Tuesday, August 27, 2013

[Early Review] Vengeance Borne (Sentry of Evil #1) by Amanda Bonilla

Fated to Hunt…As the local hunter, and a ward of the Sentry, a secret organization dedicated to eradicating the forces of evil, Jacquelyn has been protecting the small town of McCall, Idaho for the past five years. The hours are horrible, the pay is nonexistent, she has to work with her jealous ex-boyfriend – and forget about quitting. She’s in for life.  Destined to See…  When a rugged drifter comes through town, Jacquelyn immediately knows what he is – an Empath who can read emotions and sense what others are thinking – even though it’s clear the handsome stranger has no idea what, or how powerful, he is…A Town in Peril…  When people in McCall start turning up dead, viciously ripped to shreds as if by a wild animal, Jacquelyn knows better. Furies are loose in Idaho and hell-bent on exacting revenge. But against whom? And for what purpose? Jacquelyn has until the full moon to stop the Furies’ killing spree and save the people of McCall, figure out how to work with her ex – oh, and there’s a handsome stranger in town who’s in desperate need of some schooling…

Publication Date:  September 3, 2013
Publisher:  NYLA
Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Jacquelyn is the newest kick-ass heroine on the urban fantasy block.  She's a fierce hunter with magical know-how and a killer shot.  She just happens to be a natural born killer.  In the world of Vengeance Borne, there are hunters, or Waerds, and Bearers that team up to keep all the super natural baddies in check.  Waerds handle the killing and banishing of unwanted creatures, while Bearers are basically empaths that can take on the emotional burden of their Waerds, as well as heal them when needed.  All of the Waerds and Bearers are controlled by the mysterious Sentry.  The main purpose of the Waerds and Bearers is to keep all the regular joes safe.  

I can compare the setting of McCall, Idaho in Vengeance Borne to a mix of the dark setting of Kelly Meding's Dreg City series and Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries series. Quite a combo, right? McCall is one of those places with small town charm where everyone knows everyone else. There is an abundance of gossip and a cast of relate-able characters in McCall, which reminds me of Bon Temps. However, there is also a dark undercurrent of supernatural evil running through McCall, with a a group of Waerds and Bearers to keep everyone safe, reminding me of Dreg City. It's an awesome combination of darkness and charm, good and evil.

Jaquelyn, or Jax, works at the local coffee shop, Grind.  That's her day job that she needs to support herself, because the Sentry sure as heck isn't paying her for her services.  She has recently broken up with her boyfriend of five years, who doubles as her Bearer, Finn.  Finn has a nasty habit of taking away all of Jax's emotions to the point that she's not sure if anything she feels is real.  Finn is also super jealous and head-over-heels in love with her.  He has a hard time accepting this break up and takes every opportunity he can to try to win Jax back.

Micah is a troubled young man, looking for a way to escape the feelings and visions that have been plaguing him for as long as he can remember.  He has tried to numb himself with a cocktail of prescription drugs for too long.  Micah, a gorgeous, Romanian man, leaves his home and just happens to stop for gas in McCall where he runs smack dab into Jax.  He doesn't know why, but he is drawn to Jax, just as she is to him.  We learn fairly quickly why Micah can't keep Jax off his mind.  

Trish is a Bearer, but she is in charge of an entire group of Waerds and Bearers.  She is an older woman, who serves as a friend and confidant to Jax, and later, Micah.  She's like a general manager for the Sentry.  She is smart and strong, and knows when to push Jax, and when to let her rest.

There is a list of side characters that we get to know in this book.  From Pete, the awkward small-town loner who carries a torch for Jack-lyn, to Wes, Finn's best friend, to Libby and Evan, Jax's best friends, to Bree, the town gossip and bane of Jax's existence.  Each character plays a part in this story and I loved the small town vibe I got from them.  It made for a very colorful setting.

The big bad in this book are the Furies.  The mythological vengeance creatures have their eyes set on leaving as much destruction as possible in McCall.  They need a host to accomplish their goal, so the big mystery in this book focuses on the host.  The Furies aren't just causing problems for McCall residents....they are killing them in a manner so viscious that it turns my stomach.  

Amanda Bonilla writes a fast-paced, fun and action packed novel.  I loved this book from cover to cover and am dying to read the second book in this series, Sentry of Evil.  Bonilla gives us enough answers to questions in Vengeance Borne but leaves us with a lot more questions - such as what will happen between Micah-Jaquelyn-Finn, what is Trish's true role, what is the Sentry's true role, what will happen between Micha and a certain Dryad, what is the story of Jacquelyn's past, what will happen to Finn after this last assignment - really the list could go on and on.  

This is an excellent start to a new urban fantasy series.  I recommend this book to any dark urban fantasy lovers with a soft spot for kick ass, fierce and loyal heroines.  Jax is a new face in the UF landscape and I can't wait to read about her adventures moving forward.  


Rhonda D said...

Wow! This sounds like a great supernatural read with a lot of different supes to enjoy! Thanks for reviewing!

Talk Supe said...

I haven't read any ABonilla and this sounds like a great place to start. I lo e the Furies and that combine you mentioned does sound enticing.

Sebella Blue said...

Any book that boasts strong heroines is something I check out. As a self proclaimed series slut, this is just icing on the cake.

Carmel @ Rabid Reads said...

I really enjoyed this book too; although, admittedly, not quite at much as her Shaede Assassin series. But, I'm sure this one will grow on my as it progresses. Great review Jamie!

Steph F. said...

I keep starting this book but just can't seem to get into it but after your review I'm definitely going to go forward with it. I love her Shaede Assassin series so I'm hoping to love this one as well.
Thanks for the great review.

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