Living Nightmare (The Sentinel Wars #4) by Shannon K. Butcher
November 2, 2010
Paperback, 368 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote:”Do you want me to kiss you? ‘Cause it’s what I want. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Especially when I go to bed. I keep wishing you were with me. Touching me. Sometimes I touch myself and pretend it’s you.”
For nine years Nika has only had one goal; to save her baby sister from the Synestryn who hold her captive. But everyone believes she is dead and that Nika is crazy. The one man with whom she can bond and unlock her powers wants nothing to do with her. Now Nika’s psychic bond with her sister is fading fast and unless Nika can convince Madoc they belong together, she will lose her sister forever.
Madoc is slowly heading towards madness and fears what he is becoming. He swears to stay away from Nika for her own safety but cannot. As Nika convinces Madoc of her sanity he must strive to save his because if not, he will destroy them both.
Living Nightmare, #4 in the Sentinel War series, is in my opinion, her best yet. I have waited a long time for Nika and Madoc’s story and Ms. Butcher delivers it in a dark, gritty, action packed story that held me spellbound. Smooth story line and ever progressing arc engages the reader and sets a fast pace for reading. The premise of this one may still revolve around 2 main characters but Ms. Butcher doesn’t bog down the story with never ending emotional angst for our couple as her previous books.
This book is an absolute whirlwind to read as Ms. Butcher goes in depth into multiple character story lines and POV’s which I loved. We don’t see a lot of our previous heroes and heroines, for which I am glad. Andrea and Lexi annoy me. But we do get more indepth scenes with Angus and Gilda, Joesph, Logan and many more. Ms. Butcher sets up future story lines here and does it in a mindblowing staggering way.
Nika is truly the strong one in this story. Unlike our previous heroines, she knows what is happening and of the war that is waging around them. She doesn’t whine or waffle in her decisions. Since she has lived in the abyss-it’s doesn’t scare her. Even though most of the Sentinels and her own sister thinks she is insane, she knows the truth in her visions and will prevail. Her gift is the ability to enter the minds of others and absorb them. She has spent so much time in the Synestryns’ minds that she was lost in the pain. But with Madoc’s touch, she feels no pain and can level herself out.
Madoc is still as crazy as ever. Huge, arrogant, tough, silent, and slightly insane; he is the perfect foil for quiet stubborn Nika. He is convinced Nika is not the one for him because his luceria doesn’t light up when she is around and he fears what will happen if he gives into his feelings for her. It’s entertaining the way this small slip of a girl has this man on the run. But he can’t run far because in spite of everything, he wants her in all ways possible. I like how Madoc isn’t as alpha with his love interest as the rest of them. He listens and hears her. He doesn’t treat her as less then him in intelligence. Though his constant references to her bring crazy got old.
As Nika strives to overcome obstacles set in her path to Madoc, she shows the Sentinels that she may be their best weapon yet.
This story is rich in action and suspense. The romance blends well; so well in fact that you almost miss it. The love scenes are few in this one. We see more emotion and conversation then physical love. More focus placed on the arc and it’s players and less on the primary couple’s journey. I enjoy this change. Ms Butcher’s books are fab but this particular “storyline” is one in a million with this genre. She has changed up and is traveling down a different avenue with this story. What I do ove about Ms. Butcher’s books and hopes she never changes is her concept of good and evil. She blurs the lines. The Sentinels & the Sanguinar use nefarious means to achieve their goals as much as the Synestryns. We see lines being crossed, misconceptions being revealed, and actions being questioned.
Her characters are rich in depth, development, and personality. Ms. Butcher gives great character dialogue. You are able to connect to them rather them just reading about them. Each one is viable enough for their own book. Ms. Butcher’s style of writing adds new and old character story lines in a way that doesn’t leave you over whelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge she imparts.
The ending is a mixture of explosive action, finger clenching tension, and a mind blowing cliff hanger. Ms Butcher managed to leave me literally speechless. Living Nightmare was everything I could want in a Paranormal Romance and I look forward to the next in her series, Bloodhunt, set to release August 2011.