Reviewed by Helyce
I was so excited to return to the world of Ms. Duvall’s Immortal Guardians that I started reading this book the moment it arrived from the publisher and I was not disappointed. It’s done so well, that I truly want to live in her world regardless of the threat of vampires!
In this book, we get Bastian’s story. When we met him in a previous book, he was actually the bad guy. For hundreds of years, Bastian had been building a vampire army in an attempt to get rid of the Guardians who he incorrectly assumed were responsible for his sister’s death. When the Immortal Guardians come upon Bastian and clue him in on the fact that he not a vampire but an Immortal Guardian himself, there are a lot of bad feelings among the group and though their leader, Seth, welcomes Bastian into the fold, he has a long way to go in winning over his fellow Guardians. They hate him for killing a fellow Guardian many centuries ago, and they are not planning on forgiving him any time soon.
Now, not quite accepted, more tolerated so as not to risk Seth’s wrath, Bastian has been working with the Guardians and with the Network-a group of humans with special skills who are aware of the vampires and Immortals, unlike your average human. The Network employs a doctor/scientist named Melanie Lipton and Bastian has been working closely with her as she tries to discover a cure of sorts for the madness that occurs in the vampires (turned humans) after a certain point in time. To this end, the Network is housing two vampires who were part of Bastian’s crew who have willingly subjected themselves to testing to this end. Because Bastian feels responsible for these two vampires he spends a lot of time at the Network, visiting with them and in turn, seeing Melanie Lipton. Bastian really has no intention of ever getting involved with anyone. The risks are too high and he’s lived too long and is too jaded. That does not stop him from noticing Melanie, nor can he stop his attraction to her. Melanie, too, has noticed Bastian, but she senses that he’s holding back and as she is new to this world of vampires and Guardians she’s careful as well.
On top of all of this, the Guardians continue to deal with Emrys. He’s a bit of a wildcard still as this story opens, but the Guardians, especially Seth, David and Markus, have major vengeance on their minds where he is concerned. Emrys’ plan to create a super soldier using vampires must be stopped. To that end, there is much action, fighting and bloodshed in this book. It’s very well done and brings to light even more information that will make future books just as exciting I am sure.
I must talk about the characters in these books. One of my favorite things about an ongoing series is that the characters we meet from book to book continue to have a presence in future installments. In this, Ms. Duvall is brilliant. While still providing focus on Melanie and Bastian, their back stories and romance, we see a lot of page time with previous characters as well as any major players. And this makes me very happy!
Bastian fast became a favorite character of mine. Even when he is so obviously hated and unwanted among the Guardians, his huge heart and kindness comes through, as well as his incredible humor. He is simply a very good man in spite of the hand that life dealt him. This is where Melanie shines. She knows there is something between them, but when she finally realizes that if she wants Bastian, it’s all on her to get things going, she quickly takes matters into her own hands. There are many laugh-out-loud moments in this book, which made for a very balanced feel between the love story, action and tragedy herein.
We learn a little more about Seth and David, the oldest of the Guardians who are clearly so much more than special humans who have been turned. Especially Seth, whose gifts are simply all encompassing and I don’t think we’ve seen the whole of his wonder yet. I love Seth and while his presence is well felt in this book, I want more. Additionally, we meet Zach, who is all kinds of special as well. We are forced to make assumptions about who and what Zach is…hint: WINGS—but Zach risks a lot to bring a message to Seth so there is some sort of connection there. Very intriguing to say the least!
While I am not a fan of the cliffhanger, Ms. Duvall leaves us hanging yet again with another very interesting revelation at the end of this story. And while it is not a new one, the circumstances surrounding it and its incredible impossibility considering the players involved will keep me impatiently waiting for the next book.
That aside, this was a ‘total package’ book. We get to the bottom of Bastian’s life and what happened to him, while giving much needed closure to the other guardians. Bastian realizes Melanie is a gifted one and YAY we get an HEA there. We get some much needed justice for Amiriska while learning a little more about her specialness as well. And we meet a new player named Zach who I already know I will love! Excellent book. Highly recommend-should be read in order in my opinion!