Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by Netgalley and the author for an honest review. No other remuneration was received.
Book Title: BOUNDARY BORN
Author: Melissa F. Olson
Series: Boundary Magic, Book 3
Category: General Fiction (Adult), Sci Fi & Fantasy
Author’s Website: http://melissafolson.com/
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Main Characters: Lex/Quinn
Find It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Source: ARC provided by NetGalley, ebook format
4.5 Batty Moons!
Something wicked is at work in Colorado’s supernatural community. Vampires are being paralyzed or killed with poison…a weapon favored by witches. This offense threatens to break apart the already-fractured alliance between witches and the undead.
The state’s cardinal vampire, Maven, summons boundary witch Allison “Lex” Luther to stop the killing before it ignites a war. Lex has barely started investigating when she gets another surprise: the biological father she’s never met arrives on her doorstep. He has answers to all of Lex’s questions about her bloodline, but getting those answers could mean betraying the life she’s already built.
Then the next vampire is poisoned—and this time it’s Maven herself. The new evil that hunts Lex is powerful and ruthless enough to stop the strongest supernatural creature in the state. In order to find such a killer, Lex will have to face down her own birthright and call on every ally—both living and dead.
READ ON FOR MY REVIEW!
I’ve gotten wary over the summer about jumping in to stories after #2. Sometimes I can pick things up from information a good writer manages to weave into the sequels. Sometimes I feel completely lost–which I can’t ding the author for, it’s my own fault I didn’t read the others first, or accepted a review assignment of a book not the first in the series.
I pretty much begged the author to let me review this book, and she was kind enough to give me a copy through Netgalley to review. I just couldn’t resist the premise. I love witchy stories–especially when they involve vampires–and there just aren’t enough good ones anymore. Actually, there weren’t all that many good ones to begin with. I love my paranormal species mash-ups.
Ultimately, though, I was right about needing to read the other books in this series first. The story was so good, I felt kind of guilty when I kept getting lost. I mean, I kept track of the main characters pretty well, and the premise was more than clear, but I found myself going, “Huh? Wait… who is that? When did that happen? Why are they…?” Things I was missing because I didn’t have back story. But as a tale in itself, it was well-written and really engaging. The supernatural politics were right up my alley, though again, I bet I would like them more if I had been here since the beginning, getting to know these characters and their powers as they did. There is also a meta-arc going on here that is difficult to pick up the details of without the other books (or so I suspect).
The only character I didn’t care much for (you might want to sit down for this) was Quinn. I know, I know, the vampire is almost always my favorite. In this story, however, he just didn’t seem terribly 3-dimensional. He was just kind of there, vampire-like, loyal and sexy. He drove and jumped in to help save the day, and spilled a little bit of his own back story–which should have been more heart-breaking than it was, but it was more we knew him through Lex’s thoughts than saw what he was like. His characterization struck me as thin. AGAIN, it might not be the case as much if I had known him for longer.
I loved the ghost stuff, though. The interactions between Lex and a particular spirit (who I’m not sure I should name in case it’s a spoiler) actually were heart-breaking. The witches were especially cool. I’ve always loved stories where there are different kinds of witches, because it just makes sense… to me, anyway. The Big Bad in this book was truly chilling, and the action absolutely spine-tingling, chew-your-fingernails, OMG fast and scary!
The story was slow to build, but (I don’t know how many times I’m going to keep saying this) it felt like it was downtime from the climax of the last book, so it wasn’t necessarily a weakness in the storytelling, just a structural thing. But almost exactly mid-way through, the plot reached the apex, and BLAM, it was rocketing downhill for the rest of the story. Awesome. I ended up really loving Lex. Of course, as usual, my favorite characters were The Herd (Lex’s menagerie of rescue animals). I really need to add animal friends in my stories.
I was going to give BOUNDARY BORN 4 batty moons based on the way I ended up feeling about it, but I have to give it an extra half, because I’m fairly certain that most of the things that felt like flaws to me are actually because I didn’t read book 1: BOUNDARY CROSSED and book 2: BOUNDARY LINES, first. If I ever dig my way out from under some of this TBR that haunts me, I’m going to have to check them out! So I give BOUNDARY BORN:
4.5 EXTRA BATTY MOONS!