Thursday, March 20, 2008

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

No Rest for the Wicked picks up right where A Hunger Like No Other left off. Valkyrie warrior heroine Kaderin "the Cold Hearted" (it's kind of like a WWF name, get it?) is preparing to enter her fifth Hie. The Talisman's Hie is described as the Amazing Race for the immortal set. I've never seen either show (though I hear the Hie kicks AR's collective ass) but the exotic locals and derring-do adventures that the competitors go through reminded me of a cross between Indiana Jones and TombRaider. Kaderin has won this competition for the past millenium or so. It takes a combination of daring, hard work, skill and downright ruthlessness to succeed. And she's got all of those fine qualities in spades.

When not traipsing around the world seeking ancient treasures for an inter-species scavenger hunt, Kaderin's day job (or night job as the case may be) is killing vampires. After losing her two sisters in an epic battle against the evil Horde variety of vampires, Kaderin's got something of a bone to pick with those bloodsuckers. I bet you can't even imagine who fate has got HER matched up with? *blinking innocently*

Sebastian Wroth never wanted to be a vampire. Turned against his will by a brother who wanted to save him from death, he has spent the past centuries alone and depressed. When Kaderin the Vampire Slayer comes a-calling at his castle, he's ready to shake off this immortal coil and welcomes the killing blow she's ready to mete out. But something about him makes her hesitate at the last moment. And before you can say 'fated to be mated' (I'm starting to like that phrase, heh) his vampire heart begins to beat. Which means that he has found his Bride. Too bad for him that said Bride is a lean mean fighting machine with zero interest in emotions or love and a serious prejudice against vampires.

Thus begins a really fantastic romp around the world. The sensual game of cat and mouse between these two is interwoven with the larger arc of the Hie, as they travel to exotic and forbidding parts of the globe. Kaderin has a driving need to win this one as the ultimate prize is a time-traveling key that might offer her the hope of rescuing her sisters from their fate. For his part, Sebastian joins up with the somewhat sweet idea of winning the prize for his prospective GF, not really realizing what a freaking FORCE of nature this gal is to be reckoned with. But here's the thing. Rather than get all stompy alpha male about the fact that Kaderin can take care of things, he's supportive of her and uses his unique skills (like that vampire trick of tracing) to help her whenever he can. It's super sweet and really damn hot, the way these two clash and yet still work together throughout a variety of hair-raising adventures.

"We've got to stop this," she whispered, even as she moved her fist on him. "These beasts..."
"Are suitably terrifying. Doubtless." he pressed a brief hot kiss to her mouth, then met her eyes again. "Appreciate it if you'd keep...stroking."

Cole keeps the sexual tension-o-meter on high pretty much the whole way through and this combined with the excitement of the Hie makes this book damn near impossible to put down. As my bud lisabea pointed out to me the other day, these books really do follow the road-romance type. And we've already established that I'm a sucker for those.

I really had a great time reading this book. Strong heroines are a hard character to get right. They so often end up as either unsympathetic ball-busting stereotypes or (worse) faux warriors that are really just looking for the right man to take over for them. Kaderin is neither. She's a complex woman with her own motivations and a history that has shaped her. Ultimately, her ability to face her fears and allow herself to feel emotion is a reflection of her courage and I really respected that. The catalyst for this thawing is of course the steady and dependable wooing of Sebastian. And he's no slouch in the courage department either. He realizes that if Kaderin wins the key and travels back in time, he risks losing her forever. And he's willing to help her do it despite the cost to himself. Clearly, the man is a romance hero to fall in love with.

I heartily recommend this book. Run out and buy it right now. Even if you don't read the others in the series, this one is well worth your time. I'm supposed to be sending it to CJ about now, but I am feeling the need to reread just once more before passing it along. Enjoy!

Grade: A-


Ana said...

I luuuurve Kresley Cole but I preferred A Hunger like no Other and Wicked Deeds to this one.
Still, a very good, fast paced read.

And the sex is HOT.

Katie(babs) said...

Ditto what Ana said!
I loved the zingers between Sebastian and Kaderin! Very sexy and funny book.
As for Wicked Deeds- Bites Monkey Doo-doo.

kim said...

I am such a loser...I really liked Wicked Deeds. But I haven't read the first 2 yet. Hmmmm...I still have some Amazon bucks maybe I will get these.

kim said...

Hey, is this the same cover that is on Demon Moon...just a different angle and color scheme?

lisabea said...

I love this book like...uh...something you really love. Nice job friend!! Road Romances are what Kresley Cole does best.

Sarai said...

Okay so now I have to read this one. Dang it the pile is getting shifted around way too much.
Great review!

lisabea said...

Sula~Hey buddy, where's that last review. Tick Tock. Heh.

Kristie (J) said...

I have this one on the TBR pile. I really must dig it out since it's gotten pretty good reviews. Have you seen the video review of it at DA?

Carolyn Jean said...

Oh, do go ahead and reread. I have A HUNGER LIKE NO OTHER (the book, I mean), and I haven't even started it yet, and sheesh, I am not as fast a reader as you at all!

This is a great review, though, and I know I'll love this book. Oh, and also, I still need to send you the ones I said!

I hope you're having a nice Easter, Sula.

sula said...

gah, I am a bad responder...pretty much took the weekend off. :(

ana, that's funny that you liked the other ones better. for me, this was by far the best. still, a strong series and i'm happy to have found it.

kb, yeah the dialogue between Sebastian and Kaderin really zips along. love it.

kim, I dunno cuz I haven't yet read Demon Moon (i know...loser!) but considering how often covers are recycled, it would not surprise me. it's a pretty hot cover shot.

lb, you are the bestest for hooking me up with more reading material. mwah!

sarai, yes put this one higher on your list! you won't regret it. heh. glad you liked the review. I was feeling very punchy last week. lol.

kristie, i did see that video review at DA. Twas good. Would have been better with Legos. lmao!

CJ, you mean you have a hunger like no other to read no rest for the wicked, right? *g* Actually, I will prolly have it out to you sometime this week. Then I will expect your awesome mad skilz at reviewing to beat this little write-up all hollow.