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on Aug. 19, 2011 :
I've been needing to dive back into something meant for grown ups after a steady diet of YA and this was just the ticket. It's a fast, action packed romp that's very...Firefly meets Tolkein meets [insert your favorite western movie]. I've definitely never read anything quite like it. The heroine, Amethyst, has a spine of steel, and of course I've always got a soft spot for sexy alpha werewolves--Chase doesn't fail to deliver. All in all, a fun read.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on April 14, 2011 :
This was a bit different than I expected, but in a good way. The paranormal elements took a backseat to the storytelling and relationships - they were there and used once in a while to emphasize a plot point or to move things along, but they weren't the basis of the story. Now I'm going to be perverse and say that one of the things that bothered me a little was that I could have used more descriptions of some of those paranormal things. While one of my pet peeves is descriptive info-dump, I didn't have much of a mental image of some things. There really isn't a specific time established for the story, but it felt a lot like a late 1800's western so I could imagine most of the normal things.
The relationship between Chase and Amethyst is very sweet and built on respect the two have for each other. There's almost no physical contact between the two for the majority of the story, but there didn't need to be - the romance was in the way they talked to each other, the little physical gestures they made toward each other and the way the usually guarded and tough Chase started to fall in love with Amethyst. Amethyst makes a great Western heroine - tough, ready to get dirty and not afraid to do anything for Chase.
There's a nice supporting group of characters here too - Chase's Weren pack is a lot of fun, acting very much like a group of brothers who like to play jokes on each other and fight but also love each other and would do anything for one another. Amethyst's group of friends turned out to not be as helpless as they originally seemed and in particular, Sally and Peter ended up shining.
This was a very romantic story with lots of adventure, a bad guy and a lesson about prejudice. The main characters were instantly likable and from the start I was waiting for the two of them to figure out how to get together. I confess to wanting a little more than a G-rated version of their relationship, but I still left the story happy.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on March 19, 2011 :
Deadlands Hunt is a 45,000 word novella set in an alternate universe where humans, werewolves (Weren), and other creatures struggle to co-exist. To describe it as just another paranormal romance would be selling it short: rather than acting as a plot device, the fantastical elements are woven into the core of the story, creating a highly escapist tale that I devoured in a couple hours.
The world-building was fascinating, and gripped me right from the start. The werewolves-meets-Western angle works really well: Chase has the travelling and tracking experience of a cowboy, and the pack of a werewolf. And Amethyst comes with a ‘pack’ of her own, creating a group dynamic that was entertaining to read.
But the story really shines after Amethyst, Chase, and their friends hit the road in search of Amethyst’s missing sister. Not only is there a human-werewolf distrust to overcome, but there’s competition in the form of Amethyst’s unreasonable and annoying suitor Brian. His blatant disapproval makes the budding romance gain a tinge of the illicit, which added a little spice to the plot despite there being no smut. I do wish, however, that Brian’s interference had lasted a little longer—but then again I’m the type to enjoy unhappy stories.
My only nitpick would be with the final quarter of the novella, during which Amethyst and Chase are separated from each other. At this point, it is more their pig-headedness keeping them apart rather than an external threat, and I found myself missing the subtle tension and interplay of earlier chapters.
Nonetheless, I read the whole novella in one sitting, and immediately opened up a blog post to write a review. If that eagerness doesn’t convince you to check it out, then nothing will!
(reviewed the day of purchase)