Friday, November 23, 2012

Demon Forged by Meljean Brook - review

Demon Forged
Meljean Brook
Guardian Series #5 (full-length)

***** (5 out of 6)

cover- The cover is pretty cool.  Tough looking lady with a skimpy outfit, leathers, at a forge.  The hair color is right.  And Irena really does dress like that, and she is plenty tough.

The Guardian Series are about a group of immortal guardians who protect humans from demons, nephilum, nosferatu, and other supernaturals who have tried to prevent free will or harm them.  They cannot save humans from other humans, and if a human has sacrificed his/her life in order to save another, then sometimes that human is given the choice to become a guardian.  Each guardian ends up with a power, all of them are strong and require no food or sleep.  Each book in the series features a guardian, or two and is romance weaved within a story of danger, horror and heroism.  I enjoy them because the romance/erotic to action and story is rational.  Meaning, there's a whole lot of story and action and enough romance to make romance lovers happy, with just enough sex to steam a few pages up, but not enough to overwhelm and take over the novel.  I feel like I'm reading a good action/fantasy novel that just happens to have a little sex in it, not a book about sex with some action (vertical action, not horizontal) thrown in.

Demon Forged is the story of Irena and Alejandro.  Irena is 15 centuries old at least - was taken as a child by the Romans and enslaved.  She is an abrupt, extremely tough and rough woman who would rather spend time in her forge in the tundra than hang out with lots of people.  She works with metals, and can form weapons with the forge or simply with her gift in seconds.  Alejandro used to be a noble during the Inquisition, and is quite the sword fighter.  He has fire powers.  

At one time, Alejandro had Irena as a mentor and they almost hooked up.  Almost.  In the other books, these two would pop up, and they were always rude to each other, or very distant.  Something in the past happened that caused this huge separation and bad, bad feelings.  In this novel, they end up working together and have to learn to deal with each other.  This, of course brings up the past, and they have to decide whether they want to be together and if they can work through...whatever they have to.

A woman has been murdered,  there's a demon elected as a senator, behaving as if he's reformed - but Irena doesn't buy it.  At the same time, a police officer and her partner have been exposed to the truth of vampires and etc, and the  police officer - Taylor - is on the murder case, working with Irena.  The other problems are the take over of vampire Deacon's community of vamps, and he's been taken to San Francisco for protection.  There's also another guardian that's been discovered impaled to a wall, feeding for nosferatu....There's a hell of a lot going on in this novel.  

It's a good story, and all these separate issues and pieces of the plot come together.  I enjoyed it, because like all her other novels, Meljean Brook can really write a complicated plot, with many subplots that all lead to an explosive end.  Good dialogue, the appearances of other couples that have been featured in previous books - they all have enough screen time that they aren't just mentions, they are definitely part of the novel.  The action is good, lots of heart-thumping moments, and the inevitable sexing up between characters along with some relationship stuff.  It all worked for me...the only thing that didn't quite work was the long long long long....centuries long of unrequited love between Irena and Alejandro.  

I can suspend belief along with the best of belief suspending readers, but thinking about these two being separated for 200 years, and then spending another 200 years angry with each other or being enemy/wannabe lovers was almost too much for me - maybe fine for others, and that's okay-with them.  That's the only thing that I didn't really like about the story - but that's okay, because the rest of it was pretty damned good.  How can I or anyone else expect to absolutely LOVE every single book of each series out there?  I can like a lot every book, but of course, there's going to be one or two around that I didn't like as much as the others.  Or to put it in a more positive way, there are bound to be books that I love way more than others in any given series.  

Loved the story on this one, the dialogue, the twists and turns, etc. The romance was okay, with some extra steamy pages - it all added up to a very enjoyable novel.  I liked it enough to want to finish the series.  There's a few books I need to catch up on buying and the final novel of the series comes out in 2013. May 7th, 2013.  I, myself have at least two novels and three short stories to catch up on before Guardian Demon, and I'm looking forward to what's next. 

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