Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper's life is in tatters: her father is missing, her crush and childhood friend isn't interested in a relationship, and she is concerned about her mother's in characteristic behavior. Just when she thinks life can't get any worse, she is introduced to her new neighbor, Torin, who she is immediately attracted to. Torin isn't exactly who he seems, however, and she begins to uncover his dark and dangerous past. She quickly becomes tangled up in his nightmarish existence, unable to free herself or the ones she loves. Her attempts to discover the truth reveal an ominous reality which places her life on the line.
This book has an interesting, yet mysterious, premise, proposing the concept of a sinister, nonhuman race that is deeply rooted in Norse mythology. Minimal information about these creatures is supplied during the book, leaving readers in the dark for the majority of the book. Many of these characters' traits and characteristics are left to the reader's imagination. Consequently, the tale is brimming with suspense, mystery, and chilling twists and turns at every page. I was thoroughly absorbed in the story from start to finish, making it an enjoyable and compelling read.
The characters were likable and realistic, with the exception of our protagonist, Raine, in certain scenes throughout the book. She was a typical heroine with her independence, athleticism, and intelligence. I loved her witty retorts, blunt humor, and feisty demeanor but found her indecisiveness rather aggravating. Her fickle behavior was evident on numerous occasions, namely when she resolved to never speak or interact with Torin again, yet decided to knock on his front door on the very next page. This behavior continues throughout the book, making her thought process rather hard to follow at times.
Torin St. James, on the other hand, was swoon worthy with his cocky attitude and bad boy demeanor. His dark and mysterious personality allow him to perfectly fill the stereotypical love interest mold. Unsurprisingly, his aura of mystery make him even more attractive in Raine's eyes, and she attempts to unfold the secrets of his past.
The romance between Raine and Torin is well written and compelled me to continue reading. The tension between them continues to grow as the book progresses, leading to a great deal of chemistry between the two. Both characters are upfront and direct with one another, as evidenced in this quote:
"Stop being rude and condescending for starters," I said.
He chuckled, the sound rich and throaty. Sexy. A delicious shiver ran up my spine. "I thought I was being extremely polite."
I snorted. "Right."
"Do I need to apologize?" [Torin]
"Not if you don't mean it." [Raine]
"Then I won't." [Torin]
While I loved the relationship Raine and Torin shared, I felt sorry for Raine's childhood friend, Eirik, who has wanted to become more than friends for several years. Raine strings Eirik along, claiming that she loves him while fooling around with Torin behind his back. This was both frustrating and heartbreaking and continued throughout the entire book.
One of my only complaints surrounding this book was the plot. Suspense continually built up throughout the book, leading up to ... a nonexistent climax. I spent the majority of the book waiting for the tension to snap and all hell to break loose but no such luck. Instead, the storyline misleadingly built up to what I expected to be a single, crucial event that would serve as the turning point for the book. As you can imagine, this event never occurred. The author continued building suspense until the book unexpectedly came to a rather abrupt conclusion. The missing climax and numerous loose ends left me wondering if this book had been completed, or if the author had simply chosen to stop writing it. A brief internet search, however, revealed that this is the first book in a series, marginally explaining the lack of a resolution. Additionally, the book shared several similarities with Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. This lack of originality was evident early on in the book, negatively impacting my opinion of the book as a whole.
Overall, I enjoyed the writing style and fast-paced action. Urban fantasy is becomes go an increasingly difficult genre to write, so I must applaud Walters for that. While I wasn't the biggest fan of all of the characters, I found them to be realistic and relatable. This book was certainly an interesting read that kept me on my toes the entire time. Hopefully I will have an opportunity to read the second and third books in the series in the near future. I received this book as a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.