Monday, October 18, 2010

"Eternal Prey" - Book 3 of the Gods of the Night series by Nina Bangs

Disclaimer: The review version was an ARC obtained via NetGalley.

Time and Setting: Portland, Oregon, present day


Utah Endeka thinks about one thing and one thing only: to avenge the death of his pack mate, Rap, at the hands of vampires.  He hates vampires with a passion and now that is pretty much all he lives for.

Lia, born human, is used to work harder and push herself to the limit.  As the daughter of a vampire queen of sorts, she was largely ignored by her mother, which motivated her to spend most of her life pushing herself to be tougher and to use her brains to compensate for being a weakling human.  She wishes to become a vampire, but her father, who is human, has convinced her to wait a little bit longer.  However, much bigger forces are at play.

Fin assigns Lia to work as Utah's "human", which does create certain issues due to Utah's hatred of all things vampire, and Lia's determination to become a vampire in the near future because of her heritage.  However, neither one can deny the very strong attraction that develops instantly between them.

Although both characters are quite sympathetic to the reader, I have to admit that this time around the main characters didn't engage me as much as the main characters in the previous two books in the series did.  I can't exactly pinpoint why.  I think that it has to do with the very quick pacing of the book, the different plot points that were included, and the further development of the universe the author is building in the series, all of which really didn't give a lot of room for lots of character development.  Though the relationship is definitely the central point, I'd dare say it was slightly more plot driven, or at least, that was the case as I perceived it.


This time around the hunt for Zero's minion, Seven, takes place in Portland, Oregon.  Apparently, there is a rogue vampire wreaking havoc, believed to be related to Seven, and as a result, Fin (leader of the Eleven), establishes an alliance of sorts with the vampire leader, Adam.  Utah, who has been on a vampire killing rampage, is sent over as a token lackey for Adam.  Lia is the human assigned to accompany Utah at all times (humans in the vicinity of the Eleven helps keep them "concealed" from non-humans), this provides an advantage, though, as she knows everything about vampires, their hierarchy, rules, strengths and also their weaknesses.  Utah isn't exactly happy about having a "babysitter"... and much less a vampire lover type...

Ms. Bangs further develops the universe that she started in the first book, allowing the readers further glimpses into Fin, the origins of the Eleven, and the existence of other supernaturals, not just shifters or vampires.  I find all this fascinating.  However, anyone new to the series, will be better served by starting the series from book 1 and continuing in the intended order of the series.  By now, there is a lot going on in terms of the background story arc involving Fin, Zero and the Eleven, and it can get fairly confusing for some, particularly if they are new to the series.  The sex scenes are hot, which is standard for Ms. Bangs.  They do not distract from the story and they can even be outright skipped without affecting the reader's enjoyment of the story. 

Overall, if I gave ratings (which I don't) this book would be the equivalent of a round B in my personal opinion.  The story moved quickly and as fans have come to expect from this series, it didn't drag at any point. The characters were not, in my personal opinion, outstanding, but they were appealing.  This is a book that I would definitely recommend, even to those not familiar with Nina Bangs' work, but who enjoy paranormal romance.  On a side note, Ms. Bangs writes delightful lighthearted paranormal romances, however, this series is not lighthearted by any stretch of the imagination.

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