ARC Review: Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles #4)
Most people know how much I loved Skies of Steel, the third book in this series. I believe I posted my review everywhere I possibly could. And when I saw the next book in the series available in Edelweiss, I immediately requested it. Although this book did not give me that same sense of wonderment, it was still a well-written and entertaining read.
Anna Blue and Jack Hawkins are bounty hunters who are both offered a job finding an important person for the military. Not sure if the task is real or a devious plot by enemy forces, they investigate, all the while trying to beat the otherthe other to the bounty.
This is my first title bythis authorand my second title in this series, and I have nothing but good things to say. This story was non-stop action and adventure with two very headstrong characters. Jack and Anna respected each other's talents. You never got the sense that he was condescending or dismissive of Anna's capabilities, Jack treated her like a true equal. Anna's strength was represented very well, also. Some authors seem to think that a strong female lead must be a ball-basting, unemotional robot.The authordid a good job of demonstrating Anna's determination and courage but also someone with strong feelings, without making her unlikeable.
The action made up the majority of the story. There were brief scenes of intimacy--I'm not talking sex, but those scenes where the characters connected on a deep personal level--and I wished there had been more of them. There weren't but brief glimpses into their pasts and current developing relationship. I am a reader of character driven stories more and more lately. It was the sex scenes I enjoyed the most and not for the reason you are thinking. It is these scenes that I get the desired intimacy, where Anna and Jack share their secrets and let down the walls between them. One was scene was a particular favorite:
"He stroked the fine silk of her hair. 'You'll never be rid of me, Anna Blue.'
She traced shapes on his chest and shoulder. 'If you run, I'll hunt you down, Mr. Hawkins.'
'You got my word.' She made an X over his heart.
'I ain't running.' He drew the same mark on the center of her chest.
They kissed to seal the deal.
He looked into the darkness out the window. 'But I still ain't splitting my bounty with you.'
'Not if I get to it first.'"
This story was a quick, fun steam punk adventure; not necessarily a bad thing, but I would have liked to seen more romance between Jack and Anna. Of course, this was compared to my feelings reading Skies of Steel, which greatly influenced my opinion of this title. With this book a part of the same series, it was hard to keep from the comparison. It may have been better for me to have read this book before the other.
A good summary of this book would be Aliens and Cowboys (without the aliens of course) meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith, after Pitt and Jolie found out they were rival spies. There was that same sense of science fiction/fantasy non-stop actionand acouple discovering themselves while on a very important mission. I do want to mention it is not necessary to have read the other books in the series to understand this one. Each story is set in the same world but the characters aren't continuous.
*Review copy from publisher through Edelweiss