Warrior - Zoe Archer Mixed feelings on this one. In a few words, characters were mostly yay, but the plot/adventure/mission was ho-hum.


Captain Gabriel Huntley, late of Her Majesty's Thirty-Third of foot, gets a fat, juicy 5+ star thumbs up. Gruff, unpolished, unrefined, he speaks bluntly, fights passionately, makes love wholeheartedly, and loves with his whole self. I loved his honesty and commitment. His lack of pretty words simply meant I knew he would always be a straight shooter and tell the truth of how he was feeling. This bluntness also makes for pretty hilarious observations and narrative from his POV.

Thalia Burgess...maybe 3-3.5 stars. I did like her and thought she showed courage and a unique spunk unlikely to be found in a Victorian era lady. I'm guessing her upbringing in Mongolia contributed to that uniqueness. I could see Gabriel falling for her. Her POV was fine and didn't grate...except that she "grew damp" more times than I could count. Seriously, woman? It got to the point that she felt herself "growing damp" when they were talking battle strategies, at which point I became a little concerned for her health "down there." Otherwise, though, an acceptable, courageous, and mostly likable heroine.

Secondary characters were fine, too. While I didn't really like the way this story unfolded and the plot/adventure/mission itself, I'm curious enough about one of the secondary characters, the fellow Blade Bennett Day, that I think I'll probably read his story, too.


Meh. Meh meh meh. 2-2.5 stars-ish? I know paranormally stuff usually has a lot of worldbuilding in the first book and already sort of expected that. This book, however, felt like an odd blend of not enough information and then TOO much detail. I grew bored with the first 20% or so of the book when the mission was cloaked in so much mystery that I didn't know why they needed to protect this elusive thing-they-must-protect, and I quite honestly didn't care. The worldbuilding is provided very piecemeal, so we get a little background at a time, until it's around Chapter 18 or so that we finally understand the power behind the thing-they-must-protect. My patience only lasts so long, to be frank. Then there was a lot of detailed description that, while building a lovely picture of their setting and the exotic location, sometimes felt a little too detailed. I found my interest once again wandering.

Maybe I just wasn't in the right "mood" for this book, but I just found myself not interested in the story when Gabriel - and Thalia, I suppose - weren't on screen. To that end, I also didn't like the way some of the POV came from secondary characters - most notably, the villains' POV. I mean, I don't really care what the bad guys are thinking. JRW's lessers did nothing for me. On top of that, sometimes there was shifting POV within a single section, and that also took me a bit out of the story.


I think the premise is promising, and I like the idea of this circle of protectors called the "Blades of the Rose" that protects these magical objects around the world. I just didn't really think the execution was all that great. The characters held my interest, even if the story didn't. Oh, and Gabriel Huntley...? *le sigh* Where can I find one of him for myself?