I won this book sometime around the beginning of 2007 but after reading 100 pages in I put it down for about 6 months. Since I'm trying to read 100 books this year I picked it up again this week and finished it off.
The cover screams "vampire" novel but the two protagonists are a Lykan (werewolf) and a Valkyrie/vampire halfbreed. And she's the one half vampire. Yes, slightly confusing cover. Anyway, the werewolf Lachlain has been imprisoned by the vampire horde for 150 years, chained to a rock burning to death over and over (he's immortal and keeps reviving), so he's close to insanity when he smells Emmaline and recognizes her as his mate. This discovery propels him into escaping by gnawing off his own leg. Then he follows her scent, but when he finds her and sees she's vampire (his sworn enemy) he treats her very badly, kidnapping her and scaring her. Emmaline has actually never met a vampire before, she was raised by the Valkyries – fierce warrior women who channel electricity, and she's very sheltered – at 70 she's the youngest of them.
My thoughts in lazy bullet form:
- As the first book of the series there is a lot of series setup stuff. There were some shifts to show what Emmaline's aunts were up to and references to certain players who I think will probably either get their own books or show up later. This set up felt like it was unnecessary to the story but I did like reading about Emma's aunts.
- I did like the world of the "Lore" – with the Vampire Horde as the bad guys, a faction of rebel vamps, the Lykae clan, the Valkyrie and lots of fighting and old hatreds amongst them. I especially liked the Valkyrie – this was a fresh concept. Warrior maidens who cried for courage in their dying breath and whose cries were answered by old Norse gods, they gain sustinence from electricity and love to shop.
- Lachlain was Scottish and his dialog was driving me crazy – no' , aye, ken, tae, lass.
- There were a few of those "one true love" pairings here. The Lykae have their Mate and the vampires have their Brides. I'm not a fan of this destiny thing. It feels like a cheating – a deus ex machina instead of really giving me the reader a good reason why two people should be together.
- Emma had a very modern dialog in contrast but I liked it much better. I laughed a couple of times from her remarks, and from a couple of her aunts (Nix and Regin in particular).
- Lachlain acts like a big fat jerk and I don't think Emma made him pay enough for it. Actually I couldn't see the attraction after the first half of the book and what he does. I think this disbelief made me put the book down in the first place.