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I can think of only one other series which develops the overall story without once tripping over earlier plot lines, and this series is flawless. While waiting for this book I listened to all seven of the early ones from the beginning. And wow, do these authors nail it.
Not only does the story arc keep climbing over all eight books without a stutter, the characters grow and change from book one to book eight, and still remain remain consistent. Goodness, many authors can't keep their characters within their original personalities within one book, much less eight.
In the early books we learn that Curan formed the Atlanta pack of different shape shifters because as a youngster his family was torn apart by a band of loupes, shape shifters who have gone crazy. He wanted his future family protected. The Pack repaid his work by not fully accepting his human wife, (well they kept challenging her to duels to the death for leadership of the Pack while he was in a coma, so that's less than accepting). So leaving the Pack that he spent years forming and supporting was not a deal breaker to keep both it and Kate safe from a great Evil. Doesn't mean it wasn't hard. Curan may not have the title of Beast Lord, but it is more than a title it is what he is, and leaving left a hole. The man is Bored.
Thank goodness his wife's problems are quite interesting. Being a mercenary and skilled swords woman, she has mad job skills. Her former employers the Mercenary Guild are willing, if not happy, to hire them both. Even the Lion of Atlanta, and the daughter of Evil (she does not take after her father) have bills to pay. And moving to suburbia has pitfalls of its own.
As usual Renee Raudman goes from an intelligent strong female character, to a growly male Curan, to an even more growly Jim, so smoothly that the listener is not jarred once.
Needless to say I love this series and these characters who are strong enough to have equally strong friends.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
I know why so many readers review these books by just saying "This is a great book". The stories have interwoven plot lines and there are no filler characters, Each character deserves a description and discussing the plots lead to major spoilers. But I enjoy the books and talking about them.
The one with claws transforms into about a half ton of were lion. He also has the mind of a lawyer and the instincts of a five term senator. Except unlike senators he doesn't send people to war, when war is required he puts his considerable self on the line for his people. When Curan is not tearing enemies to bloody little pieces, he has the patience to teach his foster daughter to differentiate between wants and needs, and to ask for what she needs like an appeals brief. Of course he tries to protect the one with the sword when she will let him, and not being stupid she does count on him when things go pear shaped.
Kate Daniels is the one with the sword, and she is the reason I started these reading these books. In the beginning, when she didn't agree with Curan, he called her a no name Merc, who just wanted attention. Kate just picked up her sword and and continued to to solve her problem. Several battles and some dead monsters later he apologized. Kate had no idea why. I adore this character. So does Curan. Also, he will never again take their foster daughter out monster hunting without leaving a note.
In the last book Kate survived meeting her biological father, a man of literal Biblical power. Unfortunately survival is not a permanent condition and Roland is quite capable of killing anyone in his path, including his children. He has done it before. Right now he just wants to have dinner with Kate...at Applebes.
I'm not sure if the earlier reviewer was being ironic. Curan and Kate did leave the Pack. But its sort of like leaving your family to move to another city. Several of the best members of the Pack do keep showing up. Thank goodness we readers would miss them if they just disappeared. Not to mention Curan and Kate can use the back-up.
The humor here is interwoven in the plot lines, the main characters are powerful, and still capable of making mistakes, and dealing with those mistakes. Every character in this book is there for a purpose. There are no fillers here. Kate's and Curan don't look strong just because everyone else is weak. For example Kate's best friend is as good with guns as she is with a sword. The Pack's lawyer is smarter than both Kate and Curan and he totally supports both of them.
OK. I give up. This is a great book. Renee Raudman does a consistently great job.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful