night, and she's caught red-handed by the three brothers, who don't just get mad—they turn into bears.
Maksim Medved is outraged — the statue belongs to his parents. But Ari's returner magick doesn't lie: the heirloom has a new rightful owner. Ari is drawn to the surly, handsome Maks — maybe because he possesses the same chaos magick she does. But while Ariana enjoys a touch of chaos, Maks hates its destructive power.
When Ari and Maks team up to find her mystery client, their chaos magicks ignite even faster than their attraction. Can Maks learn to love a little chaos, or will the havoc they cause among the faebled creatures drive him away for good?</>
Chaos Tryst was an odd book, which given the "chaos magic" that affected the characters' lives perhaps makes a certain amount of sense. Ari spent much of the story sleep deprived and loony because of it while Maksim spent a lot of the story fighting "Bear" and the primal urges his other self was trying to force upon him.
What I found most interesting was that we saw things mainly from the perspective of Ari or Maksim, both of whom viewing their chaos magic in very different ways. Ari embraced hers and strived to match her trickster parents' legacies, while Maksim fought against the pull of his magic, feeling it contributed to his family's curse. However whenever the two came together and something bad seemed to occur, Dubbin would show us the opposite side.
For example at one point the explosive chaos magic between Ari and Maksim literally causes an explosion. Maksim is horrified, thinking they had ruined some poor soul's livelihood. But little clues point that this wasn't the disaster he thought it was and later Dubbin confirms this by explaining how it had helped the person.
This is kind of a catch all for mythology and fairy tales, with Kitsunes and the Bears of the Goldilocks story and Baba Yaga all inhabiting this universe along with heaven knows what else. It can be a bit overwhelming; Dubbin doesn't waste much (if any) time explaining how this all occurred, it just is and the characters talk and act like there was never anything else. The casual way Ari refers to being born in the 1800's is as common place as finding a green skinned Goblin Princess attractive.
A fast read with an interesting occupation for the heroine and a hero who fights his alphaness with all the tenacity of a bear (ha!) makes an enjoyable, if weird, read.
eBook Review: Chaos Tryst
4 Star Review|e-book review|Shirin Dubbin|