Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: Taken By the Others

Reviewed by Jen
I am really enjoying this series! Taken By the Others picks up a few months after the events of book one, but despite the passage of time, the transition is a smooth one. Private investigator and reluctant badass Shiarra is doing her best to avoid the vampire she never wanted in her life. She is happy solving her small cases and spending time with her were-boyfriend. But it's only a matter of time before Royce is back --with a vengeance.

It seems an old frenemy of the ancient vamp is targeting Shiarra as a way to get to Royce.  A long time ago, Royce killed a woman he loved. Now Max wants to return the favor.  This was a little perplexing for me, since I don't entirely understand the depth of Royce's feelings for Shiarra. The interaction between Royce and Shia in the first book didn't seem enough for me to extend beyond attraction, but I can compartmentalize this and move on.

Shiarra has to decide who she can turn to in order to protect herself from Max's evil plans. Royce?  Her boyfriend Chaz? The White Hats?  She is definitely not strong enough to take him on herself... even with all the mojo she gets from her fancy belt.  Much of the story is spent revealing different facets of all the players in her life.  I liked going behind the scenes of the White Hats and meeting some of them.  Seeing the members as individuals instead of as a rabid, racist whole helped give that part of the world-building more depth. We're also seeing behind the curtain on some of Royce's vampire family.  I am intrigued my some of his peeps, especially Mouse.

But the real show is in the main characters. Shiarra is growing and questioning her own ideas and prejudices.  She is evolving into a better heroine. I like Chaz. It's hard not to root for him with his unwavering devotion to Shia.... though her feelings for him are a little murky to me as a reader.  Maybe that's the only way to keep that door firmly cracked open for something to happen with Royce.  I've got mixed feelings about him. But I like that he is sort of an enigma because it keeps things interesting.

I think my favorite thing about the book is Shia's voice. Jess Haines does such a great job of making me understand her; of making her so easy to relate to.  Between that and the great world building, it's just so easy to fall into these books! Can't wait to keep reading.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon
  Taken By the Others
by Jess Haines
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Zebra

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