Author: Alexandra Ivy
Series: The Sentinels
Number in Series: 1
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Synopsis from Goodreads
In a stunning new series, Alexandra Ivy lures readers into the dark, seductive world of the Sentinels—humans outcast by their hidden abilities, treading the line between life and death, good and evil, pleasure and pain. . .
In The Heart Of Darkness
Sergeant Duncan O'Conner has seen it all before. Beautiful erotic dancer, murdered at home, no suspect, no motive. But there's one clue: she's missing her heart. It's enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro--one of the dead-channelling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It's a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desparate measures.
Lies The Kiss Of Death
Unlike the other "high-bloods" in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer's final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie's skills to the test, O'Conner's career at risk, and both their hearts on the line. . .literally.
Born in Blood is the start of a new PNR series by Alexandra Ivy. This story takes place in a world that knows about the paranormal. They know Sentinels, witches, psychics, necromancers, and more exist. To keep humans from losing their minds more than usual, the paranormal (or "high-bloods") live in a domed city named Valhalla. The day comes when a very unusual crime takes place (a woman is found without her heart, but no wound is found on the body). It is clear the human world will need help from the high-bloods to solve this. Callie Brown is a necromancer. She can get into the mind of the dead and witness their last moments to find out what happened. People are freaked out by her except for Sgt. Duncan. He has his eyes on her for sure. They will be working together to solve a crime that may be more personal than they would have imagined.
I will admit a very sad fact here: This is my first read by Ivy (I know, I am full of shame). But I definitely see why she is a New York Times bestseller. Man, what a read and a great way to start off the new year, I must add. It was impossible for me not to love this world and its many intriguing characters. Callie was a great heroine. She has definitely had a tough life of sorts. She was literally thrown in the trash when she was born. But she was luckily found by those who are like her. She loves her family in Valhalla. Despite some still being freaked out by her necromancy abilities, she stands on her own two feet and with her head held high. I really loved that. By the way, I do love the cover, it is gorgeous (Paul Marron anyone? Hell yeah!) But that is not Callie. What happened to the short and spiky hair? I wanted a cute, redheaded pixie. Where is she?
Then we have Duncan. Oh, we got another drool-worthy leading man. Duncan's personality will definitely capture your attention. He has a great sarcastic sense of humor (which is always a favorite for me) and knows he is a good looking SOB and isn't ashamed of letting people know it. He is quite arrogant, but it actually adds to his charm. I really loved that too because most of the time, I feel the need to punch guys like this. Duncan makes it work though, he really does. I love that he doesn't treat Callie like an outcast and that he lets her stand on her own. He respects who she is and that made me love him more. He wants to protect her, but he knows she is a woman with her own mind.
I am also falling for Callie's guardian, Fane. Fane and Duncan don't get along at all. They are very protective of Callie and both feel they can protect her better than the other. I found their squabbling adorable especially Fane. Fane will scare the mess out of you, but there are little glimpses that tell you he is a softie. I pray we get a story from him soon. I have to have it. I hope it involves Callie's best friend, Serra. Serra is a psychic who is more of a sister to Callie. She always protects her (I love how she protects Callie when she first meets Duncan. You wouldn't want to piss her off). Serra has major feelings for Fane and he doesn't seem to notice. I want more of this story. I have to know everything. Something clearly happened and I can't wait to find out what.
This story grabbed my attention from the beginning. It seems there is another necromancer on the loose and it seems he might be the most powerful being on the planet. He is planning on making a zombie army and his plan is almost complete. I love that we got things from his POV in the book as well. I always say that villains should be just as interesting as the hero(es) and there isn't a dull moment around this guy. Goodness, he is super scary and very insane. He believes it is his right to have the world. He thinks he really is a god. Being in his head will freak you out. He has no care for anyone or anything except for him. Everything is expendable. I love how everything ties in close to the end. It slowly starts coming together beautifully. Oh man, the chaos that ensues.
There are plenty of secrets to discover, but I won't spoil you. Either way, this is a great read. For a supernatural read, scenes with Callie and Duncan feel real. Callie is scared, but she doesn't let that hinder her. This girl has a lot of spine and it made me love her more. Same for Duncan. He is completely out of his element going up against supernatural hordes of zombies, but he doesn't let that stop him. I loved the relationship between Duncan and Callie. They will be steaming up the pages, that is for sure. I also love the conversations between them. They always had me smiling. Although I would have liked a bit more backstory between the two. I got the sense that they knew each other way before for some reason. I would have liked to know more about the actual development, if that makes sense. Nonetheless, these characters are fantastic and the story is badass. The villain and his plans will keep you on the edge of your seat. I will be going to my library to pick up Ivy's other books. Ivy has an eye for worldbuilding and knows how to create characters that will heat up the pages. Highly recommended.
*This book belongs to the following challenges*
The Book Vixen's 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
About Alexandra Ivy
Alexandra Ivy is the New York Times bestselling author of the Guardians of Eternity series, the Immortal Rogues series and the Sentinels.
Alexandra graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons.
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