Review: The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter

Reviewed by Joanna

I can’t believe I’ve not yet picked up this series. It’s been on my to-be-read list forever, and I’ve adored other work by this author. My loss, as this book is excellent. Plus book five has just come out, and I feel a binge read coming on.

To the story. Ava hears voices. She always has, and they drive her crazy, giving her terrible headaches and forcing her to stay away from other people. A successful photographer, she tours the world, focusing on remote tourist locations to keep the voices quiet. You see, they come from everyone, like she’s a receptor for inner monologues. Except the voices are always in a foreign language and she has no idea what they are saying.

In search of a cure, Ava travels to Istanbul to see a previously unheard of specialist.  Did I mention this book has sumptuous old world locations?

Oh, and a super sumptuous man. Well, not actually a man as he’s other worldly. Malachi is an Irin Scribe—an angel descendant—and he’s unmated, stoic, strong, and compelling. He lives and works in Istanbul, and happens upon Ava being pursued by bad angel descendants called the Gregori. He assumes she’s human and he knows they mean to harm her, so he steps in as a protector though she does a good job of protecting herself.

Ava mistakes Malachi for a bodyguard her stepfather sent to watch over her, and they form a sort of friendship as she remains in the city. It can’t go any further as Scribes can’t touch humans. Except Malachi begins to suspect more and more that Ava is not human herself. Maybe she’s something much more rare and precious. And if she is, her life is in danger from many sides.

For a moment, he reveled in the fantasy that she had enough energy even for his touch. Fingers linked. Arms wrapping around her slight frame. Drawing her to his chest as his mouth descended to her skin. Laying his rough cheek to the satin of hers. Pressing his lips to her neck. The curve of her jaw. Her lips. Feeling the pulse of life seep into his skin. Her fingers digging into his neck. Gripping his hair at the nape. The touch of her mouth to his. The touch… He banished the rebellious thoughts, disgusted with himself.

Such lovely writing. Hunter produces easy to read yet sumptuous prose. In simple lines I was embedded in Ava and Malachi’s world and walking Istanbul’s sun baked cobbled streets. I could feel the rising tension in Malachi as he was drawn to Ava, but keeping himself away. In one scene where he tattooed spells on himself to protect himself from her, I was in the dim, fire-lit room with him, watching silvery ink blaze under his skin.

Then there’s a sex scene where he and Ava form a bond and it is gorgeous, and so so meaningful. No throwaway f*cks in this story. Every touch is loaded with purpose.

The tale is one of discovery and connection for isolated Ava, but is told in dual perspective and is the start of a series which takes in European countries, gods/angels/human magic and politics. I found it fascinating.

The story ends on one hell of a cliff hanger but that doesn’t matter as book two is readily available. I leapt on it and will report back soon.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Scribe
by Elizabeth Hunter
Release Date: October 15, 2013

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