Review: Stygian’s Honor by Lora Leigh

Stygian's Honor (Breeds, #27)Stygian’s Honor by Lora Leigh (Breeds #27)
Paranormal Romance
August 7, 2012
Berkley

Reviewed by Helyce

If you’re thinking that’s a typo up there, it isn’t. This is in fact book number 27 in Lora Leigh’s Breed series, and I have read each and every one and almost all of the short stories that have appeared in anthologies over the years. I picked up Coyote’s Mate (#18) when it came out in 2009 and loved it. It had the perfect mix of science fiction infused into the paranormal aspect along with a huge dose of sexy characters and romance. I hadn’t read anything like it before. When I realized it was book no. 18, I immediately stalked my used book store for whatever I could find there from her back list and then made my credit card cry ordering the first books of the series that were originally published through Ellora’s Cave. I’m a diehard fan of this series! Let’s get to the review.

Stygian Black is an enforcer for the Breeds, working with the Director, Jonas Wyatt. For a little over a year, he and his team have been searching for Honor Roberts, a young woman who as a teen was part of a medical experiment in the Brandenmore labs-a lab funded by the Council-the very people responsible for the race of Breeds. Ten years ago, Honor and three other teens escaped from the lab where they were being held and simply disappeared. Jonas is convinced that Honor Roberts is in Window Rock, Arizona and he is desperate to find her; the life of his daughter Amber is on the line.

Liza Johnson is working with the Navajo Nation. Since the Breeds were first made public, the Navajo have supported them and have been there for them always, providing a safe haven to any and all in need. Jonas is convinced that they are hiding Honor or at the very least they know where she might be. When an attempt is made on Liza’s life, this only confirms his suspicion that he is close and on the right track. Somebody there knows something, but no one is talking. To keep Liza safe, Stygian is assigned to guard her. Stygian is more than up for the task. In fact, he couldn’t stop himself from protecting her if he tried. Stygian has known for awhile that Liza is his mate; now he just needs to convince her of it.

Stygian’s Honor continues the story arc set up in book 21, Lion’s Heat, which involves Jonas Wyatt’s search for a cure to save his young daughter Amber. Amber had been kidnapped by Phillip Brandenmore, a Council scientist who had injected Amber with a serum of some sort just before the Breeds had swooped in to rescue Amber and take Phillip into custody. Almost immediately, Jonas and his mate Rachel started to notice “changes” in their baby daughter that could not be explained. Additionally, she’s sickly, weak, often in pain and prone to high fevers. Initially, Jonas tries to get information out of Phillip Brandenmore himself, but while in Breed custody, Phillip is killed in a scuffle taking all his secrets with him. Notes and files that they acquired from the labs hint at experiments on a teen named Honor Roberts, but the files are encrypted and no one can break the code. Jonas is convinced that Honor holds the secret to the anecdote that will save his daughter. He has to find Honor. He’ll do whatever is necessary to save his daughter.

Now about two years old, Amber’s symptoms have escalated and Jonas is beyond crazy in his attempt to find Honor and save his daughter. All clues lead Jonas and his most trusted men to Window Rock, but the Navajo, always so supportive and helpful to the Breeds in the past, have chosen to hide behind their Chiefs and refuse to come forward with any information. This only confirms that they have something to hide and Jonas will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.

While Stygian and Liza get a lot of page time, I really missed the intensity of the breed mating heat that the couples often went through in the earlier books. This has been the trend in the recent books, where there is a mating, but none of the almost relentless need that the pair is supposed to experience for each other once they get together. It’s supposed to be insatiable, the call from one to the other, the inexplicable need, the marking. It’s included, but it’s just kind of in the background; more a foregone conclusion or assumption that it is or that it’s happened. I’m disappointed in the fact that Stygian and Liza’s relationship seemed to be missing something because there was so much focus on what the Navaho were hiding and Liza’s part in all of it. It’s all connected, but something was very lacking here.

Jonas Wyatt has always been a huge presence in all of the books. As Director of the Breeds, he holds a high position and controls all the Enforcers. He has the final word when it comes to anything involving the Breeds. He’s a force a nature, quite literally, and he has always been one of my favorite characters. With each book we learn a tiny bit more about him and it is clear that there is so much more to his breed abilities than he’s let on to anyone. As much as I love him, though, the story arc of looking for the missing teens in order to find a cure for Amber is dragging on an on. We are currently six books past the introduction of this particular story arc and while we are closer than ever, we really have no conclusions.

All in all, I did enjoy this book. Its story content was definitely stronger than the last few books that have been offered we get answers to a few things that have been dangled in front of us previously, but in no way does it conclude the current story arc. While one huge secret is revealed, we are still left with as many questions and still no cure for poor Amber who by the end of this book is very ill. As a reader I’m a bit frustrated though. I feel that this arc has played itself out and I hope that everything will finally be sorted out with the next book. But I won’t hold my breath!

Rating: C+

I would be remiss if I did not address another subject. While I received an ARC for this book that came with the usual notation that it is “uncorrected” etc., I was horrified by the amount of spelling and grammatical errors. Parts of sentences are often duplicated within its paragraph. At the start of this review, I stated that I am a huge fan of this series and as thus, I’ve overlooked this fact and I have continued to read this series even though the last few books have been rather appalling in their lack of editing. I learned after reading Navarro’s Promise that a whole chapter had been left out of the final print version of the book to which the author responded by including said chapter on her website. So be prepared for errors, as I have a feeling none of the ones in the ARC I received will be corrected. You have been warned.

Recent Reviews:
Errant Dreams – 3/5
Novel Thoughts – 2/5
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Comments

  1. Beth says

    I loved this series and author but haven’t read the last couple of books released because the editing had gotten so bad. I’m disappointed that those problems likely still haven’t been resolved. I don’t consider myself a grammar freak, but the problems were to the extent that it made the book hard to read.

    • Helyce says

      I agree, it really is disappointing. I’m not sure why or how it’s even possible that a publisher would allow this level of errors to go to print, but it is happening and it hasn’t gotten better. It does affect the flow of my reading as well, but not enough to quit. :)

  2. Shannon Owens says

    This is kinda disappointing, I to have read all 26+ books and I would think by now we would be getting answers as well. I have noticed in the last few books the mating heat scenes had been dialed down some as well, when compared to the previous books. I feel there are several books that have been left with questions unanswered not justed Ambers illness. I’m wondering if anyone knows how many books are planed in this series? Especially since we have to wait a yr for the books.

    • Helyce says

      Yeah, in addition to grammatical errors, it appears that she needs someone to read for continuity. While Dr. Eli Morray has been able to create a “pill” for the females to take to help with mating heat, in this book, Liza isn’t even examined in this book. In previous books, as soon as a mating occurs copious amounts of fluids and blood are usually taken so that they can understand further exactly what is going on. No testing this time, no examinations and Liza does not get the special “pill” to help with mating heat symptoms. I’d forgotten about that.

      As for how many, I have no idea. I have a feeling she’ll keep writing as long as we keep buying. I can’t imagine how it would end.

  3. julie beasley says

    im a big fan of the breed books since i read elizabeth wolf and then went back to the beginning. its such a shame they arent on e books, because although out on the 2nd in the uk. i wont get mine until the 21st because of a problem with the stockist. that youve just got to keep up with them. i love jonas too.

    • Helyce says

      I didn’t realize they were not in ebook form. That is too bad, especially if you have trouble getting books in a timely manner. I never thought I’d be a fan of ebooks, but boy was I wrong about that. I can’t remember if I mentioned in the review, but there is a cameo of Cassie in this book….I’m hoping she’ll have a bigger part now that she’s older. I believe she may have a bigger part that we imagine and I can’t wait to see who she gets as a mate.

    • Helyce says

      I would say this is is definitely a bit stronger than some of her previous efforts. But I’d still like to see her move past this particular story arc.

  4. says

    I used to enjoy the hell out of Leigh, but I started to notice the repetition of sex. (Seriously, how much sex with a barb can one person read?) I stopped at Jonas’s book, in fact. So I think it’s good she took some of the porn without plot away, simply because it always made me think the world building felt a little weak. Which is a pity since I enjoyed her world, even if I disliked some of her characters. If the editing were better, I might try this one since it does seem to focus on the overall arc and the character arc (which is why I liked Dawn’s book so much). That was always my second complaint.

    • Helyce says

      There were a few in there where that’s all there was, but around Jonas’ book, I thought things were turning for the better. While this particular story arc has been strong, I’d like to see her wrap it up and move on already. My favorite book was Mercury’s War; so many interesting twists in his book. It’s one of the few I can read over and over….along with Tempting the Beast, the very first book.

      If you decide to give it a shot, let me know what you think!

  5. Barbara says

    I have to wonder if Leigh actually has an endpoint or any idea where she’s going any more. Wasn’t the big thing Cassie and Dog’s story line not too long ago? I know she’s still young, but it was the wolf breeds, then the coyotes, now she’s back with the lions. She’s all over the map (really). It makes me sad, I used to enjoy the series a lot too. The beginning of the end for me was Jonas’ book, it was so boring and the quality control has just…ugh.

    I can only thank you for taking one for us. I was wondering how the series was going and what was up with Jonas. :(

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