Stygian’s Honor by Lora Leigh (Breeds #27)
August 7, 2012
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!
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.