Book Reviews, Fantasy, Young Adult

RELENTLESS by Karen Lynch

Relentless (Relentless, #1)RELENTLESS
by Karen Lynch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In her search for answers about her father’s murder, Sara Grey has gotten caught up in the secret world of trolls, fairies, werewolves–you name it. And when that search puts her directly in the path of a vampire out for her blood and her life, she is forced to rely on Nikolas–an elite Mohiri soldier whose life directive is to protect the human race from the dangers of the mystical world. Having a handsome warrior duty-bound to protect you wouldn’t be so bad for most girls (and some guys). But Sara’s independent nature sees Nikolas as more of a nuisance than a guardian angel. Add to that his insistence in her connection to the warrior race, her own misguided assertion that she can take care of herself, and the extensive list of secrets Sara is keeping–not just from Nikolas but from everyone she knows and loves–and these two are butting heads more than the Three Stooges. Something’s got to give though, and with the hunt closing in on her, Sara must choose between her secrets and her own safety.

Problems:

1) The beginning was a bit slow for me. Sure, there’s a lot you learn in those first few chapters, and I understand that those bits of information need to be taken in gradually or else the whole concept is like some bomb dropped all at once with no time to process. It can be overwhelming. Maybe it’s because I’m a romance-driven reader and Nikolas didn’t show up until several chapters in, but it took me a while to really get into the book.

2) There were things I liked about Sara, but there were also some things that had me slapping my forehead. For instance, I get that she’s independent–and I love that about her. But how does she not realize how outmatched she is by these supernatural beings? She thinks she can take care of herself (and yes, in some cases she holds her own), but there were times I wanted to smack some sense into this girl. But hey, that’s to be expected. She’s a flawed character, but that also makes her a realistic character. If she was perfect, her story would be short and boring. And this book is not.

Praises:

1) I’ve read some mixed reviews on the wide variety of supernatural beings included in this book. Seeing as I’ve read all three books before writing this review, it’s difficult for me to remember just how many were mentioned in the first book. We come across several different species and demons in the trilogy, but I don’t remember thinking it was too much in this first installment. In fact, I found it refreshing that the supernatural world consisted of more than just vampires and werewolves. There’s fairies, goblins, trolls, even hellhounds. I also liked that we didn’t just hear about all these, but actually got to interact with them and make our own observations of each type.

2) Despite being filled with creatures we’ve all heard of over the years, I loved that this also introduced a new and totally original race. The concept of the Mohiri is fascinating for me as a reader, and I found myself intrigued by each new thing I learned about them and the relationship with their inner Mori. It was very cool to think about.

3) Also read some mixed reviews about the romantic pace in this series. It’s true, there’s not much in this first book. You see that Nikolas is very protective of Sara. You see that she finds him attractive. You also see them slowly (oh so very, very slowly) start to trust each other and become friends. But that’s about it. AND I REALLY LIKED THAT! I happen to be one of those few people who likes to see these things develop over time, and that’s exactly what happens in this first book. We see a friendship form. And I mean, let’s be realistic here. This girl is being chased by all manner of supernatural creatures, putting not just herself but her friends and family in danger. Not to mention her own secrets she’s keeping, the search for her father’s murderer, and the question of her own heritage and identity in this world. Ain’t nobody got time for all that AND a new boyfriend!

4) Once I got past the slow start (ie. when Nikolas entered the scene), I really did have a hard time putting the book down. It was exciting and full of action, which made it a fairly quick read, and I felt like new information was revealed at a good pace, making it easier to absorb as we went. And while this book was free, there was absolutely no way I wasn’t going to buy and read the next two once I’d finished it. So be warned, you’ll probably get hooked into the sequel.

***In a series like this, I usually like to include a section I call Predictions. But seeing as I went right into books 2 and 3 before writing my review, there’s really just no point. If you’ve read Relentless but not the sequels, I’d love to hear what your predictions are in the comments. Or any problems/praises you had that I didn’t mention.

Check out more of my reviews on my Goodreads page.

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