Joint review with E originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/06/08/joint-review-devils-gate-by-thea-harrison/
MinnChica: After reading the last novella set in the Elder Races world I was a little worried that these short stories would continue more on the UF path instead of focusing on the romance. However, this book felt as if it went back to Harrison’s romance roots. I couldn’t wait to find out more about the medusa mythology and was absolutely blown away with how much I adored this book. Seremela was wonderful, Duncan was Alpha to the core, and although the story had a ton of action, the romance was back to what I expected from a Harrison novella.
E: I really enjoyed this novella. The way that Ms Harrison set the stage and let us know that Duncan and Seremela had been attracted to each other for quite a while before this novella started made me think it was a complete story and buy into their love for each other. Duncan was so much fun, refusing to let Seremela go off by herself but also trusting that she could take care of business. And the fact that he wasn’t freaked out by her snaky hair was so great to see. Seremela cared so much for her family. I think her frustration in how they continually took advantage of her caring came out in the rebellion of her snakes.
MinnChica: One of the things that really stood out about this novella was that these characters seemed to be settled more in the world we know from the full length novels. We got to see a little bit of Rune and Carling, and it just tied together the series more solidly for me. I agree with you about Seremela’s snakes: I loved that they had their own kind of personality too, that they were the bold extension of her shy self. And the fact that Duncan was so willing to let her stand on her own two feet, all while supporting her, by her side, making sure she was safe and able to get her niece back.
E: Like you said this novella seemed to tie into the full length novels as well as the area introduced in Natural Evil, the last novella. I thought those two connections were wonderful and again provided a sense that the actions of the “rich and famous” or at least powerbrokers of the world did impact the lives of those who had nothing to do with high level crises. I also liked how the politics of the different species also played an important role in the overall issue. Not to mention giggling as Seremela’s snakes provided their own opinion of what was going on.
MinnChica: Yes, I love that the politics came more into play with this novella. That is one of the most interesting aspects of this series, and it was nice to see it really play a stronger role. Again, I can’t say enough good things about the actual romance in this book. I was so glad to see that the romance, while at times overshadowed by the suspense of finding Seremela’s niece, was always forefront in both Duncan and Seremela’s minds. Their attraction and pull to each other was a constant driving force, and it felt as if they were circling each other and their relationship from the moment Duncan showed up on her doorstep.
E: The romance was wonderful. Like I said earlier I completely bought into their romance even though I only saw it on-screen for the short time period covered by the novella. I also liked how the world building was sprinkled in providing backstory without annoying those who have read everything else set in that world. I am also happy to say that a certain pack of cards does make an appearance .
MinnChica: I loved the world building in this one as well. There was just enough extra stuff going on that it felt like a whole new world within the larger series world. I loved that. We were close enough to the main storyline, and yet we got to delve into new races and histories that Harrison had yet to explain to us. It was great.
All in all I think this is by far my favorite of the Elder Races novellas. The romance, the characters, the plot, everything was right on par with what I’ve come to expect from a Thea Harrison read. It was the perfect segway back into the full length novels, and I am still gaga over this series.
I give Devil’s Gate a B+
E: I think this is one of the most complete feeling PNR novellas that I have read. The combination between the politics, romance, intrigue, development in the world events, the mention of familiar characters and previous events made Devil’s Gate hit home with me. This is certainly a novella that I will go back and re-read when I don’t have a lot of time but need a wonderful fix.
I give Devil’s Gate an A