Sunday, September 16, 2012

Poison TreePoison Tree by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First the cover attracted me. Although this book actually involves four protagonists (Two couples) they cohose to picture the one who is of African-Asian heritage (a tiger shapeshifter) on the cover. That meant I had to read it.

The book did not disappoint. It has one of the few prologues I've read that absolutely works, it sets the tone and background beautifully, as we watch the pureblood Tiger-shifter, Sarik dealing with the torture-muder of her younger younger human sister (and the differences int heir heritage became very important later in the story). She teams up with vampire Jason who was hurt when he refused to join his crew in torturing the girl. Meanwhile two assassins, Alysia and Christian, join forces to fight the rest of the vampire nest while Sarik and Jason escape. The rest of the action takes place six years later.

That's one of the best parts of this story. This is classified as a YA book, although most of the action occurs when the characters are in their early twenties. In essence, this is one of the New Adult books, with characters in college or starting their jobs, even if they work for a paranormal association. It's a different take on a paranormal (Jason goes to bed at midnight, prime time for vampires to be out hunting). Its a world with an international organization SingleEarth dedicated to bringing peace and understanding between humanity and the various shifters, vampires, witches, the three assassins guilds, and etc. (they never define what else might be around). Things get pretty complicated in this story, their are hidden relationships between all four characters, especially Sarik, who is not exactly who she claims to be. No love triangles either, although at times their pasts almost disrupt present lives and loves. The author made one continuity error that left something bugging at my subconscious until I went back ane reread to check that things could not have happened exactly they way the narrative claimed. But it was small, and the showdown between Sarik and her father made up for that little problem.

While this story was complete in itself, there is room for a sequel. I would enjoy reading more about SingleEarth, the problem of witches maybe having too much power in the organization they founded, and the assasins guilds that are finally moving into the 21st century and becoming computerized.

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