It’s interesting to me that so many people liked this book a little less than the first three, because it features Cynna and Cullen instead of Lily and Rule. I think that’s actually why I liked it more. It’s not that I dislike the original lead characters; it’s just that their romance was a bit lacking –at least for me. They’re mates. They really have no choice but to be together. It’s different with Cynna and Cullen. There is no physical imperative for them to be a couple. Their relationship isn’t a given, it’s a journey. And what a ride it is.
As the story begins, Cynna is still struggling to accept the fact that she is pregnant. It wasn’t anything she planned or thought that she wanted. But the fact is, it’s real, and in her heart, there is no other option but to have the baby. Her turmoil over it quickly takes a backseat, however, when a group of beings show up from another realm, seeking her Finding skills. The details are murky, but when the chips fall, she is in their home dimension with Cullen and a handful of others, seeking the mysterious medallion.
If you read “Inhuman,” you’ll be familiar with Kai and Nathan. She’s a human telepath on a mission from the Winter Queen. He is the hellhound in human form, who loves her. Here, Kai’s mission overlaps with our group from Earth, but it’s not clear how right away. I really enjoyed Kai and Nathan’s short story, so I liked seeing them again here and learning what became of them. But to those who skipped their short, these two may feel disjointed to the main story.
Most of the book is in Cynna’s POV, which I liked. She has some real issues and vulnerability, thanks to her difficult childhood. And I enjoyed watching Cullen work to break down her walls. I really appreciated his earnestness, especially since he has always been so mercurial before now. The world has changed for both of them so completely, the evolution of their relationship really works to ground them.
Outside of the romance, there is a great adventure. Since we leave earth, this installment feels a bit more high fantasy than urban fantasy in some ways. The worldbuilding is solid, but what’s cool is that it’s built in more seamlessly than in other books of the series. The pacing moves much better; there were no slow pockets. I was excited to keep reading from beginning to end.
The only question that niggles me is why/ how Cullen is able to slough off the very nature of lupi culture to choose monogamy. The mate bond settles that issue for Rule… but that doesn’t apply here. He can’t be the first lupus to fall in love and definitely not the first to get a woman pregnant –so why is this situation different? Don’t get me wrong, I need that to buy into a HEA, but it feels a little convenient.
Regardless, this is easily my favorite in the series. And I am excited to see where it goes next.
P.S. When you finish this book, be sure to read “Cyncerely Yours” on the author’s website to get the big payoff on Cullen and Cynna’s romance. You’ll be glad you did.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Eileen Wilks
Release Date: January 2, 2008