by Rebecca Hamilton
Published by: Immortal Ink Publishing
Urban Paranormal Fantasy (Adult)
"Whatever you do, fight."
Sophia's family has skeletons, but they aren't in their graves.
At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.
Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she'd settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.
One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor's hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.
Survival in his world, she learns, means not asking questions and staying out of the immortal council's way. It's a line she crossed long ago. If Sophia wants to survive the council and save the people she loves, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.
Rating: 4 Coffee Cups
I will be totally honest, this book and how good it actually was came completely out of left field for me. For whatever reason I didn't really expect to like it as much as I did. First off, ignore (and I mean completely scrub from your brain) the cover. It misrepresents this story completely in my opinion. The main character Sophia even goes as far as to state that she is by no means Emo or Goth like. I don't know, it's a trivial thing but it gave me a completely different impression as to how exactly this story was going to go and actually put me off from reading it for a little while. But anywho, great book, awesome story, fresh take and different twists on things that have been done a million times before.
Sophia Parsons has had death surround her pretty much her entire life and a curse that won't let up. Her dad died when she was 6 years old, her mom died when she was 19 (during an exorcism of all things!) and she watched her neighbor die a couple of years after that. After her mother died while being put thru an exorcism- because the uber religious lady in town believed Lithium was the devil-Sophia began hearing a mixture of voices and static in her head that she couldn't block out. The fact that she has been nearby when all of the deaths have occurred made her an outcast in her little "Mulberry" type town. Throw on the fact that she's a practicing Wiccan and the poor girl might as well be walking around with a scarlet "O" on her chest (for outcast, get it? bad analogy huh? oh well moving on). And because of her curse she keeps very much to herself. She has very few friends and when one of her two said friends from college, Ivory, comes home and drags her out to a club, her life is forever changed. Little does she realize that the club (Flesh- umm red flag right there!) is a club for Elementals. And this is where the cool and fresh take on the usually overdone lore comes in. The five elements are represented by different supernatural beings: Earth, Water, Air (Vampires and Shapeshifters - or Cruros and Striogi, respectively, in this story), Fire and Spirit (Witches). It's not just the different names that set them apart, it's their abilities and characteristics as well. For example, a Striogi (Shapeshifter) has the choice whether or not to be immortal. There is so much more well-thought out detail as far as this is concerned, and things that if I explain will spoil the story- so I won't. Needless to say, Sophia is thrown on her ass, headfirst into a world she had no clue actually existed. She learns from Ivory and two Elementals she meets at the club, Adrian and Charles (we will be getting to him in just a bit) about the danger she is now in being in the know.
Completely aside from the Elementals, Sophia is still dealing with the noises in her head and the possible discovery that a descendant of hers was a witch hanged in the 1600s and wondering if the two are somehow connected. She keeps the secret of the voices and then the seeing of dead people to herself for fear it would make her look utterly bonkers. That was one of my gripes with the story. She just had this whole supernatural world thrown at her, completely changing everything she thought was true and she's too afraid that hearing voices would make her seem crazy?! She just had a guy admit to her that he drinks blood and can influence people, hearing things doesn't seem that far-fetched. Just sayin'.
Ok, so onto Charles. Sophia met him in Flesh and there was an instant connection. Not insta-love, but definitely a chemistry. After they realize how much danger Sophia is in, he makes it his mission to protect her. He moves her in with him and they become close. But they keep each other at arms length. He because he's not ready to give her his heart and believes he will only bring more bad into her life. Her because she can't handle his immortality and because she didn't feel it was fair because of her secrets. But (after six freaking months of living together!!) they finally succumb and give into their feelings. He believes in her, confides in her and trusts her implicitly. They are pretty great together, I've gotta say.
I can't go much more into details but let's just say there's witches and councils and evil queens and surprise turns- oh my! Just go read the book already! :)