17 May 2011

ARC Review: A rare occurrance. Karina Cooper - Before The Witches

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ISBN: 9780062105172; ISBN10: 0062105175;
Imprint: Avon Impulse ;
On Sale: 5/17/2011;
Format: eBook;
Ages: 18 and Up;
Genre; Paranormal Romance
Novella (prequel in Dark Mission series)
Received an e-ARC from Publisher via NetGalley

Cover Summary;
In America, they didn't care about witches. But all that was about to change.

Katya Zhuvova fled a country that feared her gifts, but her escape to Seattle left her at the mercy of a ruthless man. With no one left to turn to, Katya hatches a desperate escape plan. Undercover Detective Nigel Ferris is determined to bring down a prostitution ring, whatever the cost. In order to the get answers he needs, he attempts to win the trust of one of the prostitutes involved—but one look at the deceptively sultry Katya and the cool, objective cop disappears. Before either can put their plans into place, Mother Nature shrugs: a cataclysm rocks Seattle, and life is turned upside down.

Brought together by chance, Nigel and Katya are in the fight for their lives. Surrounded by death and fear, shattered by immeasurable loss, they have only a bond forged in fire to cling to as they struggle to survive in a world gone straight to hell.

My Review: I have to confess I have a push-pull relationship with novella’s. Often it just doesn’t have the ability to give me that kick, that thrill that tells me I’m swept in to the story, but every so often I find a surprise. Karina Cooper managed to impress me with an awesome prequel to her Dark Mission series. It tells the story of Ekaterina “Katya” Zhuvova who is forced in to prostitution. She has the ability to tell if people speak the truth or not and when cop Nigel Ferris wants to blow a case wide open they meet. Together though, they have to survive a lot more than some mobsters, they have to face apocalyptic events which will forever change the Earth as they know it.

From page one Ms. Cooper holds nothing back and plunges the reader into a fascinating world with distinctive characters! There wasn’t much back story on either Katya or Nigel but just enough to create an understanding how they ended up in their present situation. While it is a small thread within this novella I could taste the authors potential for sensual romance. The chemistry between Nigel and Katya is one of instant hunger but countered by a gradual growing trust. I enjoyed the interaction of small quips and quirks between them. What I really think was a brilliant move from this author is to first establish a sympathy for the main and secondary characters. I came to understand their predicament and connected to them.

With that connection made, the author shifted her focus on the plot where I experienced a gradual increase of disasters and the pending doom born from it is fantastic! First I got small notions something was off and from there on out I was reading on with bated breath, crying out my “oh no’s” – “don’t go there” – “run, run!” and “for the love of the gods, JUMP!!” At one moment I had a trembling lip when Karina Cooper paints a catastrophic scene rife with emotional pain for both main characters. In rapid succession emotions were pounding in to me as I read the pages. I just couldn’t believe all that was happening yet the words conjured vivid scenes into my mind’s eye letting me witness it all.

I don’t often come across a novella which masterfully introduces the reader to a new series but Karina Cooper has done it. Every event in Before The Witches leads up to how the world came to be in Blood Of The Wicked. The lure to find out how things pan out is something I can hardly ignore.

Before The Witches gives a tempting sample of what this author and series has to offer. A pulls-pounding thrill ride of a story!

4 stars

Quotes for you to sample:

There was only Nigel Ferris; dirty cop with a mouth to die for.
He groaned raggedly, the wordless confession welling from deep, deep inside his chest as he caught her face between his hands. As he had before his thumbs dug in by her mouth. Tilted her face up, forced her lips to open, to surrender to the hot, wet, almost angry insistence of a kiss that rocked her down her shaky soul.

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  1. Sounds like a really good one Leontine, have you read the first "real" book in the series as well?

  2. I just read this last night. I thought it was pretty awesome!

  3. Wow, this sounds like one awesome novella! Hope the full-lengths will please you just as much!

  4. Wow this sopunds awesome for a novella.

    And hon as always yyour review is awesome. Thank you!

  5. I'm surprised to see a plain cover like that overhere. ;)
    I'm glad this novella was definitely a pull and not a push for you. :)


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