Thursday, May 8, 2014

"The Singer (Irin Chronicles #2)" by Elizabeth Hunter

As I've said before, if you haven't read The Scribe, DO NOT read this review. This is the second book in the series, and therefore, there are plot spoilers for the first book.

First Impressions: 
The first book in this series, The Scribe, left us with lingering questions as to what happened to Malachi, and if he was actually dead. Now we know for sure, Malachi is back. Hallelujah! While the first book introduced Ava to the Irin, in this one she is beginning to train as an Irina, while moping about Malachi. This book, I'm certain, was much more difficult to write for our dear author, as she has to have Ava deal with Malachi's untimely demise, while we know that he isn't dead. And do it in such a way that we don't scream at the page, "He isn't dead, dammit!!!". For your information, that did happen. Alas, I have no patience for Ava in parts of this book. I understand the need for her grief, and yet, how couldn't she sense he was alive, when they had elaborate lovers' trysts in her dreams. Yes, I get that most people don't think that dreaming is a reflection of actuality, but being named after a dead girl in the Bible leads to very strange thought patterns. Also, the Irin talk about a thing called dream-walking, that you do with your husband/wife. So she should know.

Onto The Plot:
Ava is training to be an Irina, in a secluded camp in Norway. Malachi wakes up where he was born, and makes his way to find his reshon. Dark forces gather in the spirit of keeping them apart, or better yet, to kill off Malachi again- as he is without his talesm (the magic tattoos) when he arrives in the world again. Ava has a time of it trying to learn martial arts, in addition to the Irina magic, but she is said to be a seer, and therefore a valuable asset in the Irina's separate fight against the Grigori (the sons of the unforgiven fallen angels). And so, it is no surprise when she ends up fighting the same forces that killed her lover, and revealed her powers...

This book is chock full of Irin lore. Things that were left unsaid in the previous installment are unveiled in greater depth, raising even more questions about Ava. How is she Irina, when her parents have every appearance of being human? How is Malachi still kicking, when he was clearly and thoroughly terminated in the first book? Do Ava's tattoos look cool? (As shown on the cover?) How can the Irin be so human in the way they handle their government? Patriarchy, anyone?

I must say it was brave of Miss Hunter to kill off a character and then bring him back to life. This is uncommon in books, as it leads to reader frustration, and reader frustration leads to bad reviews. The author manages to do it in such a way as to make the reader appreciate the characters more and be consumed by the plot.

As I finished the end of this book, all that crossed my mind was, "How long do I have to wait for the next one?" and "Dang it, I have to wait for the next one?". Although the end didn't have a cliffhanger like the first, I am filled with ravenous want for the next one. Not many authors have managed to ensnare me with their worlds as well as Elizabeth Hunter has, and I'm quite smitten with her talents... or should I say magic?

Rating: A well deserved 4.5 stars, for lovers' reunions and beautiful magic!

Content: This book is paranormal romance, with angst, love, action, and yes, sex. Ages 18+

Page Count: 330 pages in the e-book edition.

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