Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Vengeance Borne by Amanda Bonilla

Vengeance Borne
(Sentry of Evil #1)
Amanda Bonilla
Release: September 3, 2013
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Fated to Hunt…

As the local hunter, and a ward of the Sentry, a secret organization dedicated to eradicating the forces of evil, Jacquelyn has been protecting the small town of McCall, Idaho for the past five years. The hours are horrible, the pay is nonexistent, she has to work with her jealous ex-boyfriend – and forget about quitting. She’s in for life.

Destined to See…

When a rugged drifter comes through town, Jacquelyn immediately knows what he is – an Empath who can read emotions and sense what others are thinking – even though it’s clear the handsome stranger has no idea what, or how powerful, he is…

A Town in Peril…

When people in McCall start turning up dead, viciously ripped to shreds as if by a wild animal, Jacquelyn knows better. Furies are loose in Idaho and hell-bent on exacting revenge. But against whom? And for what purpose? Jacquelyn has until the full moon to stop the Furies’ killing spree and save the people of McCall, figure out how to work with her ex – oh, and there’s a handsome stranger in town who’s in desperate need of some schooling…

Vengeance Borne is the first is a brand new series by established author Amanda Bonilla. This is a good start to a new urban fantasy that combines the paranormal with mythology to be fast paced and entertaining. With a little more character and world development as the series continues, the Sentry of Evil series might certainly become a favorite for readers of the genre.

While firmly in the UF column, Vengeance Borne takes a tip from paranormal romance and splits the POV. We get the story from the perspective of the heroine, Jacquelyn, and the hero, Micah, which is unusual in urban fantasy. This was most helpful toward the book's beginning before the two had met and then as Micah was learning what he was. The pitfall to the split POV, for me at least, was that neither character got fully developed. I didn't feel like I really fully understood either Jacquelyn or Micah and therefore have to wait for them to develop more as the series continues.

Jacquelyn, or Jax, is stubborn, brash, and fiery as the local Hunter, called a Waerd, who takes care of any paranormal problems in the night. She is the character I most wanted to know more about because the other characters describe her as obstinate and hot-tempered constantly, but I wanted to get to know Jax more through her POV and make up my mind for myself. I look forward to learning more of her back story as Jax learns it in future books and discovering just who and what the Sentry is.

When the story begins, Jax's partner is Finn, who up until recently had been her boyfriend for several years until Jax ended the relationship. That relationship causes a lot of strife throughout the story and I wanted to knock Finn in the head more than once. I know from my experience with Bonilla's other UF series that she does not struggle with writing characters that make you want to commit character-murder. Finn just doesn't know when to stop and I must admit that I did not like him at all. There was a lot of tension and emotional strain between these two as Finn has trouble accepting his new found single status and makes some questionable decisions involving his gifts as a Bearer (more explanation of Bearers in a moment). I thought he really took things too far sometimes and I hope Jax doesn't pity him in the next book and start to fall for him again.

Enter Micah, the mysterious stranger new to town who is also a Bearer - one who doesn't know it yet. A Bearer is kind of an empath, but with several other talents that are tied to the empath abilities, like healing, pulling emotions from people, and pushing one's own emotions into someone. Through several encounters with Jax and the local Bearer-in-charge, Trish, Micah eventually learns how his gifts work and becomes a temporary part of the local hunting team, much to Finn's disapproval. To me, this whole beginning part just took too long to get going. I had read through roughly ten chapters before I really felt like the plot began moving forward. However, after that things were very quickly paced.

Jax and Micah have a budding chemistry that grows throughout the story, but don't expect too much romance in this first book. In true urban fantasy fashion, the romance here will stretch across several books. I think Jacquelyn and Micah had good chemistry, but I'm glad the author didn't rush the romance too quickly. The steps taken in this first book are realistic.

Bonilla combines typical paranormal monsters with some from the mythological world as Jax's prey and the 'big bad' for this first installment is the Furies, always a favorite of mine. We actually get an occasionally third POV from that of the person using the Furies and I always enjoy reading small inserts from the antagonist's POV so I liked this choice. Even though I guessed who this person was fairly early on, I still enjoyed how this main story line played out.

Overall, this is a pretty great beginning to the Sentry of Evil series. I was invested enough in the world and the characters, and curious enough about what happens next, to stamp this one with my definite approval. I look forward to reading what happens next for Jacquelyn, Micah, and Finn!

Recommended for fans of: urban fantasy, mythology, the Furies, temperamental main characters, and the Shaede Assassin series.

This review is based on an advance copy of the book provided by the author. 


1 comment:

  1. I really liked this one, I'm curious to see more about the series.


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