Defining Human by Candace Blevins
Published by Excessica on February 2, 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Kirsten negotiated for what she hopes will be two glorious hours with Xaephan, but the Lord of Lust has his own ideas of how the afternoon will transpire, and the consequences of their evening are long lasting.
Her deal with Ryan means she must go to Africa to help guard gazelles for a week. She trains for the event, but her preparation doesn’t cover the Strigorii vampires who have their eye on her. Since she broke up with Abbott, gaining control of her will be like hanging a sign saying they’re more powerful than The Abbott without having to actually fight him.
Throw in complications with Nathan and a few battles with her old enemy Aquila, and Kirsten doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going. She wants peace and quiet with her daughter, but is it possible? Is she too embroiled in supernatural politics to live a normal life? Kirsten feels as if she’s become a game piece in a sick game of chess, and she wants off the board.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I’m a huge fan of the Only Human series along with the other series of Ms. Blevins it’s connected with. This means I’ve been impatiently waiting for Defining Human for quite a while. I read it straight through, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish. Normally this would mean I loved it, and there were parts I did enjoy, especially the first part, but the second part of the book left me feeling blindsided.
First up, this book had a lot going on. And when I say a lot, I mean it was so jam-packed it was hard to keep up. It also felt like it was split into two parts with two different stories but with one completely overshadowing the other and not in a good way. With so much going on, I wish it had been split into two books. By doing this, I think both parts could have been fleshed out a bit more, especially the key scenes that felt rushed. As written, the first half was action packed and extremely emotional but was cheated out of living up to its full potential. That being said, even rushed that part was at least a 4 star worthy story.
I need you to bear with me for a bit while I explain my biggest issue with the second half. I read to escape and part of that escape for me is the reminder that no matter how tough the going gets, there is always hope for an HEA even in seemingly impossible circumstances.
This in no way shape or form means that I can only read super sweet rainbows and unicorns books. I like my books full of grit and action and don’t mind dark at all, as long as there is hope. What it does mean is that one thing guaranteed to throw me for a loop is characters who I have grown somewhat fond of changing their tune and turning on the others in unforgivable ways. That kind of thing pisses me off beyond belief. That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand this can happen with books in the UF genre. It just means I don’t like it, nor was I expecting it at all from this particular series especially from two characters who, although they haven’t had their HEA’s, have had their own books albeit in different but connected series.
I’m not saying who or what turned, but it was more than one and it was brutal. Making things worse, other main characters including Kirsten let the others down which felt out of character for them too. The whole scenario was hard for me to swallow. I also struggled with Kirsten’s insistence on once again stepping back from the supernatural world despite the fact she turned the power structure on its head. I get wanting to spend more time with her daughter, but can’t help but feel she’s being naive at best and putting herself and her daughter in even more danger with her actions. With things in shambles and friends turning into foes, my thoughts were “Woman, you need to pull up your big girl panties and face reality or you’re going to get your daughter killed or worse.”
Yes, Defining Human was interesting, emotional, heartbreaking and full of suspense, but it crossed some of my very hard “Do Not Go There” lines. Needless to say, this leaves me in quite the conundrum. I love this series and enjoyed parts of Defining Human, but flat out didn’t like the second half of the book. Does this mean I won’t read the next one? No. I want to know how this story ends. I just hope my iPad survives the rest of the series. Its poor little electronic life was in jeopardy of ending in a violent death during this book.
Rating: 3 Tough to Rate Stars
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