Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/08/05/joint-review-storms-heart-by-thea-harrison/
Publish Date: Out Now!
How we got this book: ARC from Publisher
When The Book Pushers were offered an advanced copy of Storm’s Heart we all raised our hands at wanting to get this book. When the ARC arrived at my door, I was so excited I read it that night. The book than made it’s way down the state to E. Across the pond to Has, over to Lou and back to Ying. This is really the ARC that made it around the world.
Instead of our usual back and forth chat style joint-review, we changed it up a bit. Because really, we could all go on and on about this book. Enjoy!
**WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series: Dragon Bound.**
Thoughts on Tiago
MinnChica – Oh Tiago… You stormed onto the pages of DRAGON BOUND pissed and moody and deliciously sexy. You kept up the tortured and complete Alpha hero tendencies till the very end. I personally loved it. Everyone knows I love my heroes with a lot of caveman, and Tiago embodies that! Sure he can be an overprotective jerk, but for me, it’s just part of his charm!
E – Uncivilized. Yummy. Loyal. Unstoppable. Honorable. Alpha. Oh wait this is supposed to be a review, which means I am required to write complete sentences. Ok let me try again *clears throat.* I was actually having a discussion on twitter the other night about thunderstorms and how much I like them along with their pyrotechnic shows, and that reminded me of Tiago Black Eagle and how he wields thunder and lightening. Sometimes on purpose and other times as a side effect of losing his temper which appears to be something Tricks can cause almost effortlessly, but more on her later. Tiago freely admits that he is not suited to any sort of diplomatic mission unless it involves the diplomacy of destroying the enemy through battle. Yet despite his reluctance to behave in a civilized manner once you have his loyalty or he believes that you are part of his inner circle then he will do everything possible to protect you — even from yourself if he deems it necessary. Watching him struggle to behave and not undermine Tricks’ appearance of strength and authority while she plays the political Dark Fae game as she takes control of her throne under constant threat of assassination was very entertaining. I think it demonstrated just how much he cared about Tricks when he didn’t just wrap her in cotton and drag her back to Dragos’ building.
Ying - He is hot, he is raw and he understands her shoes and chocolate needs. What more can you ask for? Oh, and he knows when to step back and be supportive. I think the T-bird power associated with thunderstorm is really cool. He reminds me of Dragos in his grouchy/tender way.
Lou: Tiago was definitely a force of nature, and compared to the other dragons, much more in tune with his natural form. For me though, I found Tiago to be too forceful, abrasive, and I really found his bullish ways to be irritating and he grated on me with his rude behaviour towards others.
Has: *Fans self* I loved Tiago, although I have to say Drago is still my favourite hero so far from this series. I think Thea Harrison has a wonderful grasp of portraying alpha males in a colourful and vivid way without crossing the line into alphahole territory. There was times I thought he became too forceful, but I loved how Tricks outwitted him. I think over the course of the book he realised that pushing Tricks into doing something she’s not happy with wasn’t going to work even for her own protection, and he learned from that which I liked.
Thoughts on Tricks
MinnChica – Tricks will always be Tricks to me. She was one of my favorite secondary characters in DRAGON BOUND, and with her hilarious drunken moments and soft heart she spoke to me. I loved that she really came into herself, really came into her role, and learned to kick some serious ass along the way!
E – Tricks is something else. A Dark Fae, she escaped the massacre of her family by her uncle when he seized the throne and basically grew up amongst the Wyr that Dragos rules and becomes Dragos’ Public Relations representative. Mild spoiler for Dragon Bound — Dragos and the former Dark Fae ruler (Tricks’ uncle) really didn’t get along. Living with a multitude of Alpha men she had to devise different methods of keeping them in check or at least holding her own. When Tricks departs to take over the throne following the death of her uncle, she thinks that she has to cut all ties with Dragos and his men, one of which happens to be Tiago. I found it interesting watching Tricks deal with the Dark Fae political game based on her memories as a child, an unknown behind the assassination attempts, mistrust planted between her and certain members of Dragos’ empire, and then actions of a few other people of interest — one of which I think will be front and center in SERPENT’S KISS (Oct 2011). Tricks grows as a character throughout this book and learns some interesting lessons.
Ying – Again, Trick’s (a.k.a. Niniane) personality reminds me of Pia. She is scared yet courageous. She knows her limits and utilised her best assets. She is cute, spunky and charming. I find her political situation very interesting. I like it that she stays true to herself and she is kind to others and really make time and effort to acknowledge and thanks those who have help her no matter how tired she feels or when she had a terrible day.
Lou – Ahh, I loved Tricks. I really found her to be engaging, and I think Thea Harrison’s heroines are much stronger than her heroes. They are much more relatable, and like Pia, I was routing for Tricks all the way. I liked that she didn’t cave into Tiago, and that she very much held her own against him. The only thing that I wasn’t keen on — which is more of a pet peeve of mine — is when the hero marvels and is attracted to the much more smaller type of heroine, and describes her in those terms. I just find it off-putting, and it puts in mind of a child.
Has: I totally adored Tricks! Her sense of humour and character was so fresh and so funny and I loved that she was an underpowererd heroine but she uses her wits and humour to outwit her enemies. I am also glad we got real depth and emotional development with her character in this book, especially on how she dealt with the political wrangling and her past. I love characters who can outwit and make people underestimate them in this way, and Tricks was pretty savvy!
MinnChica – I think the scene that has actually stuck with me the most since reading is the scene where Tricks meets with the Vampyre Queen. While there wasn’t any overtly sexy moments, it was suspenseful and really told me so much about both Tricks and Tiago. To me that was one of the moments when Tricks really shone through, she accepted her new position, and rocked at it hard core! Tiago proved he was willing to take on anything or anyone to keep Tricks safe, to protect her at all costs. *melt*
E – I am torn between two scenes. The first is when Tricks drives away leaving Tiago at the scene of a failed assassination attempt and then just like a bolt of lightening he appears in front of her. The second is with Tiago and the leader of the Dark Fae guard, Arthusa, decide to start working together.
Ying – I’m with E. My favourite scene is when Trick drives Tiago away. It set the scene in term of political plays. How the Dark Fae tries to have one up the Wyr. Also, I admire the fact that Tiago left when Trick asked him to. He gave her space she needed. My second favourite scene is when Tiago asks Cameron to go shopping for Niniane. He is very cute about it all! I love it when he asked her to gift wrapped some of the stuff and to get her a box of chocolate. <3<br/>
Lou – I think my favourite scene is also when Tricks goes up against the Vampyre Queen, and holds her own against a woman who is 100x stronger than Tricks, and doesn’t show any fear, but treats her as if she was her equal. I also loved the scene where Tricks is swigging from a bubble gum flavoured vodka, and puffing away on a cigarette. Too funny *grins*.
Has: I have to say the same with my favourite scenes too; the bubble gum flavoured vodka (especially when Tiago found what flavour!) and outwitting him was hilarious and I was giggling throughout those scenes. I also loved her meeting with Carlise the Queen, and agree that it was great to see that although she wasn’t that powerful she was aware of the power play that was going on.
MinnChica – There were a few parts that dragged a little for me in the middle of the book. And there wasn’t nearly as much naked time as there was in DRAGON BOUND (right – or was that my imagination??). But the tension was awesome!
E – The one thing I dislike, well it really isn’t a dislike about the book it is more of a “I wish this didn’t happen but I think I understand why it happened and it fits but I still wish it didn’t have to happen,” is the death of a certain individual (SPOILER so I can’t divulge the name). I think that particular event helped cement a potential price of ruling for Tricks and highlighted what kind of ruler she would be. Ok, so I really didn’t have any dislikes *sighs*
Ying – For me, it’s the romance at the beginning. I don’t know, it didn’t click for me. Tiago and Trick know each other for 200 years. They trust each other but yet they have only seen each other a handful of times during those years. They hardly knew about each other. Then suddenly the romance was moving very quickly. I think it has to do with my impression from Dragon Bound, the way they were arguing. I thought that the tension was there all along and this book would be friends to lovers rather than trusted acquaintances to lovers.
Lou – I think for me, the scene I disliked the most was when Tricks’ good friends — such as Rune and Arya — totally turned against her for being with Tiago. It seemed so out of tune with how they treated her before, and I felt it was a unnecessary storyline that create more tension when there wasn’t need for it. I also hated that a really good character died. I had high hopes that the person would perhaps have a book of their own. What’s missing for me is a human character in this world. Will all these super powerful beings, I’m finding it hard to relate to the characters — especially the heroes. Another thing I disliked was Tiago’s contempt for the humans — especially how he treated the people in the hotel.
Has: I wished there was more action in the book. With Dragon Bound, the pace and the tension was almost hectic and although I enjoyed the political intrigue and wrangling that was going on, I did felt that the pace was much slower especially in the middle of the book. I wasn’t that keen on that scene with Arya and Rune too, and I couldn’t understand why Rune was so against Tiago and Tricks being together.
MinnChica – One of my favorite things about this series is that Harrison writes about so many different paranormal creatures. We aren’t just limited to werewolves, vampires and witches. She breaches out to Thunderbirds and Dragons and light and dark fae and elves and everything else. It’s fun and engaging to read about so many different legends. This series is one of my favorite PNR series ever.
E – I really enjoyed the foreshadowing about the next book and I am extremely curious about Ms Harrison’s vampyres.
Ying – Me too! I can’t wait to read more about the vampyres. I hope to learn more about the elves too. Also, Arya the harpy really grows on me. It would be interesting to read about a tomboy heroine after the cute one.
Lou – Despite some of the problems I had with Storm’s Heart, Thea Harrison is such an exciting author that has brought something new to the paranormal genre which I found to be pretty stagnated. I can’t wait to see what else she brings!
Has: I really enjoyed Storm’s Heart and I loved we got a deeper look into fae politics and the wider world of the other supernatural beings like the vampyres. Although it was much slower paced compared to Dragon Bound this was a solid and enjoyable followup and I loved the romance with Tiago and Tricks. I need a Tardis because I want the next book, Serpent’s Kiss!