Review: Dark Waltz by A.M. Hargrove

Posted January 22, 2013 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 2 Comments

Genres: Urban Fantasy
Dark Waltz 
By A. M. Hargrove 
Book #1 in the Praestani series 
Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Paranormal Romance 

A sizzling legend of loss, lust and love…It’s the year 2030 and the human population has been annihilated by a virulent form of small pox. Liasare Davidson is desperately searching for her brother, who has been missing for three months. It’s been eighteen years since she was evacuated from Earth and she is horrified to see it’s become a cesspool of unimaginable things.

In her quest to find her brother, she meets Jurek, a powerful and enigmatic being that frightens her, yet she is unable to resist. When things begin to unfold between them, they both discover a paralyzing truth that puts Liasare at grave risk. She must make a choice to join Jurek and find her brother or fulfill a role she believes she is ill equipped to undertake.

Category: ADULT Romance…NOT appropriate for young readers. (Major STEAM ahead)

REVIEW:

Liasare Davidson and her older brother, Tommy, were extremely close so while it was pretty unrealistic for her to be returning to Earth alone to search for him, her motivations were understandable. Everyone around her on the Vesturion planet was stonewalling her so Liasare enlisted the help of a close friend (he was in love with her, she not with him) to help transport her back to Earth. She had not returned since she and Tommy were evacuated 18 years ago, was completely unprepared for what she faced when she arrived and quickly got into trouble, setting up her inevitable encounter with Jurek.

It’s apparent from their first meeting that Liasare, who is traveling under an alias (real name is Sarah St. Davis), and Jurek have an unexplained connection and attraction. He rescues her on several occasions from the Xanthians, a brutal and foul alien species who have pretty much taken control of the planet. Jurek and his team are attempting to help other planets prepare for a power play by the Xanthians to control the universe. He isn’t what he seems either but it’s clear he’s one of the good guys.

The arising conflict between the dark and the light nations is pretty exciting. It soon becomes clear that there are more dark forces at play as they discover some extraordinary circumstances on Earth. It might not be plausible to have developed the technology to the extent we see in the story by the year 2030, but I was willing to accept it given the emergence of so many different species from other planets who may have been more evolved. The action was exciting and unpredictable, even a bit brutal at times, but it really held my interest. The dystopian society left on Earth was pretty dismal but very creative.

What detracted from the story was the relationship between Liasare and Jurek. While she is 27 years old her behavior and dialogue was more fitting of someone still in her teens. I lost count of the TSTL (too stupid to live) moments and her constant use of profanity was just inappropriate. Cussing doesn’t bother me unless it’s just constant and without proper context, which is the case here. Even Jurek commented about it and often. Speaking of him, though honestly provoked to anger by her most of the time, Jurek would lash out and physically attack Liasare. The next moment they would be in full lust with each other. Fortunately, this diminished somewhat once they succumbed to their attraction and behaved more harmoniously. There are many steamy moments but you’re more than halfway through the book before these two consummate their relationship. By that time, I questioned why they even liked each other.

Despite the issues with Jurek and Liasare, I am looking forward to the next story in the series as things are not resolved when this one comes to a close. The excerpt included with my copy was pretty intriguing and I will definitely read the next book. I’m hoping, though, that relationship between these two progresses to a more mature level and Liasare gets a cleaner vocabulary. She has an important role in the story, as does Jurek, and I’d really like to connect with this couple. It will only happen if the dialogue is more representative of the age of the characters.

(I received an ARC from the publisher.)

Find Me

Jonetta

Co-Blogger/Full Time Reviewer at The Book Nympho
I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!

Friend me at Goodreads.
Find Me

2 responses to “Review: Dark Waltz by A.M. Hargrove

  1. That cover is attention grabbing! I love some sci fi mixed with my romance, but the issues you’d had with the heroine would be the same for me. Still sounds interesting though.