Eternal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, Book 1)

Eternal Rider - Larissa Ione OK -the three. It was a close thing - nearly gave it a two. I should probably explain myself.

The good stuff first. The strongest element in Ms. Ione's books is her world building. I'm a sucker for it, whether it's Dark, High, or Urban, the fantasy fan in me is rabid for good, solid mythos, which is why I was drawn to her books in the first place. The whole concept of a demon hospital was just too delicious to pass up. The world building has not, for the most part, suffered in the translation to the Riders books. Lots of new things to learn, lots of already known things kept consistent.

I tend to like her heroes, though I get tired of the unrelieved Alpha males. There doesn't seem to be any other male worth writing about, apparently, at least in this universe, and so it was a little tiresome to have, yet again, one more tortured, strong, I'd rather fight than love, Alpha to root for. Yes, I did like Ares and he had his vulnerable moments, but I do wish for something different once in a while.

The heroine, on the other hand, was much more satisfying than some of the previous ones. Neither kick-ass nor melt the moment the hero touches her, Cara felt real. Real issues, real hesitations, real strengths - someone who does what she has to but doesn't lose her heart, her compassion, her humanity, in the process. Her, I liked.

Now for the bad part. In such a carefully built world, we should have had a carefully crafted ending. What we got was Deus ex machina in the extreme, a solution that materialized, quite literally, out of thin air, and had to be explained afterward because the reader had no freaking clue that such a thing was possible. Too many sudden rule changes thrown at us all at once - it really soured what should have been an exciting, fun read.

Now, will that stop me from reading the next one? Probably not. Despite my objections, I have a considerable emotional investment in this world now and the itch to see what happens next is too great. In that, the book succeeds quite well.