The brutal Milky Way

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Blood Bound by Lindsay J Pryor (Blackthorn #7)

I want to say I enjoyed reading this latest instalment in Ms Pryor’s sharply written Blackthorn series. But I’m not actually sure enjoyed is the word.

It didn’t feel like reading, it was more like watching from the sidelines.  And it was unbearable. I fought it. I put my kindle down, I uploaded another book. Yet, the angry furious tears leaked out in a Tesco car park and I became a social pariah at a kid’s party choosing my kindle over champers with the other mothers. (How will my street cred ever recover?!).

So why did I keep reading?  It wasn’t easy, Blood Bound is a brutal story, made even tougher for me because Eden is my fave Blackthorn character.  I was a wreck, veering from despair at Eden’s situation and absolute joy at Jessie’s unconditional love for him. Yep, my emotions took a hammering all whilst reading through scrunched up eyes!

It is a truly brutal read, but it grabs your soul and doesn’t let go. It gave me one hell of a good shake.

The last book (Blood Instinct) blew me away with its relentless pace and kick in the teeth shockers. Blood Bound has a painstakingly rhythm of hellish detail.  I was begging for it to go faster, to skip bits.  But no.  Put me through the wringer, stick me on a roller coaster and throw me bungee style off a canyon.  This book had it all. I wasn’t coming back. For the first time ever I couldn’t take anymore. But the author knew that and threw in a cracker of a line.  Finally I could smile and relax. Then wham she got me with the ending. Lindsay J Pryor totally knows what she’s doing. Wow!

This is para normal romance without rules.  In fact, its completely lawless phenomenal story telling.

And it isn’t five stars it’s the damn Milky Way.

 

Thank you to the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review

Scrambled brains with breadcrumbs

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Blood Instinct by Lindsay J. Pryor out May 5th

This series just went through the roof.  Ms. Pryor has kept her Blackthorn series dark, gritty and romantic, only now it’s also an action packed thriller.

The previous books had readers swimming in Lindsay J. Pryor’s world, this time Blackthorn completely submerges you.  Where her last book had my heart pounding and made me all sweaty, Blood Instinct is brain scrambling and gut wrenching.  A week later, I’m still looking for the factory reset button.

Ms Pryor is a seriously brave author in many ways.  There’s a scene where I knew how it would play out. When it didn’t my jaw hurt from hitting the floor.  I had to immediately re-read it to make sure. It was gasp inducing.

And then there’s the way she shows the ugly sides of her heroes.  I found one scene somewhat distasteful, but it was a necessary element for the story to move on.  As much as I love contemporaries like Nalini Singh or J.R. Ward, I can’t see them confronting an issue so graphically.

Jask fans will relish that this is his book, but this time the ensemble cast steal the show. The POVs from the wider cast were ingenious. Whilst each twist is a complete shocker, yet on reflection you see the author’s trail of breadcrumbs. It’s a trail that goes back six books, now that’s clever!

Apparently it’s bad etiquette to reveal if there’s a twist mid way through a book or even at the end.  That’s ok.  I’ll tell you that there isn’t a twist here. The damn book is full of twists, with a relentless pace.  I wanted to rush through it, I needed to know what would happen. Yet, some of it was so unexpected I had to stop to re-read.  Over a week later I’m still connecting the dots – a sign of a truly great book.

I feel I must say something about Ms. Pryor’s fantastic characterisation. All the main characters get decent airplay as the story moves to the penultimate book. But what stands out is the growth of her diverse bunch of characters, this is especially true of Phia, Jask and Eden. Phia’s struggle was so real to me that I wanted to google for solutions.  And Eden has really stepped up in a way I could only hope, my little heart sang to see him totally comfortable in his own skin.  Just wow!

Starting this sixth book in Lindsay J. Pryor’s blackthorn made me really quite nervous. The last book Blood Dark, was so good and you don’t want to be disappointed. And when you get an ARC from a fave author you don’t want to let them down. The truth is this is the hardest review I’ve ever written, I don’t think I can do justice to the nuances and brilliance of Blood Instinct.

On the 5th May go submerge yourself in Blackthorn – see you on the other side!

Thank you to the author and publisher bookouture for an ARC in return for an honest review.

 

In, out and relax

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Blood Dark Lindsay J. Pryor (out September 23rd)

There are some books that are tagged as can’t put it down (CPID).  This isn’t one of them.  For me this is a book that I had to put down, simply to breathe.  “In, out and relax” became my mantra in parts.

As a master vampire Kane’s heart barely beats, yet at times in this amazingly crafted story he could hear his heart pounding.  Well, can you imagine mine?  Regular human that I am?  Seriously, Lindsay Pryor’s fifth instalment had my heart pounding so loud I could barely concentrate.

Carsten Holler’s Southbank exhibition Decision ended on Sunday, I wonder if Lindsay went?  The entrance to the exhibition was via tunnels completely devoid of light.  Lindsay’s description of the tunnel journey Kane takes Caitlin on was all encompassing. I found my t-shirt fisted tightly in my hand and I slowly had to unclench my fingers.  At other moments (especially in the derelict school) I was shouting in my head so loudly “No Caitlin No!” I’m concerned I disturbed the neighbours.

So, I liked it – a lot.

Lindsay Pryor has crafted a world that’s intricate, gritty and genuinely fascinating.  And the really scary thing is that when Vampires (or others) do eventually show themselves (!) this is what it will be like.  This is human (and other species) nature and power politics laid bare.  Its a fight for what you can get, alliances that might be true or not and secrets galore.  Thrilling stuff!

Yes, Kane and Caitlin’s romance is centre stage (and on the line) but its not a traditional romance.  Machiavelli would be so proud of Ms Pryor and her deceitful, cunning and exploitative nature.  Although on social media she comes across as a sweetie – all part of the act I wonder?!

Book five is darker and harsher than I expected and all the better for it.  Lindsay Pryor’s ability to stay true to her finely crafted story is enviable and her characters are rich and demanding (especially that Kane!).  I’d say its fabulous.  In fact its beyond fabulous – its fabulous on steroids!  And I’m a goner!

Thank you to netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.