Title: The Ravenous Dead
Author: Natasha Hoar
Series: Lost Souls #2
Genre: Urban-Fantasy, Adult
Expected Publication: July 16th 2012 by Carina Press
This time the dead are hungry…
Rachel Miller doesn’t just see dead people, she rescues them. As a member of The Order of Rescue Mediums, she spends most of her time helping stubborn spirits move on from the world. But after she learns the details of three brutal murders, she knows the culprit can only be a reaper, an undead monster that relentlessly stalks its victims to feed on their souls.
A reaper once consumed the soul of Rachel’s mentor as she watched frozen in fear. Now, Rachel is in the role of teacher to Kit Elkeles, a rodach just learning to control his wraithlike powers. After Kit and Rachel rescue a half-vampire, they work to protect him while searching for a way to stop the reaper. But when Rachel realizes who the monster is really after—and just what kind of dark magic she’ll need to stop it—will she be able to do what is necessary before it devours one of her friends…or even herself?
This book was certainly good! It had lots of exciting elements and action, it was probably the first book that I felt I could clearly label “urban-fantasy” I’ve read and not a book that’s overshadowed by the romance to make it fall into the “paranormal romance” genre. I liked that about the book because I was expecting some erotica to pop up and was pleasantly surprised at the whole story direction.
This is the second in the series of short story e-books by Natasha Hoar, and I’m a little bit blindsided because unfortunately I haven’t read the first instalment. Although I don’t think that entirely hinders reading the book, I think elements would be clearer with an introduction from the first novel and it would enable me to really view the character progression across the series.
However from the point I can gather it seems a natural relationship is progressing between Kit and Rachel and I enjoyed the dynamic of their relationship across the story and found it sweet and entertaining. I believe their is certainly more to come on that front and I was always waiting for something to happen and then we fell a little short. Although the book falls strongly into the category “urban-fantasy” which I have to remind myself tends to focus strongly on action and adventure, which this story had oodles of and only focuses a tad on the romantic side. Hopefully for all those fans rooting for Kit and Rachel, you’ll see more progression in the next one. I don’t think you’ll necessarily be disappointed, but it did leave me a little frustrated. On the other hand, it makes me as a reader want to read the next novel (always an author’s intentions).
The paranormal and fantasy aspects I really liked, we touched into the “necromancer” realm which I particularly love, one of my favourite YA Sabriel by Garth Nix covers necromancy and I’m intrigued by the idea. Here it was more of a taboo than in Garth’s world, but it certainly got me excited. I’ll be interested to see if Hoar chooses to explore this aspect more in future additions to the series.
I thought Kit was a great male character, although we didn’t really see a lot. Rachel pushed him to the side and prevented him being the man I like to see who steps up and protects because she wanted to be a kick-ass female lead. However for me she never really reached that point. She always seemed to stumble across some ‘block’ that was never really explained and just felt silly to me. She never grew into the potential of kick-ass and pushed Kit aside to not raise to his full potential. Although I blame this on Rachel tampering him down and stopping him because I think in time and with growth if Hoar brought him more centrally into the story, he’d be a fantastic character. So my major problem of the story was my dislike of Rachel, she just seemed a mediocre character at best that lacked any intuition or great skill. She was too lacking for me in any grit or problems until the end where we suddenly got this influx of history that just felt like it had been thrown in and didn’t fit the character for me. Even without the back knowledge of the previous story, I felt this just didn’t fit the flow of the story and seemed all rather bizarre because there had been no indication until this point that there was a major problem. It confused me a little.
The plot of the story was generally good. I like the deception of the tale and I think it will hold the readers out for the next addition to the story. Although I hope they won’t have to wait long for it because I feel like this is a story one could easily brush to the back of your mind at times. It certainly had moments of genius and excitement with the chases, and adrenaline rushes we very nearly reached, but then the whole fight or action scene dropped down in my expectations. For urban-fantasy I was expecting something a little more gritty (or maybe that’s my love for gore) but it was just a punch and a kick and it felt limited in the action department. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series borders the “urban-fantasy” genre and I don’t think J.R. Ward ever holds back there with the tale, but for me Hoar seemed a little too hesitant to describe. I understand Carina Press have word limits and such things, but a few more lines wouldn’t have taken away anything from the story for me.
Overall this story was an hour read-ish (depending on your reading speed) and a fairly exciting way to pass the time. I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the next one, but I’m certainly intrigued enough that I’ll keep an eye open for where this series may head. Hoar isn’t my top author, but I say she’s developing and certainly drop by a take a quick look. I’m sure you’ll be able to make up your own mind about her, she’s just needs to grit it up for me!
*This was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review*
More stalking available here: