Claimed by Sarah Fine
Book Two of the Servants of Fate series
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
Galena Margolis, a brilliant scientist with a tragic past, is determined to fulfill her destiny and develop the vaccine that could save millions. Yet when Galena’s test subjects meet with foul play, it’s clear that someone is still determined to stop her, and that Galena herself is a target. As the Ferry empire forges a plan to keep her safe, Declan Ferry, the politics-hating black sheep of the family, steps forward to protect her—but the emotional cost may be more than either of them is willing to pay.
As unknown enemies close in, it becomes terrifyingly clear that they threaten to destroy not only Galena’s lifesaving work but also the very fabric of fate. As Galena and Declan race to uncover the traitor, they also forge a special bond that could save both Galena and those she’s sworn to help. Torn apart by the past and hunted by those she trusted, can Galena find room amidst her fears for a passion that could make her stronger than ever? And even if she and Declan can find their way together, will it be enough to keep the future from coming apart at the seams?
What I Liked:
Kind of ignore my rating? I enjoyed this book, and I adore this series. I can't say I liked this one as much as I liked Marked, which is why this book is getting 3 stars (technically 3.5 stars, but I can't input half stars in most sites!). Sarah Fine has yet to write a "bad" book, one that I have not enjoyed. While I didn't love this one, I liked it, and I can't wait to read Fated. My thanks to Pili for pushing this one up my TBR list - I had every intention of reading series anyway, because I've read all of Sarah's published books! This is my eighth full-length novel she's written that I've read.
This novel is a companion novel, but picks up where Marked left off. Galena is shocked by what she has learned about the Ferrys, and her newly dead-yet-alive brother. Galena's research could seriously hinder Ferry business, but the Ferrys will protect Galena at any cost. With rogue Kere looking to destroy Galena and her research, Galena and Declan must work together in a plan that could save Galena from danger, but would have permanent, lifelong effects. But it becomes less about duty and safety for the pair, as they fall for each other amidst a terrifying scheme to put Galena in jail - or worse, kill her.
Oh Declan. I liked him a lot in Marked, and I liked him even more in this book. He and Galena are the protagonists and the romantic pair. so we get to spend a lot of quality time in his head. He is such a good guy! Honorable and respectful and intelligent doesn't even begin to cover it. He's alpha to the core, but he's got a quiet alpha nature to him, in which he's more honorable and gracefully predatory, not dirty talking and somewhat forceful. Don't get me wrong, I love the all-out alphas, but something about Dec's "quiet" alpha nature really appealed to me. He always tries to protect and look out for his family, and Galena, even when he doesn't know her all that well. He puts everything on the line for her, and agrees to do something incredible selfless for her - several selfless things!
Galena is very different from Cacy, Dec's sister and Eli's girlfriend (remember, Eli is Galena's younger brother). Where Cacy is fire and passion, Galena is sorrow and timidness, which was a huge switch from book one to this book. I liked Galena - especially how intelligent and science-y she is. I admire this, because I'd love to be like her someday! Well, maybe not so sad and pain-filled. Galena has been through so much, so much hurt and pain, and I can understand why she is so different from Cacy, almost muted. Still, she is very strong, in different ways.
I like the continuation of the story, keeping up with the series plot started in Marked. There are more rogue Kere, it seems, or something strange is going on. Someone is killing people surrounding Galena - if they can't get to Galena, they'll kill those close to her that aren't Ferry or Kere. The Ferrys come up with a crazy but successful plan to keep Galena safe, and it involves Dec heavily. This was an interesting turn of events, a little weird, but I liked the direction of the story. The surprises kept coming, and I couldn't have possibly figured out EXACTLY what was going on, though I had an idea of a "who". Good foreshadowing by Fine.
The world-building is, as always, stunning and unique. This story is set in a paranormal, post-apocalyptic-ish world, in which water is rationed, water sources are nasty and poisoned (like canals), and there are canal pirates looking to take freshly dead people's kidneys and organs. This world freaks me out a smidgen, but at the same time, that just goes to show how good Fine is at creating a unique and original setting. The Ferry business is so interesting, guiding souls to Heaven or Hell. I like Fine's spin on this mythological practice. I like the balance between Ferrys and Kere (those who Mark souls for death).
I love the romance! It's not as fiery and passionate as the romance in Marked, but for good reason. Galena has suffered greatly, and having a man touch her is not a good experience. But Dec is different, and he cares about her beyond duty and a slight hero complex. The chemistry sizzles throughout the book, even if we get fireworks once or twice. I love the progression of the relationship, how Dec and Galena slowly begin to trust and love each other.
Overall, I was pleased with this novel. It wasn't as good as Marked for me, but not in the sense that it was bad or anything. I just liked Marked more!
What I Did Not Like:
Perhaps I didn't connect with Galena as well as I connected with Cacy? I'm not sure. Something about Galena just didn't sit well with me. Yes, she's been through quite a bit - I don't know how I would react if I were ever put in her situation from the past (and let's hope I never have to find out). But she is the tiniest but selfish and self-pitying at times, and has no sense of self-preservation. It's like she has a low opinion of herself, and this lasts throughout the novel. I get it, with the trauma she's had, but that doesn't necessarily mean I have to like her or her grief-filled attitude - if that makes sense?
Also, I didn't think things started to pick up or getting REALLY interesting until well into the story. The beginning was really slow, so I struggled through it. Maybe around 40%-50% was when I started to really flip through the book.
And like I said above, it wasn't necessarily that I didn't like things about this book (there were a few things) or that I found this book "bad" or anything. I just didn't like it as much as I'd liked Marked, so it should get a slightly lower rating than what Marked received, right?
Would I Recommend It:
Yes! Despite the rating (again, kind of ignore it?), I would totally recommend this book and series. This particular book might end up being the lowest rated of the series (I haven't read Fated obviously, but I am REALLY excited for it - because MOROS!), but it is still very much worth the read! This is a highly ADULT book, with steamy romantic scenes... youngins, you are warned!
3.5 stars -> rounded down to 3 stars. But realistically, my rating is 3.5 stars. I liked this book and I am very excited to see how the story continues! The epic climax is forthcoming, and I can't wait to see how it all shakes out. Moros and Aislinn - that is one hot and cold pair!
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