Book Review: The Scarlet Deep

The Scarlet Deep

On the waves of the North Atlantic, a poison spreads, sapping the life from humans and striking madness into immortals.

Patrick Murphy, the immortal leader of Dublin, has been trying to stem the tide of Elixir washing into his territory, but nothing seems to stop the vampire drug. While others in the immortal world work to cure the creeping insanity that Elixir threatens, Murphy has been invited to London to join a summit of leaders hoping to discover who is shipping the drug. If Murphy and his allies can cut off the supply, they might be able to halt the spread long enough for a treatment to be found for the humans and vampires infected.

Anne O’Dea, Murphy’s former lover, retreated from public life over one hundred years ago to help immortals in need… and to heal her own broken heart. Though powerful connections keep her insulated from the violence of vampire politics, even Anne is starting to feel the effects of Elixir on her isolated world. The human blood supply has been tainted, and with Anne’s unique needs, even those closest to her might be in danger. Not just from infection, but Anne’s escalating bloodlust.

When Anne and Murphy are both called to London, they’re forced to confront a connection as immortal as they are. As they search for a traitor among allies, they must also come to terms with their past. Behind the safe facade of politics, old hungers still burn, even as an ancient power threatens the fate of the Elemental World.

From paranormal romance/romance writer Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries, Irin Chronicles, and Cambio Springs series comes the latest installment in the Elemental World series. I’m so thrilled to have been selected to receive an unconditional Advanced Reader Copy of The Scarlet Deep.

Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental World is dark, dreamy, action packed and pretty damned steamy. Romance vampire style is serious business, even after 100 years of separation, but I get ahead of myself.

First, I will say that although the book is entertaining by itself, you will get much deeper satisfaction out of it if you read the Elemental Mysteries and the first two books in the Elemental World series. Go ahead. I will still be here. And if you’re a paranormal romance fan, you won’t be sorry. If you’ve been waiting for The Scarlet Deep, you have not been waiting in vain.

Okay, now that you’re prepared. Guess what? Chaos, doom, mystery, political intrigue, broken-furniture-love-making, sass, and maybe even a few tears are in store. That’s vampires for you. Never a dull moment…except when they’re sleeping…then they’re like….dead.

Elizabeth Hunter’s writing has a way of worming it’s way into your brain and pulling you into the story. Her books are the kind that you set down (if you can set it down before devouring the whole thing in one sitting) and feel like you’ve suddenly surfaced from another dimension, another world. It takes a minute to focus on reality, shake off the vivid elemental world, and remember when you last ate. This book is no different and when you finish, you’re already trying to figure out how to get your hands on the next book.

Like Elixir, these books are addictive and The Scarlet Deep is no exception. Vibrant writing, compelling characters, and an imaginative and yet coherent story give The Scarlet Deep and Hunter’s other books an otherworldly believeability that will hold on to you and not let go.

It’s a good thing books don’t have calories because after being introduced to the sassy Anne O’Dea and the magnetic scoundrel, Patrick Murphy sparks are going to fly and you’re probably going to be doing some binge-reading.

Look for The Scarlet Deep on retail book sites like amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Pre-ordering is open and the book is set to release July 7, 2015.

Feel free to let me know what you thought of The Scarlet Deep by commenting below, even if you don’t agree with my opinion.

Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

I know, this one’s been around for a while and I’m a little late.

All the light we cannot See garnered a Pulitzer Prize for New York Times Bestselling author Anthony Doerr. It’s not his first award, but it may be the most recognizable. My feelings about this book are <dramatic pause> complicated.

On the one hand I can appreciate it for the Pulitzer Prize winning novel that it is. On the other hand I found it a little tedious. So let’s get a few preliminary things out of the way. First, I avoided reading any reviews or opinions about this novel before I read it. I didn’t want any preconceived notions going in. Second, historical novels, especially those set in the middle of a war are not really my cup of tea. Third, I’m not a very patient person when it comes to getting to the point. That being said, I still appreciate it for what it is, a beautiful work of art in the form of words.

The story is about a blind French girl fleeing the war and a German boy drafted into the ranks of the German Nazi army. The convergence of their paths in occupied France is heartbreakingly beautiful as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Despite her blindness, 14-year-old Marie Laure lives in a world with rich and vibrant colors provided by her other senses and her glorious imagination. Her father nurtures her curiosity and builds up her independence every chance he gets. He tries to save her from the ravages of WWII by taking her to her great uncle’s house in the seaside city of Saint-Malo. Her father tries to protect her and help her understand her new surroundings. In the process, he is taken prisoner by the Germans. Losing the people who support her one by one, Marie does her best to survive the hardships of war as it inexorably marches toward her.  Then there’s her father’s secret that she must keep safe, but should she?

Werner is an orphan recruited into a brutal branch of the Hitler youth army and torn from his only family, his sister. His childhood obsession with radios and other gadgets attracts the attention of a German engineer at the Nazi youth school. Soon he is out in the field tracking down forbidden radio signals all over Russia and Europe, which leads him to Saint-Malo where his world collides with Marie’s in the middle of the occupation of the city by German forces followed by its liberation by allied forces. Yet Werner’s punishing training never destroys the tenderness in his heart, perhaps causing him some extra pain.

I said that historical war stories are really not my thing whether fictional or not. However, I would still maintain that this one is heartbreakingly beautiful. Although the story jumps between characters and flashbacks at break-neck speed, I was usually able to follow fairly easily. The couple of times I was lost for a moment I kind of felt like it added to the tumultuous times I was reading about and caused me to sympathize. Especially with Marie.

Some have spoken about this book being full of “purple prose”, that is to say, ornate and extravagantly overly descriptive writing. In general, that may be true and a no, no for writers. BUT in this case, I think it works. All the Light We Cannot See couples beautifully flowing, vibrant, and colorful writing against the stark, chilling, and gruesome background of WWII in a way that is compelling and full of emotion. If no one ever broke the rules, we’d never know what freedom can feel like. The statement applies to life as much as it does to writing. The trick is, knowing when and how to do it.

I thought I’d be glad when this book was over. Yet in the end, it was one of those stories that left a kind of aching emptiness in its wake.

5/5 Stars
5/5 Stars for beauty and character