Taken by the Others (H&W Investigations #2) by Jess Haines
Although the release date for this book is January 2011 in the States, I managed to pick a copy up at the local (Canadian) bookstore just after Christmas. (The joys of books not having a hard release date, I suppose. Great for the reader, perhaps not so great for the author when it comes to sales records.) I was pretty excited when I saw it since I wasn’t expecting it on the shelves while I was browsing.
Shiarra Waynest’s second adventure takes place shortly after the end of Hunted by the Others. In this installment, she has to deal with the repercussions of the events that occurred at the end of the previous novel. Max Carlyle is in town to get his vampiric hands on Shiarra, as payback or for the loss of one of his offspring. Shiarra’s forced to call on Alec Royce, the vampire to whom she is contracted, while juggling her relationship with Chaz, the leader of the local werewolf pack, and facing off with the local vampire hunters guild, who want her to join up. As a result, Shiarra’s forced to figure out her loyalties while fighting an extremely uphill battle.
I really enjoyed reading Taken by the Others, so much so that I read it in one sitting. Shiarra’s not my favourite heroine but her dilemmas ring true and you can really sympathize with her. She’s in a truly untenable situation and Shiarra’s forced to make some difficult decisions. The action is unpredictable, as are Alec Royce and Max Carlyle. We also get some new insights into the way the vampire world works in Jess Haines‘ world. We also meet some more vampires, and I’m now very intrigued by Mouse. She’s so cool. All in all, I’m quite excited to see where things go from here. Shiarra’s got an early Anita Blake vibe by the end of the book and it’s quite interesting to me.
I should also mention that I’m finding Royce more and more distasteful. He has moments that make him seem approachable but I generally find him quite unappealing. He’s a bit more “human” in this installment but I’ll wait until the next one to decide how I feel about him.
Finally, I have to say that Taken by the Others has one of the least attractive covers I’ve seen, especially on the heels of Hunted by the Others. Aside from the fact that Shia looks weird and mannish, she’s inexplicably wearing a crop top, mini skirt, and over-the-knee boots. The outfit has nothing to do with the novel and is much less practical than her outfit on the cover of Hunted by the Others. Plus there’s the weird headband business…I truly hope the cover of the next book in the series is more similar to that of the first novel.
Happy New Year!!