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Friday, March 14, 2014

Rumors of Wars by R.L. Craven

I was given the opportunity to read Rumors of Wars and I wasn't really certain what to expect. The cover (here I go again...) is entirely unremarkable and nothing about it really
seemed to stand out and say "Hey look at me, I'm a great book here!" In fact, I'm ashamed to say, that it got lost in my list of "to read" books and I'm only now catching up to it. Because I'm in serious like with this book, I regret not having read it sooner. Rumors of Wars is a gem of a book that deserves a lot more attention than it has gotten so far. But (yes there's a but) it ends with a cliffhanger and that has a way of messing things up for me.

Rumors of Wars is a paranormal book that is set in a dystopian future in which the rich rule and the poor don't have many options other than to work for the rich without hope of ever getting ahead. In this world there are regular humans and there are people who have "talents." These people include werewolves, succubus, telepaths, and more. The heroine of the story is a woman named Perish. She has unique talents, including some that she tries to keep secret and others that she's just learning about. Because she's an orphan she doesn't really know who or what she is and that's a mystery that she would like to solve.  Parish is a bounty hunter and through her trade she manages to live well. She is aggressive and not the type of woman that plays well with others so to speak. She has a tendency to jump first and occasionally miscalculates; however, in most cases she's competent enough to back up her actions and take care of business. As heroines go, I loved Parish.

The Confederacy of Talents is an organization of talented and seemingly sinister beings. They are headed by a powerful wizard and are a group with which one does not mess with. They approach Parish with a request to find something that belongs to the head wizard but was stolen and lost years ago. They are aware of some of Parish's hidden talents and want her to put them to use for them. In exchange for her cooperation they'll give her information regarding her parents that she so desperately wants. I don't want to reveal spoilers 'cause honestly I want you to READ THE BOOK, but lets just say that where they want to send our bi-racial heroine is insane and would definitely garner a "You have lost your dang mind" from me if I was Parish. Just saying.  Not someplace I would want to go.

We also get to meet Parish's best friends, Calamity, aka Princess Buttercup, aka PB, and Ominous aka Pride. Pride is the beta of a werewolf pack and the man/wolf that's in love with Parish and who considers her his mate. PB is Parish's roommate and self-appointed mother hen. These three characters have a great history and genuine affection for one another. Their interactions were fun and were an important part of understanding  who Parish really is, not just who she let others see. The book does a lot of establishing who the characters are in general, what the world is like, and preparing us for what is to come. Unfortunately, that leads to the main problem for me, which is the fact that it ended in a cliffhanger. I was honestly so engrossed in what I was reading that the ending just seemed to come out of nowhere. Full stop. Smacked me in the face. I had to email the author just to make sure I received the book in its entirety. Not a happy reader here, nope.

Rumors of Wars isn't a romance, but it has romantic elements in that Pride truly loves his Parish and Parish, although she resists, obviously loves her Pride. It is a great book filled with interesting well rounded, multi-ethnic characters (as if that wasn't enough to love it!). The dystopian society stood out for me in particular. I would love to hear more about the events that made the world what it is. Although things were bad, it wasn't unbelievable. In fact, it seemed frighteningly plausible in my opinion and that add a layer of richness to this story that I found wonderful.  I would have loved to have given this book 5 stars, but with that cliffhanger I have to lop off one whole star just out of sheer frustration. I fully recommend this book to anyone who likes sassy, strong and complex heroines, dystopian worlds and paranormal beings.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Published: January 15, 2014
Pages: 173
Buy the Book at: Amazon

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*

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