Series: Playing with Monsters #1
on June 28, 2016
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal
My coven has remained hidden in the shadows for centuries.We’ve avoided the ‘real world’ altogether; hiding from monsters and other creatures we share this planet with.We found protection in the Colville National Forest, nestled in a town protected by magical barriers.Our powers are locked by an ancient curse, one meant to protect us from being found.Until now.The past has a way of repeating itself. A new game is beginning. No one is safe.He’s coming for me.He’s hunting.The monster we’ve run from for centuries has found us.How far will this deadly game go?How far will I be able to take it, or will he destroy me and everything I care about?Will the one thing I can’t live without, be the key to destroying and undoing the past?Or will the past destroy me before I can save the people I love from what I’ve done
#NewRelease Playing with Monsters by Amelia Hutchins @AmeliaAuthor #DARK #PARANORMAL #FANTASY #Review
I came upon a Facebook post by paranormal author extraordinaire Darynda Jones, stating that Playing with Monsters was a book she had been waiting for. Well if the creator of one of my favorite characters Charley Davidson was waiting for this book, I was so jumping into this book by Amelia Hutchins, an author I had never read.
I first sampled the book, as I wanted to see if I would like it. Just because I love Jones writing doesn’t me we would like to read the same books. After the initial chapters, I was hooked and immediately purchased the book. Hutchins book is like jumping off the dark fantasy deep end. Playing with Monsters is a highly sexualized DARK paranormal urban fantasy. This is NOT A ROMANCE, if you are looking for hearts and flowers skip this book. If you are looking for RAW and DARK, then click buy the button NOW. Okay I need to amend that, this is a standalone read, but I discovered it is part of a larger paranormal world that Hutchins has built. In saying this I am going to go and start with her first of the Fae Chronicle series. I was able to understand Playing with Monsters but things are mentioned in this book i.e. The Guild and other characters, that I as a first time reader had no context to understand, how The Guild or how those secondary Fae, Vampire and Demon characters fit into Hutchins’ world.
The author under the synopsis writes a mild disclaimer, which I personally thought was unnecessary as this is her world and characters. Some of my favorite characters I don’t have to like, to love in a story. I personally think readers need to put their big girl panties on prior to reading a book. I keep thinking maybe people who are overly sensitive should not read books, as they just end up whining about triggers in reviews. I book blog and I am getting tired of all the political correctness in book reviews. I also don’t like reviewers who are personally rude to authors in reviews. You can not like a book without being a rude moron. <<< End of Rant.
Hutchins in this book wrote some characters as emotional raw and vulnerable and some as complete predatory, if you read the book you will understand immediately that of which I speak. If you like your male leads in the flavor of Karen Marie Moning, and Larissa Ione males, whom aren’t Chatty Cathys, whom aren’t light and bright, then Lucian Blackstone is a character you will want to sink your teeth into.
Now to the female lead in Lena, Magdalena Fitzgerald, she is a fish out of water despite being amongst family and friends. She has been absent in Haven Crest, her home town, for three years, after being driven away by betrayals and losses. Lena despite having grown up in this community is treated as an outsider and this gal never gets the benefit of the doubt. With friends and family like her’s while would you need enemies. Lena unfortunately has enemies, which doesn’t stop her closest relatives from letting the wolves circle. I kinda wanted to bitch slap her family. Their excuses for me as a reader for their actions fell on deaf ears.
I felt the raw sexual lust between Lucian and Lena, but both characters held their emotions in check. So in this first book I didn’t feel the emotional connection between the two. They had a very animalistic need for each other. In fact Lena could be called cold as the girl showed little emotions. This is how she is purposely written and I believe we will see her evolution. The sexual connection is scorching and this book is full of very graphic sex, voyerism, BDSM and violence. The author does have a warning about these issues, but it could be missed as the eBook opens with chapter one. When I read the book, it wasn’t the sex that intrigued me; it was the world that Hutchins built. For this review I pretty much dismissed the sex, which there is a lot of, and I still found this book’s world building worth the read.
The plot of this book is a murky puzzle and it held my interest and spurred me to keep reading long after I should have been in bed. I read a lot, in fact I got a large chunk of change from the Apple ebook settlement, and paranormal fantasy is my ‘go to’ genre, so I was more than thrilled to find a paranormal book that held my interest. If I can’t close a book then your have me as a reader. Hutchins’ has the skill to up her storytelling to be a best selling author. Her books do have the essence of Moning and Ione’s series, as this book is a dark, cataclysmic story that involves immortals and evil, but I don’t think the similarities are going to but other readers off the series.
Now to some problems with the book, from my point of view. The author throws a lot of information at me in chapter seven, in the form of a sisterly chat. It was information overload, I can’t fathom that no one told the author this prior to publication. I don’t think the secondary character took a breath as she dumped all the information on Lena. Lena’s reaction to it all was stilted, but the character is emotionally walled off, so it did fit. I suggest the author hire a continuity beta to read the completed book, after other betas have had their say. (Note a beta is someone who reads prior to publishing as author works on the book) As there are continuity issues, and some character switching mid chapter. There is some repetitive dialog, and I had to scratch my head a few times, and go Huh! These are NOT horrid mistakes, but they could be avoided with a good continuity beta, to ask the hard questions that friendly betas don’t ask, as they are friends! I am not suggesting a comma queen beta, just want that looks for mistakes in the flow of the book. I think sometimes Indies Authors are in a rush to publish, because they are excited about their baby books being born.
The author also needed to outline who were Lucian men as there are a lot of secondary characters and some of there names got mixed in the story i.e. Bane and Layton. When the Fae arrived it is when I really realized I wanted to read Hutchins first books about this world, again an information dump happened. I realized the author has a ton of information in her head that, me as a first time reader didn’t have, i.e. Why The Guild needed to be avoided?
The book is priced at $4.99 which to some might seem high for a Indie Author eBook; but take into consideration this book is over four hundred pages.
The author does have a disclaimer about editing. I wonder in reviews if she has’t been attacked. I didn’t see this until I had finished the book and had already finished this review. I believe it takes a village to bring Indie Authors books to everyone. Happy Reading.