Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Review: Shadow Rising by Yasmine Galenorn

SHADOW RISING (The Otherworld Series)
by Yasmine Galenorn


PUBLISHED: 14 February 2013

GENRE: Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

We're the D'Artigo sisters; savvy half-human, half-Fae ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Camille is a wicked-good witch with three sexy husbands. My sister Delilah is a two-faced werecat and Death Maiden. And me? I'm Menolly, a jian-tu turned vampire in love with a wildly hot werepuma. Unfortunately, life is about to get very, very nasty ...

Nerissa and I can't decide what we want to do for our promise ceremony and we're bickering like an old married couple. My sisters and I head to Otherworld for a meeting with Queen Asteria. Once there, we discover that Shadow Wing has dispatched Telazhar - a malevolent necromancer - to reignite the Scorching Wars. And as soon as we return home, we find Gulakah, the Lord of Ghosts, waging a battle to control the magical beings over Earthside. Caught between two terrible enemies in a battle spanning two worlds, we can only hope we're in time to stop all-out annihilation.


I had my first brush with Yasmine Galenorn's writing when I was given the chance to review Night Seeker (Indigo Court #3) last year. Having thoroughly enjoyed jumping into the middle of her Indigo Court series, I wasn't overly concerned that my first encounter with Galenorn's Otherworld series was not going to be from the very beginning and I'm pleased to say I was not disappointed.

I soon noticed there are a LOT of characters to remember and as a total novice to the Otherworld, I did find this tricky. There were also references to characters and terminology which would have had more meaning to those readers that have been with the series from the beginning but which I did not always immediately understand. But, never fear, Galenorn has very helpfully provided a cast list and glossary at the back of the book! I only wish I'd realised that sooner!

I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone so all I'll say is that a lot happens! For me, it didn't always flow naturally but considering it's set in a well-established World with a variety of strong characters; each with their own strengths and weaknesses, I was happy to overlook this.

As much as I enjoyed reading the story from Mennolly's point of view, I have to admit I quickly tired of the terms of endearment that her and Nerissa seem to use in every sentence that they speak to each other. Describing each other as "love" and "my sweet" didn't work for me, as I don't think anyone refers to their other half in this way, do they? It certainly sounded awkward to me. Anyway, I realise that probably sounds quite petty but I think it's why I didn't feel particularly invested in their relationship. I wonder whether I would feel the same if I had read the previous books first?

There are a whole host of other characters, not just the D'Artigo sisters themselves, and one of the stand-outs for me was Carter, half-demon, half-Titan, and Leader of the Demonica Vacana Society. But there really is such a mix of characters that I imagine everyone will have someone different that spikes their interest.

And finally, just as with Night Seeker, I can't review this book without mentioning the sex scene with a bitter-sweet ending between Mennolly, Nerissa and Roman. Although to be honest, I am more interested to see how the relationships will evolve now that Mennolly has ties to Blood Wyne herself, and not just Roman.

Overall, and I know I said this last time, I can honestly say I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely read more from Yasmine Galenorn.
Read this if: ... you've read the previous books in the Otherworld series, you like your fantasy with more than just vampires and werewolves, and you like stories which include a strong family dynamic

Don't read this if ... you object to same-sex/polygamous relationships, or if you like a more light-hearted form of fantasy.


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