Review: “Out of the ordinary”, would be my first description of this story: average, career minded gal turned shifter after being bitten by demon. Giving up her previous aspirations, Raven begins a life as an officer in an organization very much like your typical police department, yet the perpetrators come in all different forms: vampires, gnomes, trolls and more. When it becomes evident the same demon who attacked her is on the prowl again, she’s determined to bring him to both professional and personal justice.
Written in first person, the sole perspective didn’t become overpowering to me even if the main character had a little too much snark for my own tastes. I love strong woman, ones who get things done and don’t take any nonsense, but I suppose it’s a fine line. It’s all in what you think is amusing and phrases tossed that you might have said yourself or cheered. I don’t care for sarcasm and perhaps would have enjoyed Raven more if that style of delivery had been used less. I think overall that makes even problematic characters more sympathetic, even likeable if there is balance.
As for the romance aspect and the object of her affections, Finn, I’ll have to put him into the fantastic category for his description was over the top. Not to my tastes, but definitely worthy of applause. There were some structural and punctuation issues and periods where I felt it was overly descriptive (rather like the official blurb), but you have to give Toni LoTempio serious marks for a totally inventive tale that stands out from the rest.
Description: “Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame.
Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…”
Published: April 11th 2011