Author(s): Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Belador #1
Mass Market Paperback, 519 pages
Publication: October 19, 2010 by Pocket
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Source: Won through giveaway on Anna's Book Blog.
All her life, Evalle has been straddling the line between human and demon. Curious about her origins, but content to live in the shadows, she finds that anonymity threatened by escalating conflicts between species. Accused of a savage murder, she's forced center stage in what seems like the beginning of an Atlanta apocalypse. Before long though, her personal problems will submerge as she learns startling facts about a hoard of supernatural terrorists.
Evalle is an Alterant, who is part Belador and part unknown. Many Beladors have special abilities ranging from telekinesis, empathy, mind control, strength or super speed. By being an Alterant, Evalle not only has the Belador abilities but she can also shift partially/and fully into some sort of beast (image a beast 10 feet tall!). Evalle and her two best friends (Quinn and Tzader) work for the VIPER organization (Beladors) that protect humans from all things supernatural. As the only free-walking Alterant (the majority are locked away in cages) Evalle, is the last person in the chain of command even though she’s VIPER top warrior. Many of her fellow Belador are friendly but otherwise don’t fully trust her. To make matters worse, someone is controlling different demons to attack a human to make it look like an Alterant did it. Evalle must figure out the mastermind behind the killing before she gets locked away too.
I knew I was going to enjoy this book when I was 5 pages into the story; I love the scene of how Evalle, Quinn and Tzader first met and really enjoyed their interaction/dialogue with one another. Evalle doesn’t trust easily and constantly worries about what her fellow Beldaors think of her. Evalle had a rough childhood having been locked up for most of her life, 24/7 and assaulted by a person she thought she trusted. Regardless of her differences, she is a strong and kick-butt heroine that doesn’t take cr*p from anyone. Then we have Quinn and Tzader who is Evalles best friends who she sees as over-protective big brothers. While they both will never do anything that goes against the Belador’s code, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to protect Evalle.
There were A LOT of characters in this book, with different background/gods and their own storyline, which was a bit overwhelming at first but once all the players are introduced you can see the plot moving forward and understand what/why things are happening. Among the long list of characters are two love interests for Evalle, both big alpha men with their own agendas. Finally, the best part of the entire book…Evalle’s pet! A gargoyle name Feenix! I adore Feenix, and I hope we see more of him in the rest of the series. Overall a great start to a new series, full of action as the Beladors and rival group the Kujoos hunt for an object of immense power with enough romance to balance it out. I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, Alterant. I hope that with the world-building already set, there will be less information/characters overload so that we can just focus on a handful of the main characters.