It's gritty, dark, viper-fast and larger than life. If you like fantasy and are ok with fade-to-black adult romance and rather a lot of violence... this is a great choice. If you enjoy different cultures, Greek gods or dominant personalities, this series is a must-read.
The Griever's Mark
by Katherine Hurley
After completing the series, I am now certain that I enjoyed this first book best. I was introduced to this amazing world where people can disappear from the physical world into a buzz of energy and zip along energy lines to reappear somewhere else. How flippin' fantastic is that?!
This is also where I met Astarti, who is absolutely amazing. She is one of the most in-depth, evolving characters I've read in fiction. I would be terrified to meet her in real life. I'd literally be dumb-struck in awe and real fear. Watching the story unfold from within her head? I felt that awesome and did not want to put the book down.
Belos is also frightening. He is so evil and so powerful and has a kick of intelligence and common sense that just makes him one of the great all time horrific bad-guys. Like, he could win awards for being awful. Naturally, Belos is Astarti's pseudo-dad. Her first great move is to consciously resist his dynamic pull into evilness to decide that she chooses mercy and kindness instead. She makes mercy look... like a conscious decision achieved at great price. Knowing how much she will have to pay for her actions, she still chooses to follow her own heart and Belos is the shadow that makes her choosing so amazing. He's so rotten.
Logan appears in this first book, too, as a splatter of an accidental force of pure WOW! I was astonished to discover later that this first impression is real, true & accurate. He really is a force of WOW! Not like all these heroes in stories that discover their own awesomeness and fall into greatness... no. He's like so WOW! that he trips over himself and no one else knows what to do with him either. Their attempts to contain and understand him warp Logan (very realistically) into something of an emotional mess.
With all these strong characters and more on the horizon, not to mention this incredible world where trees are alive with energy that flows in a current you can take a ride in (Oregonian heaven), this book was a delight for me. In a white-knuckled, wide-eyed, mid-gasp sort of way.
I can't help but love the cover, too. My impression of Astarti, who quite obviously is featured with her energy weapon, is not quite so... um... dramatic, but I can imagine her energy and personality would hit as hard and with as much attitude as the artistic model.
I think I gave this story 4 stars on Amazon initially, but I must admit to loving it a full 5. *sigh* No chance of forgetting it, either. Ever.