Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Serpent's Kiss

Let me start off by saying how much I love the Elder Races series.  Thea Harrison has created this rich, fascinating world, filled with Fae, Vampires, Wyr and a vast array of supernaturals in between.  And I just can't get enough.

We first met Rune, a Wyr-gryphon, back in Dragon Bound. He is one of Dragos' sentinals... his right hand.  During the events of Storm's Heart, he made a deal with the ancient vampyre Carling in order to save the life of fellow-sentinal Tiago.  As this story begins, it's time to repay that debt. 

Carling is having some serious problems.  She is reaching the end of her vampyre life and her decline is marked by periods of a disassociative state.  She zones out; her body is there, but her consciousness is somewhere else.  And it's happening with growing frequency.  When Rune shows up on her island to repay his favor, he becomes determined to help her solve the mystery of her condition.  As a result, he is drawn into her life in a way no one expected.

It took awhile for the story to rev up.  Maybe Carling's lack of passion had something to do with it.  It was really hard to connect with her as a heroine.  The very nature of her problem made her apart from most emotion.  The relationship was very slow to develop and so was my investment in the story.  I liked Rune and I liked the twist the author tied into Carling's "episodes," but I was firmly in the second half of the book before I really felt the excitement or passion I've come to expect from an Elder Races story.  And while the Carling disconnect was probably the biggest reason for that, it wasn't the only one.  One of the awesome things about the first two books was the great action and intrigue.  It's hard to have either one of those things when your main conflict in internal.  The problem is within Carling.

I don't want to sound too negative.  The book picked up steam in the second half, as Carling rediscovered her emotions and our couple finally started coming together.  It was great seeing Dragos and Pia, even if it was just a brief cameo.  And I'm really intrigued by Khalil.  I love this series and have absolute faith that Harrison will knock Oracle's Moon out of the park.  Almost 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by Berkley

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Serpent's Kiss
by Thea Harrison
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Berkley

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At Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 9:28:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Review...

At Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 10:08:00 AM CDT , Blogger Mandi said...

I agree- this is a much quieter book and I didn't connect with Carling as well as the other heroines in this series. I did love Rune though.

At Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 4:23:00 PM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read this book! Thea's doing a book signing next Saturday five minutes from my house so I made sure to get off early enough to go see her and the super nice Virna DePaul. I'll definitely be picking up a copy of this then :-)

At Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 8:24:00 PM CDT , Blogger Brie said...

Oh I think I’m going to like this book just for the reasons you didn’t LOL! I kind of like that each book has a complete different relationship dynamics mostly revolving around the power imbalance between the leads. For what I saw in the second book Carling seems more powerful than Rune right? Not so much physically but politically, at least she is much more mature than Tricks and Pia.

I wonder who would be the leads of Oracle Moon, is there a clue about that in Serpent’s Kiss?

At Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 8:19:00 PM CDT , Blogger Julie said...

I'm almost 100 pages in and I'm actually quite liking this one. I like the quiet nature that is Carling. I can only imagine living as long as she has and to me I think how she is would be quite normal. I LOVE Rune. He is so amazing. If you say the second half of the book is better than the first, I can only imagine how much I'll like it! :)

At Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 8:29:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I'm so glad it's working for you, Julie. Even though this one wasn't my favorite, I think it's a good thing that Thea Harrison is making the effort to change these up a bit, so each story feels unique. I believe it will pay off and give the series more longevity in the end!


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