Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wilder by Christina Dodd

Synopsis:(back blurb) As a young man, Aleksandr Wilder abandoned his duty--and for that lapse, he was tortured, tormented ... and transformed.  Now he prowls the tunnels beneath the city, fighting on the frontline against the forces of hell, never daring to dream that he can live as a man again. After seven years fighting the world's ultimate evil, Chosen One Charisma Fangorn has become a tough, strong warrior without illusions or joy...even her gift of hearing the earthsong has faded.  Deaf to her own instincts, she never suspects that a monster lurks in the dark underneath the streets. When Aleksandr finds Charisma under attack, he rescues and cares for her, and hope stirs once more in his heart...and in the world. But in the secret recesses of his soul, he knows the truth. A woman so exceptional woman could never love a beast...could she?

My Thoughts: Frankly I was a bit disappointed in this book. It felt disjointed from the rest of the series. Perhaps because there was quite a bit of time between books 4 and this one. Perhaps it was the title that didn't flow with the rest of the series. Or maybe both. 

The first half of the book was quite a lovely beauty and the beast romance but the second half had a different feel to it. I've read these in order so I read this last book after reading the first 4 and it's a good thing. The coming together of the 7 Chosen Ones to beat the great Evil should have read more of a reunion to me but the characters from the previous 4 books felt like strangers. One of those previous characters almost died at the end and it was written as an afterthought as if that character was some unknown Ensign wearing a red shirt in an old Star Trek show. 

Also the back blurb of the book tells us who 'the beast' is but through a large part neither the hero (who as amnesia) nor the heroine knows who he is. It would have been much better if we, the readers, were also in the dark. Sure we could have figured it out, the book was Alexandr Wilder's book after all. BUT if it had been marketed as Charisma's book instead, Dodd could have pulled the suspense out more. 

In addition, there were no indications that the beast (aka Guardian) was actually Alexandr yet at one point Charisma decided he could be him anyway. I don't know how she came to that conclusion. He didn't look anything like Alexandr and his personality was different also. The only thing that fit was Guardian didn't know who he was and the timing lined up.

Anyway, there were some good moments in the book (really liked the Beauty and the Beast theme) and some not so good and someone not familiar with this series should not read this one first. You won't get the full impact on any of the secondary characters (those common to the entire Chosen Ones series) because they aren't in this book long enough. To tell the truth, the big battle will seem almost pointless if you haven't read any of the other books. It will be just a bunch of strangers trying to fight their way into a building.

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