Thursday, May 31, 2012

[NOR + ARC Review]: "Chaos Burning"

Chaos Burning by Lauren Dane
Publisher: Berkley (June 5, 2012)
Series: Bound by Magick, 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance

From the “always fabulous Lauren Dane”* comes her new novel of a treacherous family legacy, a temptation just as dangerous, and an evil so depraved it can only be spoken of in whispers…

The life of Lark Jaansen, hunter in Clan Gennessee, has been shaped by violence and unrest—and it defines her future. Well-trained and resilient, she’s met her militaristic match in Simon Leviathan, a warrior not of this world. Locked in mutual admiration, and a desire so hot it burns, Lark and Simon have something else in common: they love the dark, and as a shadow is cast over their world, they’re each coming into their own.

A mysterious war has been waged among the Others. As witches and humans turn against each other, as faes retreat in fear, and as vampires rise, Lark and Simon discover that an unseen force is behind it. A single, hungry entity older than recorded history has returned to gorge on the magick of his victims. He is the Magister, nothing less than the end of time. Finding him is Lark and Simon’s first hope. Surviving him is their last.
Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Other Books in the Series:
Click on the covers to buy from BN; the title links to the book's page on the author's website.
Book 1: Heart of Darkness

My Review:

Chaos Burning was my first time sampling Lauren Dane's work. I've seen her various books for years, have put many on my list, but this paranormal of hers is the first one I've ever read. My feelings upon finishing the book were a bit...uncertain. In my opinion, it was only an 'okay' read. That is, it wasn't one of those books that you can't put down, but it also wasn't a book that left a bad taste in my mouth. Instead, it was just, well, average. And that's not necessarily a bad thing!

Lark Jaansen, our heroine for this journey, is definitely a tough gal, no doubt about that. She knows how to handle herself, and her job, as well as protect and defend those around her. And that's great—there's nothing I love better than a strong heroine. But it's not just physical strength that I look for, and while Lark had plenty of that, as a character, I personally didn't feel that she was a well-rounded one. She was a bit flat, and while I wasn't ready to kick her to the curb, I also wasn't ready to call her my new BFF. And that's a bit of a disappointment for me.

Simon Leviathan's an alpha male, a Lycian who has been alive for over 600 years. He's turned more than a few heads during his time, but he's never met his mate, the one he wants to mark as his—until he begins to work with Lark. Suddenly the only thing he wants to do is take her, claim her, show the world—and his pack—that she's his, and always will be. But she's not going to give herself over without first getting to know him, including learning what saying “yes” entitles.

Although usually I'm all for sexy alpha males (especially shapeshifters of any kind), Simon was about as flat as Lark, and in the end I wasn't dying to chase her off and take him for myself. Again, another disappointment, as I think falling for the hero is one of the best things that come from reading romance novels. I was simply left wanting more from the characters, Simon and Lark especially. If I don't absolutely love the hero and heroine, it's hard to truly enjoy the rest of the book. Perhaps that's just me though...

The world building and fantasy action going on in Chaos Burning was pretty good. But as this is the second in this series, and only the first one that I have read, I felt like I was missing a lot of critical information, things that make the story smoother and more enjoyable to read. In that case, perhaps if I had simply read the series in order, I may have liked it better and gave it a higher rating—who knows? Either way, I think it's best to start this series from the beginning, just in case.

3 STARS! Although it didn't blow my mind, Chaos Burning was still a likeable enough paranormal romance, one with plenty of fantasy creatures (from witches to shapeshifters to Fae of all sorts) and even a good deal of steamy loving! I can't say that I didn't like the book—I did. But it just didn't grab my attention, and what should have taken me but a day or two to read turned into almost a week. For this reader, it wasn't a hit, but it also wasn't a failure by any means. I will still be recommending this book to others, and I'll still come back and try another Dane novel in the future. But for now, this one was just “okay” and I was hoping for a “wow”.

Thanks to Night Owl Reviews, where I received this ARC for free in exchange for reviewing the book. (Free book does not equal biased review, however!) This review is the property of NOR.


Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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