4 out of 5 Robots!
Series: Soul Catchers, #1
Author: Mary Abshire
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release: January 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Noble Romance
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
The first novel in the Soul Catcher series, Claiming the Evil Dead by Mary Abshire is an action packed Urban Fantasy that is perfectly blended with Paranormal Romance. But, don't be fooled by the 'erotic' labeling on the cover because while this novel is full of sexy characters with a passionate relationship, this is nowhere close to being as graphic as you would expect from something deemed Erotic Romance. Instead, the relationships within this novel are built on great chemistry that slowly culminates into an inferno of physical need that over time becomes a large part of the relationship. Because of this, this novel is still for adult readers, but is crafted in such a way as to appeal to those who feign away from overly explicit detail. Without a doubt, this novel had me captivated with a unique premise, interesting characters and decadent romance that is sure to please fans of both Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy!
From the beginning straight through to the end, this novel had a unique and original premise that kept me entranced with highly developed world building that I found to be quite impressive. While I knew immediately that I liked the novel, I certainly wasn't expecting the level of detail or diversity that gave the story such a complex and intricate structure. Yet, while there maybe an intricate skeletal structure, the story itself utilizes an almost minimalistic appeal. I know that doesn't make much sense, but there is a streamlined quality about it that kept the story moving with the rich details underlying the plot keeping the focus where it belonged.
The characters were also quite impressive and definitely not the typical pair. Jessie, a half demon, spends her spare time as part of a paranormal investigation team, sucking down evil souls and sending them to Hell. That alone made me love her, but add to that she's spunky with a sarcastic sense of humor, and you have a truly endearing and interesting character. But, what I really enjoyed seeing was her evolution throughout as her ideas and bias about the supernatural world starts to shift. And then there's Drake - sexy, serious, and surprisingly noble for a vampire. He has a great sense of right and wrong, and uses his 'second' life to atone for the sins that he committed as a mortal. How hot is that? But, that doesn't mean that he is opposed to violence, especially against those who prey on innocence, leaving only death in their wake. Because of this, he enlists Jessie's help in tracking down a vampire that is the epitome of evil, a monster called Alexander. For centuries he's been preying on children to sate his blood lust, and the cold, unfeeling malice seems to ooze off the page from his creepy persona. Since we don't see him much throughout the story, I found this to be an interesting aspect, showing exactly how masterfully Abshire created her characters. But, along with full on evil, there was also Jeremy. Seriously, her gets his own subsection between good and evil, somewhere in the range of sheer mischief maker. He's a suave, saucy demon that exudes devilish charm often adding a bit of humor to his scenes as well as creating some great tension in Jessie's and Drake's relationship.
Which leads us to the romantic aspect of the novel. There's such great chemistry between the characters perfectly showcasing their individual charisma. Really, there was a great emotional appeal, drawing you into the growing relationships not only between Jessie and Drake, but Jessie and Jeremy as well. Of course, I rooted for Drake, but what can I say? I'm still drawn to Jeremy's bad boy appeal. You never quite know what to expect from him and his 'wooing' tactics. But, while the romantic aspects of the novel are wonderful, often creating some sizzling sex scenes, Abshire was also able to capture a wonderful sense of friendship between Jessie and her friends. While this aspect is sort of put on the back burner, just the way she talks about them really exposes their relationship, which really impressed me.
The writing style was great too, with lots of details that occassionally bordered on too much, especially when it came to the more mundane and menial tasks like eating. But, I definitely loved the first person point of view and think that these aspects went a long way in drawing you into the Jessie's head, not to mention her life. This paired with an interesting world and unique plot made this a fun read that left you never knowing exactly what was going to come next. The sense of adventure mingled with romance was definitely a potent combination, making this a great start to what appears to be a really addictive series!
Overall, I enjoyed Claiming the Evil Dead and really became engrossed in the characters lives. I can't wait to see what happens next because this world is so diverse you never know what these two may get themselves involved in next. Abshire definitely captured my attention and I look forward to reading more of her wonderful work! Especially the next installment in the Soul Catcher series, Catching an Evil Tail.