Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night

Ok, I guess I was just a little too optimistic last week when I thought I would be able to write five reviews in five days. This should have been up on Friday. But real life (aka work, school, boyfriend) intervened. Alas.

Let's get back to the magickal mystery tour. Our last entry took us around the world and back again on the Talisman Hie. This race to the finish included our new hero Bowen MacReive. He's Lykae and from the same clan as Lachlain (he of A Hunger Like No Other fame). Bowen or Bowe as his friends call him has a bit of an attitude issue. Quite frankly, the guy is a major sourpuss. He has good reason to be. Lykae mate for life and since he lost his mate just after they got together, he is doomed to live out the rest of his long immortal existence alone. No mate. No lurve. The angst. It drags. Us. All. Down. With. Him.

But wait! Remember that the prize for winning the Hie is a magickal key that allows one to travel in time? Of course Bowe figures that all he has to do is win that key, then go back in time and save his mate and live happily ever after. Armed with this fledling hope, the man is on a mission. He attacks each challenge in the Hie with single-minded devotion and when he finds himself in an ancient burial chamber with Mariketa the Awaited (a witch) he has no qualms in grabbing the gold and sealing her in the tomb. He's seen that she can work powerful magick and figures that she'll be out of there in a jiffy, but at least he'll have slowed down another competitor. All's fair in love and war, right?

Wrong!

Mari stays trapped in that cave (along with some other magickal beings) and is tormented by incubii. Ewwww! Bowe finishes (loses) the Hie and comes back to find that he's enemy of the public numero uno. If he doesn't go back into the South American jungle and rescue Mari, an inter-species war is going to break out. Och!

Rescuing Mari and the other magickal beings turns out to be more complicated than just getting them out of the cave. They have to slog through the rainforest on foot, staying out of the way of warring rebel factions and squabbling amongst each other. Bowe has the hots for Mari but he doesn't trust his instincts because he is convinced that Mari's magick is messing with his mind. Mari wants to strangle Bowe for being such an overbearing boor (but secretly she has a thing for him as well). They fight and make up. Quite a few times, in fact. There is a lot of trudge and grudge. Trudge through the jungle, hold grudges against the other. Bowe is hardly a prince charming. His idea of romance is telling Mari that she might be his mate Mariah reincarnated (how else can he explain his urges towards her...Lykae only mate once after all). Charming indeed.

What doesn't really work is the overly plotty and convoluted ending as well as the pacing of the story in general. It goes in bursts and therefore my attention goes in the same manner. Up and down. What does work is the sexual tension between the lead characters. It's believable and it's hot, and I like that part. Also, there are some very interesting secondary characters that are probably getting set up for their own books. (I am SO ready to read about the hot (heh) rage demon king Rydstrom, gimme that book now please!)

Oh well. I'd still be game for the next installment.

Grade: C+

13 comments:

Stacy~ said...

I've only read Cole's historicals, haven't gotten up the interest for this series yet. Maybe one day....

Great reviews Sula!

lisabea said...

The angst. It drags. Us. All. Down. With. Him.

The Nail. You hit. It. On. The. Head.

Happy MLM. :)

Katie(babs) said...

I thought the story would get a lot better after they get out of the cave. WRONG!
Have to deal with some witch in the water, or a reflection with an apple... boring.....
Now as for Rain and Ellie and that sex scene...

Sarai said...

Well I haven't made it that far in the series and now I don't want to Dang it. I will move it down on the list. I hear the next two are coming out next...
I love Rain and Ellie and all things that go HAWT in the night with them ;)

Katie(babs) said...

Oh yes Sarai, oh yes. How will I ever wait till October?

Kristie (J) said...

What kills this one for me is the REALLY Stupid cover. I don't get it at all. It doesn't fit in with the previous two and it certainly doesn't fit in with the cover of the next book. When I buy series, I like all the covers to have the same kind of theme like say the In Death ones. But this one is the cuckoo in the nest.

sula said...

stacy, thanks for the compliment. they were actually fun to write cuz the books are fun to read. I'd only read Cole's historicals in the past (and was thoroughly UNimpressed) but these books were very entertaining. And hot. *g*

lb, I think your reviewing style is rubbing off on me. lol.

kb, that apple and mirror thing bugged the bejeezus out of me. I wanted to smack her. Helloo my pretty! *cackle* Sooo obviously NOT a smart idea, it's rather head-smacking.

sarai, just make sure you don't skip book 2. that one's a good 'un. :)

kristie, the cover is atrocious. really hideous. Which is weird because the previous book has a very attractive cover that doesn't look cartoony. You'd think that in a series, they would be consistent with an overall look and feel. *shrug*

lisabea said...

I miss sula. I left you a note at josh's. you never call. you never write.


how your mother worries.

Christine said...

I'll be the black sheep in our blog family and admit that I loved this book! While I do agree that Bowen was rather excessively angsty over his loss of his 'almost' mate centuries ago (which was really driven by guilt and self pity that he would probably never have a true mate again after her death... hell I'd be pretty damn cranky too!), everything else in the book worked really well for me. I loved Mari who was so spunky and the sexual tension was great. I also love the dialogue and humor in all of Cole's IAD novels. And she writes some of the best (and diverse) secondary characters.... she makes you want to read a story for each and every one!

And.... *dodging flying tomatoes and banana peels*... ;)

I also love the cover. LOL I think the anime look is unique and refreshing, and I think it blends well enough with the first two IAD covers. IMO, its the covers of her next installments that are terribly out of place with the first three. Ugh. Don't like them.

But I'm right there with you, Sula, when it comes to wanting Rydstrom's book! Oh yeah....

Tumperkin said...

Can't get past that damn cover

Katie(babs) said...

Can't get past the witch in the water with the apple.

sula said...

hey black sheep! i mean, christine. hehe. no, it's ok to have a different opinion. It's what makes the world turn and stuff. And I agree with you about Mari's character. I did like that she was spunky, although on occasion, she could have toned it down a tad. Agree on the sexual tension tho. That's what makes the entire series enjoyable for me.

Can't wait for Rydstrom!

Carolyn Jean said...

I'm glad at least one person liked this since I own it. Sula, may I compliment you on almost making your goal of 5 reviews? That is quite impressive.