Asha is the Queen of the Fey, genetically engineered immortal humans who feed on human souls to survive. But she’s running from her people. When she is found by her enemy, one of the Hunters of the Fey, she expects to die. Yet he’s oddly intrigued by her, and Asha finds herself falling in love with him, hoping she can find safety and the home she’s been seeking. Then she’s kidnapped, and everything changes.
Fallon is a Hunter. She’s looking for her long-lost sister, using an addictive drug to search through the stream of time. Her addiction leaves her dangerously exposed to her enemies but, consumed by her search, she doesn’t care…until her fellow Hunters start dying from a mysterious illness. She is torn between duty and desire, and must find an answer before they all die.
What Fallon doesn’t know is that Asha might just be the key to saving them all, if only she can find her.
And time is running out.
PLEASE NOTE that this book contains explicit language, explicit sex, and graphic violence and is not suitable for those under 18.
What are readers saying?
Mmm, interesting. In the first two pages, the character Joe finds an unconscious woman in a cemetery… and he doesn’t kill her, even though he has that right, because he is a hunter of her kind; her kind being the Fey. No, he rescues her.
Intriguing. Clearly, Zarro knows how to hook her readers, because who saves someone they’re supposed to kill? And why? But she doesn’t stop *there*, because the woman has to wake sometime, and when she–Asha–does, she is immediately in conflict with Joe: Asha knows what Joe is, what rights he has and is obviously not going to let it happen.
But soon enough we must leave Joe and Asha to their meeting and we are introduced to a girl called Fallon. Like Joe, she is a hunter. Unlike Joe (or at least he hasn’t been mentioned as such [but he is male, so… *grin*]) she is dreaming about some woman, whom Fallon sort of thinks may be related to her–except that Fallon has no family.
What Zarro has not yet established midway through the second chapter is the world of Fey Touched. It is not conclusive as to when and where this is taking place–whilst the quick assumption is that it is a fantasy world of Zarro’s creation, this world has not yet been named. In addition, there are a lot of real-world elements: dentists, scientists, coffee, as well as other conventions, but the biggest is the mention of actual humans in the storied universe.
Whether this is accidental, or deliberate, it makes the story no less compelling, for it is a third hook for the reader. With these, Zarro has created an engaging story within the first two chapters; the question remains as to whether what follows will keep one engaged as one reads on for the answers.
Methinks the answer is yes, for in Fallon’s first attempt at finding the woman, Zarro shows talent in opening more questions for the reader.
As the story progresses, Zarro draws the reader in, developing the relationship between Joe and Asha, developing Asha’s motivations and reasons for being in that cemetery and increasing Fallon’s obsession with tracking down this woman. As she does, we learn more and more about the Fey, the Fey Touched and why they are enemies. Though Zarro continues in her path of not naming the world–and it seems to me that the world is our own world in some respects, given mentions of Star Wars, King and Patterson (Stephen and James, I assume), just set into a fantasy future–she does not forget to develop the world, establishing laws, customs and even punishments. Something, at some point, went down in this world’s history, and the after effects of that are somewhat chilling.
Zarro shows exceptional promise in the way she brings all three story-lines together, binding them with a problem that appears to have no solution from individual standpoints–but when all three story-lines ultimately collide, the solution becomes apparent. Even now, Zarro shows good judgement in avoiding deus ex machina: the solution’s parts have been staring readers in the face, but once the parts have been put together, there is still much to be done in order to implement it.
A brilliant effort by Erin Zarro. – Alex Collins