Dawn of Eden Review
This is the prequel to what happens to the world to bring on the Rabids, those nasty zombie like creatures that feed on people at night, but like vampires, have to sleep during the day. We find Kylie and a few others trying desperately trying to provide comfort to those dying in her makeshift clinic on the outskirts of Washington DC. It's a hopeless cause as no one recovers. Kylie did, but none of her patients have and they have to stack the bodies in the alley rather than bury them, the body count is so high. In comes two young men, one severely wounded, the other carrying him. He's seeking help for his wounded friend with a haunted look in his eyes. He watches his friend constantly but doesn't want Kylie to go outside by herself. She's sure she hasn't gotten the whole story. When her patients become Rabids she gets the story on the run. The romance between Ben the surviving visitor and Kylie is rushed, as it would be in an end of the world kind of situation, two desperate people in an even more desperate situation. But I felt like Kylie's voice in the beginning didn't really sound like Julie Kagawa's writing. Something was lacking in it for me. Then there is a very adult sex scene that doesn't belong in a YA book, but it does stress the end of the world, all in kind of situation. There are Rabids scratching at the walls trying to find a way into the basement they are in and a vampire guarding the house upstairs and they decide it's a great time to have sex. Better now than never, because you never know if you may be taking your last breath.
We do learn about the first Rabid and what happened and how it spread. Ben is headed for his estranged family's farm in the Midwest but he doesn't know what waits for him. And dad is not a forgiving man. You'll have to read the rest to find out what happens. I'll say the end, the flight from the clinic on sounds more like Julie Kagawa's writing to me than the previous writing. I can't explain it. But it's definitely worth a read if you are reading The Immortal Rules series. You'll want to know what happens.
Thistle and Thorne Review
This was my favorite of the three stories and had me digging out my copy of Enclave though I'm told these two characters don't make an appearance in the book. Too bad. Mari Thistle is sent on a fool's errand. She doesn't know this of course. She's just trying to keep herself and her brother and sister fed. She teams up with Thorne when her mission goes awry and then finds out she's teamed up with him to bring the Boss down. Through a few days of dodging bullets, bad guys and betrayals, she meets her biggest challenge in her young life, protecting the life of Thorne who is making a play for Boss of the Snakeward where she resides with her siblings. Her neighbors watch out for each other, even help in times of need. Stavros, the old Boss doesn't like that, he wants to control by fear and intimidation but he's gone too far. She's not sure how Thorne will be as a leader, but she knows she needs to get Stavros out. So on one dark misty night, she does what she's never done, makes the leap from thief to killer. She owes a debt to Thorne and she isn't sure what it will be, that's how the story ends but I hope they have their own story. The romance is very hesitant if almost non existent here. But there is the promise of more. Thorne is one cool customer, but then so is Mari (Thistle) backing off from anything emotional knowing that attachments are a risk in this world. Plus she doesn't seem to have much experience in that area. We all need to petition Ann Aguirre to please write their own story!!!
Okay this one was a little hard to swallow. It would have been much better as a complete novel as everything was too hurried. The romance, finding the bad guy, and the resolution of the problem. Karen Duvall can write and had a great plot but there were some kinks that needed to be worked out. Like the Earth had suffered a series of catastrophic Sun Storms. I'm guessing no ozone layer and there were continued sun storms that, if outside, people would get burned and suffer from sun sickness and eventually die. But a certain percentage of people would develop genetic abnormalities and make them Kinetics. Our heroine is a Kinetic and can predict sun storms so she can warn people and they can get inside. Sarah and her father and mother used to chase storms until this catastrophe happened to the world. Even then she could somewhat predict storms. But not to this extent. Enter Ian Matthews, another Kinetic. He has an unusual power and together the two of them have a great potential. Sarah is wary of him, rightly so in the beginning, but then falls for him quickly. Still she keeps her distance from him as it is dangerous for them to be together due to a rogue FBI agent looking for Ian. Various things happen and all of the sudden HEA for the world tied up neatly in a bow. It all happened too quickly and as I said would have made a great full length novel or even a series. Don't get me wrong, it was a good short story. Just too much for a short story. Still very much worth reading.
All in all, I was happy I read these stories for background stories and samples of the authors writing. I dusted off my copy of Enclave, ordered the short stories on my Kindle by Ann Aguirre and ordered her second novel. Anyone that can write like that I want to read. Of course, I have Julie Kagawa's next book on pre-order. I'll always have her on pre-order. Now I'll put Ann Aguirre on pre-order as well!
Thanks to Harlequin for the E-ARC provided through NetGalley for a copy of the short stories to read. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions expressed were my own.show more
by Heather Rosdol