Book: Taken by the Others
Author: Jess Haines
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Release Date: Out now
Two master vamps and only one city make for a very nasty battleground and a hell of a headache for Shiarra Waynest. In Jess Haine’s sequel to her new debut Others series, Taken by the Others, Shiarra finds herself kidnapped by Max Carlyle, a rival master vamp hellbent on revenge. And that is only part of his agenda. He plans to wrest control of Alec Royce’s territory, his coterie and his holdings. All will come at a bloody cost thrusting Shiarra in the middle.
Haines has dialed it up big time with her thrilling sequel. In Taken, Shiarra ends up blood bound to both Max and Alec…and there is one scene where we come very close to losing our heroine. The kidnapping, the brutality of the vampires, and the sheer body count remind one of the early days of Anita Blake tempered with some Armintrout. Max Carlyle seriously channels some traits of Cyrus’s (from the Blood Ties series)-which means he is pretty despicable and dangerous. We still don’t have a lot of clues as to why Shiarra is always at the centre of the tempest. What is her history, her background? Is she an Other? Haines might be leaning in that direction. There is a possible clue that Shiarra might be of fae ancestry.
The relationship conflicts also take precedence in Taken by the Others. Chaz and Shiarra have still not consummated their relationship due to the contractual binding that is required in advance, and because of her blood bond to Max and Alec, Chaz is put through the wringer as he watches his potential love interest irrevocably drawn closer to Alec. He must stand by and suffer through the connection. Haines hints that their relationship could be permanently damaged by the blood bond. Shiarra’s fight to dissolve both bonds at great emotional cost forces her to face some feelings about Alec, and herself even though they are steeped in ambivalence. I expect more will be revealed in book #3 Deceived by the Others out in July.
I was thrilled, excited by the action, the schism between the White Hats and Shiarra, and the interesting backstory of Alec and Max. I especially want to see Athena unveiled in Deceived by the Others. The conflicts, the relationship triumvirate, and the introduction of a few new characters (Mouse, Tiny and Dawn) really proves that Haines pulled a fantastic smash and grab for this installment, particularly the Other fracas which was teeming with all the subtlety of a mob war. Highly recommended, this series just keeps getting better and better.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)