Title: Goddess with a Blade
Series: (only time will tell if it is!)
Genres/Themes: urban fantasy, Celtic goddess, vampires, love/hate-romancin'
Author: Lauren Dane
A decent urban fantasy tale. It has a little bit of everything (though for me, no one aspect stood out more than the rest), and sets up a very intriguing world with intrigue and considerable future potential. Protagonist Rowan is a moddy sonovagun, but she's a badass and nice carrier for the complex tale.
Book Description (via Goodreads): Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she's a supercharged hunter with the power to slay any vampire who violates the age-old treaty.
A recent string of murders has her at odds with Las Vegas's new Scion, the arrogant and powerful Clive Stewart. The killings have the mark of Vampire all over them, and Rowan warns Clive to keep his people in line—or she'll mete out her own brand of justice.
Though her dealings with Clive are adversarial to say the least, Rowan is intensely aware of her attraction to him. But she can't let it distract her from her duty—to find and battle the killer before more women die.
Oh, but this book was a tough one to write about; such is often the case with books that I liked but didn't elicit reaction to any extreme. So I'll just jump right in, beginning with the protagonist(s). Rowan Summerwaite is a badass/smartass with an amusing potty mouth. She is certainly unforgiving and uncompromising with her behavior, making her quite memorable, for better or for worse. Clive, the male protag, was quite intriguing, and I wish there were more development of his character. It's through interactions with him that Rowan really shows her emotional struggles; the meaty, interesting stuff.
My take is that the romance is not the first or even second priority in this book (even though it features perspective shifts between Rowan and Clive). But trust, it's there, in all its's sizzling glory. ^_^ The hero and heroine have a lust/hate relationship that's nothing if not fun to watch develop.
I found the last act (read: the ending) to be quite tensionless; the climax of the story was, in fact, fairly anti-climactic. What's more, the writing in the section felt different from what preceded it, with the dialogue a bit overrun with "badassisms" and the visuals lacking a certain flow and vividness.
In general, the book was decent in every way. Decent characters, decent storyline, decent This particular sentiment is the height of subjectivity; I fully expect several others I know to read the book and find it very enjoyable. But for me, it just didn't ring any particular bells.
All told, however, I'm intrigued enough to want to check out the next book. A bit of research has turned up that, while there is no follow-up officially in the works, the author would indeed like to produce a sequel. The book certainly felt like it was intended to be a sequel; certain aspects of world- and character building were not rounded out, suggesting later development. I think Rowan's adventures--and more importantly, her personal development--could be really intriguing in future installments...and so, here's to hoping this book turns out to be the first in a series!
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
"I liked it."