23 Sep '13

A Nix Review – Vengeance Borne by Amanda Bonilla (4 Stars)

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Fated to Hunt…
As the local hunter, and a ward of the Sentry, a secret organization dedicated to eradicating the forces of evil, Jacquelyn has been protecting the small town of McCall, Idaho for the past five years. The hours are horrible, the pay is nonexistent, she has to work with her jealous ex-boyfriend – and forget about quitting. She’s in for life.
Destined to See…
When a rugged drifter comes through town, Jacquelyn immediately knows what he is – an Empath who can read emotions and sense what others are thinking – even though it’s clear the handsome stranger has no idea what, or how powerful, he is…
A Town in Peril…
When people in McCall start turning up dead, viciously ripped to shreds as if by a wild animal, Jacquelyn knows better. Furies are loose in Idaho and hell-bent on exacting revenge. But against whom? And for what purpose? Jacquelyn has until the full moon to stop the Furies’ killing spree and save the people of McCall, figure out how to work with her ex – oh, and there’s a handsome stranger in town who’s in desperate need of some schooling…

FTC : We were provided with this book by the author for a fair review. Bar occasional tweets, we have no relationship with the author and received no monetary compensation for it.
This book blindsided me. The set up was unlike anything I have ever read before and, even though I felt the pace was a little slow in places, I was engrossed from the start to end. I’m actually quite surprised; I hate love triangles!
Jacqueline is a bad ass hunter by night and a coffee woman by night. She was a bit like Buffy (if Buffy had ever had an actual job) and I loved the problems described with juggling two lives. When we first meet her, she has just broken up with her empath/guardian boyfriend. It felt like the relationship would be a conflict of interest from the start and the supernatural explanation for the attraction didn’t make me particularly want reconciliation either! Of course, this then tarnished my opinion of the budding relationship with Micah… wouldn’t it be exactly the same? Micah gained some points for recognising the line before he crossed it but I’m not sure I’m satisfied that he won’t cross in the future. He saw it as a line that Jacqueline had set and not one that is morally wrong.
I can’t judge the relationship between Micah and Jacqueline against the previous relationship because I never saw the latter. I don’t know that I can read insta-mate and judge this particular relationship as unhealthy; to be honest it is the same theme, but the problem for me was that both men could influence the actions and mood of Jacqueline as part of their gift. It felt manipulative and a little weird so I wasn’t sure I wanted them together at all. That aside, I couldn’t deny that I liked the amount of chemistry between them and enjoyed reading their budding relationship.
Most of the conflict was external (i.e. the bad guys etc) but I can see that the minor internal conflict within Jacqueline about her “gift” is going to be an arc that underpins the series. She doesn’t see herself as gifted, instead sees herself as a pre-destined murderer, no better than a weapon. This isn’t helped by the attitude of their bosses who constantly harp on about how “replaceable” hunters are. It would give anyone a complex and I can imagine that this will cause conflict with any future relationships we see. It should be interesting to see how this all pans out.
I enjoyed the world building of this book and that alone would make me buy the next in the series. The fact that I really did enjoy Jacqueline’s character is an added bonus and I am a huge fan of UF series with strong female heroines as the main character. The suspense plot was well played out too, with enough red herrings being thrown into the mix that I was unsure if I knew who the big bad was until a few minutes before their identity was released.
Overall, there is enough in this series debut to keep me reading more. With a strong heroine, an interesting world-building aspect and enough romantic tension to keep me hooked, it checked a whole host of boxes. It is yet to be seen if I can get over the way the relationships are built enough to want her to have a relationship with either of the male leads, but it’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds. A solid 4 Stars. 

Nix

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