Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blood Before Sunrise by Amanda Bonilla

Blood Before Sunrise
(Shaede Assassin #2)
Amanda Bonilla
Release: July 3, 2012
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My Review of Book 1
For months Darian and her Shaede guardian Raif have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation—and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, for their efforts they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine, and too enticing for Darian to ignore.
Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her lover Tyler is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Fae warrior offers his guidance—at an extraordinary price—Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunt turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian finds herself caught between the man she loves like a brother, and the man whose love she can’t live without…
I'd become a one-woman freak show - a new and unique creature, truly the only one of my kind.
Blood Before Sunrise has all the elements of a fantastic urban fantasy - baddass main character with a long sword, unique and interesting paranormal creatures coupled with the old familiar faces, and an up and down romance. In this sequel we find Darian adjusting to her new abilities, or, rather, others adjusting to them. Both Shaedes and Lyhtans are somewhat jealous of her ability to become invisible in both the dark and light now. Darian doesn't seem to really take that much time to get used to this new power, but rather goes about business as usual.

At the start of this one, the Shaedes capture the Oracle who got away at the end of the previous book. She mentions that she knows the location of Raif's long lost daughter and that she is very much alive. This puts Darian and Raif at odds because Darian wants to search for her and Raif, having long ago succumbed to the idea that his daughter is dead, doesn't want to put himself through that again. I just love the relationship between Darian and Raif. Raif is almost like a father figure to Darian even though in appearances they are roughly the same age. Raif is constantly imparting wisdom and advice to her when they are not practicing beating the hell out of each other with swords.
"Darian," Raif said, calm as a still pond, "I'm afraid you're going to have to fight me for the right to kill this piece of shit."

Did he know me, or what?

"Because I swear to you now, he's going to fall beneath my sword."

God I hoped so. I could live with knowing it wouldn't be me ripping his soul from his body as long as the bastard was dead.
Darian's relationship with Tyler in this sequel is very rocky. Something or someone is getting to Tyler and affecting his emotions and abilities and has made him fixate on Raif as a target. Throughout the novel he believes that Raif and Darian have some sort of secret feelings for each other and keeps doing stupid things in his jealous fits. That, along with the plot line of the story that keeps taking Darian to a secret place where Tyler can't sense her, make for a very touchy Jinn.

I loved a lot of the emotional scenes between the two, but I have to admit I got a little tired of it after a while. Tyler's mood swings were crazy and even though it wasn't his fault I was ready for that piece of the story to be over. I really like Darian and Tyler together and I just wanted her to let him in and him to stop being an overprotective ass. Their romantic scenes together are amazing so I'm hoping that in book three they will both get their butts in gear.
He'd be so much better off without me. His life wouldn't be in danger; he wouldn't have to constantly assert himself to Xander. He would't suffer the anguish of wondering if I was dead or alive. And even though I knew all of this, given the opportunity, I doubted if I'd ever be strong enough to let him go. I needed him like I needed air. And the only thing I could offer him in return was an existence steeped in danger and the constant threat of death. 
Darian is a great leading lady but sometimes her decisions drive me crazy. I believe that was a complaint I had with the first book as well. She does some really ridiculous things in the name of keeping those around her safe, but her reasoning often doesn't make sense. For example, Darian is given an 'item' that is very powerful and that she knows nothing about. She decides not to tell anyone about it, even those she trusts with her life. She doesn't even tell anyone when the powers of the 'item' and what it does start to become clear. She doesn't go to anyone to get information - even though she has the King of Shaedes, a thousand year old Jinn, and a Shaede assassin she calls her brother at her disposal. I just thought that was really weird. You trust these people with your life, but not your interesting trinket? Its true that Darian is not used to relying on others, and that does make sense. She was alone for almost a hundred years and is just now learning how to 'play nice with others'.
I didn't have the first clue how to relate to anyone on a personal level. God, I was so broken, it made me sick.

"Darian," Ty said, his voice no longer angry but full of compassion, "you have to learn to let go and open up. You're not alone anymore. You have to trust the people who care about you and allow us to help you."
I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first half. Often, in the first half, I was too busy getting angry with Darian or Tyler and felt like I was reading the first book all over again. But, in the second half, the story really shines. We get a super crazy 'bad guy' (I mean, really unhinged and demented) and a change of setting that was both beautiful and strange. I loved everything about the second half of the book!

This is a terrific urban fantasy series, even with its speed bumps. I am looking forward to see what book three has to offer us!

Recommended for fans of: urban fantasy with unique creatures, stories with Fae, infuriating but lovable characters, overprotective but sexy love interests, and plot twists.


1 comment:

  1. I really loved this book, it's heartbreaking but it was amazing. glad you enjoyed it as well. great review!


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