The Wizard of Seattle which I really enjoyed even. This must be why was I so surprised that this book was barely average? Although when looking back at last year's books read I did notice that I read the first book in this trilogy sometime between January and March of 2009 which isn't really that long ago and truth be told I can only remember one detail about it. Nope...not the character's names but the fact that the heroine wakes up covered in blood with amnesia. Yep that's it. So, why again knowing that the last book I read in this series was forgettable was I so disappointed while reading this one? Maybe it was because I really wanted it to be fantabulous. Maybe it was because I love paranormal books that are about psychics (maybe even more then the vamp ones). Maybe it was because I liked the color of the cover. Whatever the reason, I found this book to be a middle of the road read. One where during the course of the book it could go either way. A half a star given for a particularly witty exchange of words between the characters. A loss of a whole star for having a crazy cult leader called "Father". Ok, anyway, on to the book description and my thoughts (or rather more of my thoughts).I have been a long standing fan of Kay Hooper. Last year I read an older book of her's called
Book Description compliments of paperbackswap.....
Young, vulnerable, attractive, Tessa Gray made the perfect victim. Which was why Noah Bishop of the FBI’s Special Crimes Unit recruited her to play the role of grieving widow. As the supposed new owner of land coveted by the Church of the Everlasting Sin, she'd be irresistible bait for the reclusive and charismatic Reverend Samuel. His fortified compound in the mountains near Grace, North Carolina had been the last known residence of two women murdered in ways that defied scientific explanation.
Though hardly as naive or as vulnerable as she appears, Tessa knows she has a lot to learn about using her unique gift. She also knows that Bishop and the SCU have to be desperate to rely on an untried psychic agent in an undercover operation so dangerous. And desperate they are. For the killer they're hunting is the most terrifying they've ever faced and shakes even the most seasoned agents: a soulless megalomaniacal cult leader who can use their own weapons, talents, and tactics against them.
By entering the cult’s well-guarded compound, Tessa will be exposing herself to the dark magnetism of a psychopath on an apocalyptic crusade of terror that spares no one, not even the youngest victims. And Samuel has protected himself within a fanatically loyal congregation, many of whom occupy surprising positions of power within the community. Even Grace's chief of police, Sawyer Cavenaugh -- a man Tessa will have to trust with her life -- may be unable to protect her. Because no one, not even Tessa herself, can guarantee she’s strong enough to resist temptation -- or powerful enough to battle a killer who's less than human.
You ever read a book that had more characters then you can actually keep track of? How about one that throughout the course of the book became more of a "family" reunion then a book about 2 specific characters. Well, this book is one of those...on both accounts.
As I mentioned earlier I actually read the first in this trilogy last year. By the way Blood Sins is book two in the trilogy but really book 11 of the Bishop/SCU series. Separated by themes but connected by one super psychic named Bishop and his band of merry men/women. Ok so, read the first in the trilogy last year, check. I remember pretty much nothing of the book, yep, check. I remember reading all the other 10 books in the "series" over the last 13 years...at least I remember adding them to my mental "I read that book" list. But really don't remember any of them in detail except book two of the Shadows trilogy (Hiding in the Shadows) which I thought the ending was sucky....just not my cuppa whatever (tea? tequilla?). Needless to say when a dozen characters from previous books started showing up for a big nasty good vs. evil showdown in this book I ended up being a little overwhelmed. It's like making chicken soup for you and a friend but then that friend invites a friend who invites a friend and so on and next thing you know you are adding 17 cups of water to the soup and making sure when dishing it up everyone gets one noodle and half of a slice of carrot in their bowls. Yes there is enough to go around but let's face it....it's just not satisfying.
Yes this book gives you a few hours of reading happiness. Let's face it, a bad day of reading is better then a good day at work right? But it blows just a little bit when you know your reading happiness could have been so much more had you just picked up the second book from the top of your to be read pile instead.
Back to the book...I am seriously getting off on tangets tonight. Once all the players were involved I kept having nagging thoughts that some of them I really should know. Hollis was a major player in this book (not the "leading lady" however). So why can't I remember her? Hooper does do a good job of "reminding" us readers what special ability each person has (half a star in the plus side for that Kay!) Dani is a super kick butt psychic who "Father" should fear....yep....I got nothing....don't remember her at all. Tessa is a secret under cover spy who might work for Bishop's SCU or maybe the private company of Haven either one maybe both. I have no idea. Did I mention I was confused?
What I did like was that Hooper kept the story moving along at a breakneck speed especially towards the last half of the book that made me want to add an extra ten minutes to my break at work so I could read just a little bit more. Or maybe I was literally reading at a breakneck speed which is why I was getting confused.
What I didn't like was the enormous cast of characters. It just felt enormous which to me says there were way too many. I didn't like that her books are now focusing on the mystery instead of the romance. Even though there really isn't much of a mystery other then why a hardcover book like the one I read retails for $25 US dollars. So, no romance. This part is actually what I thought sucked the most. There was an attraction between Tessa and Sawyer but nothing panned out. The whole book took place in a matter of days so I suppose its for the best. Had the characters professed their undying love for each other after 2 days I might have thrown up a little bit. I hate those types of romances. When it came to ending the bad guy....although Tessa played a major roll (this was after all "her" story) someone else did the deed. I never really got a good grasp on what Tessa could do by the way. They talked a lot about their powers growing at a fast rate during the course of the book but it seemed to me she ended up with a few powers that she didn't have a week before the book started.
Ok, so, after some adding and subtracting and a double shot of whiskey I ended up giving this book 3 stars. I enjoyed it too much to put it into the 2 range but hell if I thought it was worth 4....oh sorry the whiskey is making me a little testy (I should have stuck to tequilla). So, I borrowed this book from my local library. Yep I went the free route with this book and am glad I did. If you insist on reading this book borrow a copy from someone. I would recommend that you don't read this book if you are new to Hooper. Definitely start with one of her other books (maybe even ones in her Shadows trilogy) even her short really old LoveSwept books are not bad (not bad=better then this one).