Reviewed by Helyce
From Goodreads: U.S. law enforcement agent Heather Lane can read minds. But not the future. The dream of battle and blood that recurs every night must be a fluke, some obscure terror from her own mind. What its significance might be, she can’t guess: an attack from seven psychotic vampires at once, only separated from nightmare by an eighth very different immortal. A handsome, brave man fighting at her side, a man she misses when she wakes.
Then the dream comes true. Heather is flung into a war between predators and protectors of humanity, the man from her dreams beside her again. Except now that she’s awake, she isn’t sure she can trust Ethan, or the shadow organization he represents. The U.S. military doesn’t trust either of them. But against an onslaught of evil like the one that’s coming, it will take everything they have just to survive.
I was so glad to be getting Ethan’s story in this 6th book in Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series. I look forward to each installment because while I’ve formed some personal conclusions about who and what some of the characters are, this author always surprises me. Sometimes it’s a big “WOW” moment, other times it’s subtle, but in all instances I am impressed and continue to be intrigued by this series.
I really loved how Duvall introduced Heather to us and to Ethan. Heather, a human for all intents and purposes, is able to read minds. Unbeknownst to her, she is a ‘gifted one’ and this basically means that she is a human with a little something extra that makes her compatible and able to be transformed to an immortal; which is great if you fall in love with one! These immortals are vampire-like; that is to say they do drink blood to heal and regenerate, and they do posses special gifts as well, but they do not succumb to the virus that regular vampires carry that eventually turns their mind to mush and makes them crazy. The immortals hunt the “bad” vampires to keep humans safe and they do all this while keeping themselves and their abilities a secret.
By the time Heather’s dream of fighting vampires comes true and she is faced with the fight of her life in a clearing not too far from her home, she’s been having the dream for a year. When it happens, she’s seen it so many times in her head she is not even surprised. While in the moment, she’s scared shitless, and afterward she’s wary but has a kind of acceptance to almost everything that Ethan shares with her. I found it a bit refreshing to skip over fear and disbelief and move into acceptance and I think the author’s use of a repetitive dream experienced by our heroine made Heather’s easy acceptance more believable.
We get to know Ethan a little more as well. He’s a young immortal, only about 100 years since his change. New to the area, he’d actually fallen for a fellow immortal who he’d had a friends with benefits type relationship with. Though it was a bit more on his end, it was clear that Lisette was meant for someone else. When Ethan meets Heather initially, he’s impressed by her shooting skills and actually thinks she’s an immortal he just hasn’t met yet. When he realizes she isn’t he regards her and the situation and quickly realizes that something is up, that it cannot be a coincidence that Heather was placed in his path. Upon hearing Heather’s story and learning about her dreams, Ethan knows that he needs to bring her in and make Seth, the leader of the Immortal Guardians, aware of this. It seems clear to everyone that Gershom, the Other who is intent on bringing the Apocalypse to earth, is responsible for planting the dreams in Heather’s subconscious, but to what end? Duvall is masterful here as she continues to weave an intricate story that keep us on our toes. Just when you think you know what or who is responsible, she sends you down another path and creates an extension to the story that gives it more depth and allows for advancement of the main arc while giving us more characters to get excited about.
While our main arc does not advance in a huge way, Duvall continues to give us minute hints as to who the Others are and I cannot help but begin to form conclusions. We are seeing some definite dissension in the ranks where they are concerned and it’ll be interesting to see if it continues. It is clear that they are powerful and that their gifts are extraordinary. Only time will tell if they will use them for good…or for evil. What is clear at this stage is that Gershom must be stopped.
While there is focus on Ethan and Heather as our main protagonists, their romance took a little bit of a back seat as they are quickly forced into dire situations with little or no preparation. Their moments together are precious and perfect, but their priorities remain. When they realize what is going on and suspect Gershom everyone is on high alert and there is not a lot of time for intimacy–but Heather and Ethan forge on.
In each installment, we meet new characters or we learn something interesting and important about an existing character. I love this aspect of Duvall’s writing. She keeps it interesting, shocks or surprises us and gives us those “a-ha” moments every time. In this book, we see a very different David. As Seth’s second, David is calm and laid back, the voice of reason oftentimes. But when one of his people is threatened, we see a very fierce warrior. This had me questioning exactly who and what David is. I have my suspicions on Seth, Zach and the rest of the Others, but we saw a different side of David this time and it definitely has me thinking.
The Immortal Guardians still have a huge fight on their hands, but they do learn something very important in this book and they gain an additional very important ally as well. I cannot wait for the next book.