Publisher: Imajinn Books
Review source: Library
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie
Fifth in the Watcher paranormal romance series usually revolving around the Guardian witches in Santiago City. This story expands it out and simply refers to the first three Guardians. The couple focus is on Caro Robbins and Merrick, the Tracker.
In a series of stupid protagonists, this one takes the cake. It really is irritating as Saintcrow has an interesting idea and technically the writing is well done. I said "technically".
It's too bad that someone let her slip all these idiots in who whine on and on and on and on and...ad infinitum. Firstly, it's irritating; secondly, it's exhausting.
The previous Watchers have all had history, a long history about which we receive the background. Merrick seems to be quite modern and ran afoul of wanting to leave a system that thought he knew too much, and we don't receive much in the way of information.
In this one, while I understand the need for the Watchers to observe their duty and honor and obey their Lightbringer, Merrick is so stupidly annoying with his angst over "disobeying" his witch when just words earlier, he's justified doing it because part of the Watcher code is to overrule his witch if it's to ensure her safety. [For the full effect of reading this story, read this paragraph over a minimum of five times.]
Then there's the really annoying Caro...I almost want to leave her trapped in her mental prison! She whines on and on and...and it's all about preventing a Watcher from dying while trying to protect her. Again. So, with this uppermost in her mind, what does she do? Yup, she goes out of her way to do the stupidest things that will practically guarantee extreme danger.
She claims to have spent so much time in the Circle Lightfall arms, so why doesn't she have more of a clue of what the Watchers are capable?
The Circle sends her out, to drive to another city, in a Miata with a cloth roof. Mmm-hmm. 'Cause that just is so practical when someone is a target of really big things with teeth and claws.
Saintcrow has made it a point throughout all her books that Watchers bond with a particular witch. That "his" witch is the only one that can ease the pain caused by the tanak placed within them. So, obviously, Caro must have some idea about this from her exposure to Circle Lightfall and the Watchers. She does mention the schoolgirl sessions in which the girls talked endlessly about the Watchers. So, for all her declared "compassion", why is she so determined to refuse Merrick's bond with her?
The North Side attacks are so awful, so devastating. So, Fran takes her time about getting Caro to come and check it out. She takes her time about getting the necessary files to Caro so she can examine the case history. Can someone explain the reasoning for this? Am I missing it or just so annoyed that I'm purposely ignoring it??
Oh, yes, and I do just love that Caro refuses to allow Merrick to kill a bad guy. 'Cause that way, he gets to attack again. Oh, goodie… Excuse me while I find a bucket. Then there's the idiot brother. Oh, he's well meaning enough, but totally thoughtless.
It's so lame that all I want to do is take the book out and drown it.
A routine trip to Altamira turns out to be so much more. A Dark entity that none of the Watchers have ever encountered before is attacking normal and psychic people.
Caro's first experience with one of the victims in which she nearly dies, spurs her on to taking fewer and fewer of the "expected" precautions as she dives into the minds of more and more victims. Thoughtlessly, purposely putting herself into more and more precarious situations all while worrying endlessly over the possibility of something happening to Merrick.
Caro Robbins is a mindhealer within the ranks of the Lightbringers. A deep emotional loss has caused her to withdraw and refuse Watcher protection in spite of all the travel she does between the various Circle Lightfall safehouses, teaching other mindhealers what she knows. She's based in Santiago City, a.k.a., Saint City. Vince is a Watcher who died protecting her. Eleanor D'Arcy is the mindhealer teacher who took her under her wing. Trevor Robbins is her brother with a minor talent in Air and he drums with Elise's band. His watcher is Keenan.
Merrick is a Watcher in Altamira. He's close to a breaking point and seeking more and more suicidal missions. He's known as the Tracker for his ability to find anything.
Francine Edwardton is the witch in charge of the safehouse in Altamira. She is also Caro's friend. Oliver is the head of the Watchers in Altamira.
Men who were doomed by their actions are given the opportunity to become Watchers. A super-enhanced being who can detect and fight the Dark while protecting a Lightbringer, a witch with a strength in one of several elements: Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Tech, and Mind. The Watchers suffer excruciating pain as part of their punishment (I think); they hold on both as penance for their past deeds and in hopes of finding the one woman, the Lightbringer, who can bring them peace. Circle Lightfall is an organization that creates the Watchers and finds and protects the Lightbringers. The Crusade is a religious organization---natch---determined to destroy the witches. There are a maximum of four to five Bishops with great powers; Crusade Masters are live soldiers; Seekers are hell-dogs created with ceremonial magic; zombie knights are paired with Seekers to hunt down and kill Lightbringers; and, Slayers. A new breed created by the experimental attacks that are intended to be Watcher equivalents. The Dominion is a more mercenary version of the Crusade.
The cover is another cheesy one with a pair of hands in a cradling position as blue-green mists?, smoke?, encompass a figure in agony. I think it's the colors in the title and author's name that causes it to feel so cheesy.