Acquired: Sent for review by Nocturne
Published: July 12th 2010, Nocturne
Pages: 344 pages, paperback
Summary (from Goodreads): For Alexandra Patton, the Time Raiders project sends the reluctant psychic back to 60 AD Briton—a world where she can barely understand the accents, let alone its culture of brutality and superstition. Armed only with her "freakish" ability to talk to the dead, Alex must use all her gifts to entice Caradoc, a savagely sexy Druid warrior, into helping her succeed in her mission.
What they discover along the way is pure passion.
Now, torn between duty and the man of her dreams, should Alex return home if given the chance? Or dare she risk everything to begin anew in this strange and mystical land?
What I liked: I’ll be honest now and admit that I’ve never read any of Cast’s work before reading The Avenger so I was excited to start the book, knowing how huge her House of Night series is.
‘Alexandra Patton is no ordinary woman’, so was the press release for The Avenger and I must agree. I was initially struck by how great the characterisation of Alexandra was, as I felt myself warming to her almost as soon as she was introduced. I think romance is one of the genres where it’s particularly important to care about the protagonist, as it’s essential that the stakes are high and you have somebody to root for.
The Avenger is an interesting novel for sure and it flew by in a single sitting. I think it’s quite an immediate novel and I didn’t find myself wanting to put it down and take a break, as I often have with romance. Romance is definitely not my favourite genre and I do normally start a romance novel with slight trepidation but The Avenger is certainly not your stereotypical romance novel.
Of course, there is sex in The Avenger but I think it’s tastefully written so I don’t think any readers would take offence to it – obviously this book isn’t suitable for younger readers so I would advise reader discretion before picking this one up if sex scenes aren’t your thing.
Another thing I want to add is that The Avenger definitely works well as a standalone novel.
As I said before, I’ve never read any of the House of Night series and I was confused at any point so I think this is a major plus point for The Avenger and will definitely help the novel cross over to reach other target audiences. I can’t comment on how the book ties in with the House of Night series but I have heard it’s a great companion novel that HoN fans will enjoy.
What I didn’t like: I mentioned earlier that the novel flew by and I didn’t have space to pause for breath once. While this can work as a plus, I think it is also the novel’s weakness, as the story wasn’t given enough space to grow and be explored as much as it could have.
Towards the end of the story things did feel a little rushed and I would have enjoyed another chapter or two to expand things a little more. I think this would have given the readers time to get to know the other characters better and help turn them into memorable, three dimensional characters, rather than flat characters that didn’t jump out from the page.
Final thoughts: A dizzying romance story that P.C. Cast’s legion of fans, plus a pack of new ones, will adore.
First line: ‘The dead woman sighed.’
Read if you liked...: Dark Lover – J. R. Ward
Total: 14.5/20 (B)