Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/05/07/review-embrace-of-the-damned-by-anya-bast/
I’ve long been a fan of Anya Bast, her paranormal stories are sexy and original and I usually quickly become wrapped up in the worlds she creates. I was anxious to start the Brotherhood of the Damned series, and while it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I am intrigued by the world.
Broder long ago committed a crime so violent that the Norse god Loki damned him to eternal service in the brotherhood, fighting against the demons from Hel, the Blight. His one moment to look forward to is a thousand years into service, he will be given the chance to be with a woman. Little does he know the woman, Jessa, he rescues from the Blight is one extraordinary woman.
Jessa is looking for answers to her family’s history, and being rescued by Broder puts a kink in her plans. Although she is wildly attracted to him, she is also scared to move forward with a relationship. As the truth surrounding her heritage unravels and Jessa finds out more than she ever expected, she finds herself pulled into the world of the Blight more than she or Broder expected. When Loki and someone from Jessa’s ancestry work to pull her away from Broder, will he be able to let go of the one woman who has touched his heart in over a millennium? And will Jessa be able to let go of the Warrior who finally won her heart?
The world building in this book and series is somewhat unique from the other standard paranormal romance books on the shelves right now. We get to see a different kind of mythology than normal, and I always like when books take on something new that I haven’t read a lot of. Having Loki and Freyja play a fun role throughout the story was great as well, I always love seeing god/goddess characters portrayed actively throughout the story. However, while the world-building was different and unique, it did take awhile to me to get a good understanding of everything that was going on.
It also took me a long while to actually feel a connection from the hero and heroine. Especially Jessa, she struggled so much with having a relationship with Broder. She teased and kissed him, got naked and then stopped. The sexual tension was intense, but it wasn’t until over the halfway mark that the two actually FINISHED any of their sexy times. I felt like Jessa was unfair to Broder in that regard, and I didn’t like that she dragged out the relationship drama between these too.
I also didn’t really feel like we got to really know their characters until late in the book. I wanted more of a connection between myself and the characters, instead it seemed like I was always on the outside looking in, never really getting to feel as if I was IN the story. It wasn’t until the story really picked up about half-way to three quarters of the way through that I got sucked in and actually felt as if the plot moved at a pace that kept me engaged.
I also wished that we had a little more time to spend with the actually brothers of the Brotherhood of the Damned. I assume that the remainder of the stories will be about them, however we only got a page or so of time with all the brothers, and a few pages with their leader. Although we were given the chance to explore other paranormal fractions within the world, I would have liked to see more of the Brotherhood itself.
All in all this wasn’t my favorite Bast read. I struggled through the first half or so with the slow moving plot and the lack of connection between myself and the book, and the characters themselves. I do, however, look forward to more books within this series, because I think that the world is intriguing and exciting and one that I can see myself falling in love with.
I give Embrace of the Damned a C