Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: M.R. Merrick
Edition: Kindle eBook
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Source: Got it when it was free for a day!
Book Description from Amazon:
Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the alter to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase’s birthday, the bloodline stopped.
Exiled without the Circle’s protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened, and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle’s agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can’t do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna - a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle’s plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other’s life depending on it.
During the impending release for Shift - the second book in the Protector series, my Twitter feed was abuzz with high praise for it. I got curious, and went back to see what Exiled was all about. The premise seemed interesting enough and I marked the book as a to-read, as in, one day I’ll get to it. Then came a fateful day when Exiled was put up for free on Amazon, so I figured why not? I downloaded it and started it immediately and boy do I ever regret not reading it sooner…
The cover is intriging, but I didn’t really fully LOOK at it until I finished the book, it’s then that the cover fully makes sense. The opposing elements and the haunting bare tree make a great composition together!
Merrick has no mercy for easing you into the plot of the story, he takes you and gives you a bum’s rush, head first into Chase’s world where you’re met with a burly demon that shows you how bad they make life for Chase William’s since his and his mother’s exile from the Circle. It’s definitely a sure fire way to get you hooked on the action of this book.
The writing is rich and detailed, especially when he creates the intricate worlds. The reader can distinctly tell what location the characters are in, be it Chase’s dismal slum apartment to the grandeur of Rayna’s abode, to a very alternate location with very special water. This book has a lot of action, it reads like the play by play script of an intense action movie. There’s weapons flying, bones snapping and blood flowing in every which way, but the action scenes were so well executed that I never had “multi-arm” syndrome, where suddenly the fighters are battling with 4 arms and legs each; Merrick knew where each body part was going to place a crushing blow.
I haven’t had the chance to really read many books through a young male’s perspective, but Chase proved to be an excellent choice to start with. He’s brave and loyal, but has the usual male tendency to run into the scene with a decapitate first- ask questions later attitude, but it’s forgivable because Rayna thinks things through a little better and helps him to grow out of his demon ignorance shell. They make an excellent fluid fighting team and their dialogue scenes are hilariously full of sharp wit! These two have so much hidden potential that it’ll be exciting to see what comes out of it, and how they tackle it together.
The other characters in the books are written so that they each have something that identifies them specifically. Be it a stutter for the demon Willy or the way a character’s dialogue is structured to sound more regal, or the words chosen for effect. It was amazing to have such noticeable ways to separate each character- it gave real voices to them and in turn made it easier to formulate images of them.
In the background there was a lot of political intrigue involving the Circle’s hunters and their new found goal, but we don’t find out the whole of the plan quite yet, we get hints but this mostly acted as a way to push Chase into growing up, and expanding his horizons, so hopefully in Shift we get to find out a little more of the Circle’s grand plan. With how much action was going on in this book, I didn’t really expect the ending and really didn’t expect that I’d start any water works, but it was such a touching moment, Merrick can really tug at the heart strings too- apparently.
Now, to read the next book Shift, because I think I’m addicted to Merrick’s stories.
Rating: 5/5 Steaming HOT cups of Tea!
Seriously, go read it.