Wed
Aug 22 2012 5:00pm

First Look: Alexandra Ivy’s Fear the Darkness (August 28, 2012)

Fear the Darkness by Alexandra IvyAlexandra Ivy
Fear the Darkness
Zebra / August 28, 2012 / $7.99 print & $4.99 digital

Beautiful Cassandra is a Were, a prophet both vulnerable and defiant, blessed with visions that portend the fate of the world. A rare and delicate creature, Cassie must be protected at all costs. Enter Caine, a powerful cur turned pureblooded Were whose recent tangles with a demon lord have left him in serious need of redemption. Caine is duty-bound to keep Cassie out of danger—and that means resisting his potent urge to seduce her.

As Cassie's mysterious visions lead them in and out of danger, Caine believes he has found his true mate, the woman with whom he is bound for all eternity. Cassie is both charmed and frightened by Caine's magnetism, and unsure if he—or her feelings for him—can be trusted. But Cassie can't afford to doubt Cain now. A deadly enemy bent on destruction is closer than they realize—and only they can keep chaos from ruling the world.

The most impressive talent an author can demonstrate is the ability to take an antagonist from a series and turn him into a true hero. After all, if a character has caused or tried to cause the destruction or death of a prior story’s hero, how can readers accept and believe the change from villain to hero and embrace these previously-despised characters? It takes very skilful storytelling to make that happen.

In Alexandra Ivy’s Immortal Guardian series, she gives us Caine, a cur (human turned werewolf) and through a combination of magic and death, has him reborn as a pure-blooded (born) Were. Caine has spent several centuries in the ruthless pursuit of this transformation after an ancient pureblood told him he would one day become a pureblood werewolf. He has aligned himself with the wrong people time and again to fulfill this dream of becoming an immortal and more powerful pureblood—so much so that he is currently on the most wanted list of both the King of Weres and the King of the Vampires. Caine had even kept pureblood Were Harley captive for a time so that he could experiment with her blood in an attempt to determine if he could medically transform himself into a pureblood.

“Would I ever put you in danger, sweet Harley?” Caine goaded.

“In a heartbeat, if it meant saving your own hide.”

“Harsh.”

“But true.”

“Perhaps.” (from Beyond the Darkness)

In this continuing storyline, Caine was killed while attempting to protect Cassandra from the demon lord who has kept her captive all her life, and at the moment of his death he absorbs the energy which the demon lord had taken from a pureblood Were. When he awakens in his new pureblood form, he believes he was reborn to be the guardian and protector for Cassandra, who is the missing pureblood sister of Harley, and who is the first true profit born in centuries.

In Fear the Darkness, the focus is on Cassandra and her hero, Caine. Since Cassandra was abducted as a baby and kept prisoner in a cave by the demon lord for almost 30 years, she is in many ways child-like in her innocence of the world, and relies on Caine for protection and guidance.

“If it wasn’t for you I would still be in that cave.”

“Don’t make me into a hero, Cassie.” He scowled. “We both know I started out as the villain of the piece.”

Her lips twitched. She might not be worldly, but she knew that Caine was far more comfortable with his bad-boy image. And from what he’d confessed, he deserved the reputation.

But as far as she was concerned, he’d always be her champion.

“If you were a villain, then you wouldn’t be here with me,” she pointed out softly.

Caine couldn’t have chosen a more difficult time or situation to change from bad-boy to hero. Cassandra is a true prophet and the Dark Lord is desperately trying to return from his exile. He believes that if he has possession of the prophet, she will prophesize his return and his destruction of the Goddess of Light.

His lips twisted. “There was a time when I was vain enough to assume that the world revolved around me, but I’m not a complete idiot.”

She tilted her head to her side. “I don’t know what that means.”

He reached to give her ponytail a gentle tug. “I’m traveling with the most sought after creature in the entire universe. If someone’s trying to capture us, it’s all about you, pet.”

Cassie grimaced. Being the most sought after creature in the entire universe wasn’t nearly so fun as it sounded. In fact, it sucked.

Caine must now protect Cassie from the Dark Lord and his minions, as well as his own growing feelings toward Cassie. Since Caine has not always been a hero, he does not feel worthy of being with this woman, not only because she so innocent, but because she is so important to the future of the world.

When an author can take a reviled character and make us love, respect and root for them, it is an impressive feat to accomplish, and there is no doubt that you will now be rooting for our newest hero, Caine.

 


Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

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2 comments
Adria Reyes
1. adria03
I was able to review an ARC of this book and you are spot on! Being able to take a villain like Caine and turn him into a hero, a believable one at that, is the mark of true talent. It's a great book and I recommend it to any one who enjoys villain turned hero stories as this one is extremely well done!

Adria
Marian DeVol
2. ladyengineer
Lucy, thank you for the recommendation! I have not read this series (or this author), but this review is intriguing enough for me to seek it out from its beginning - I like to read series in order.

I agree. It takes real talent to develop a character, be consistent with his motivations, and make a believable transition from villain to hero. I LOVE when it is done credibly!

We have to remember, everyone is the hero of their own story - even the most irredeemable villains. People don't turn into villains out of the blue. Something in their history, pain suffered, loved ones threatened or harmed, can precipitate self-centered goals ruthlessly pursued which others can view as villainous behavior. In many ways, it is a matter of context.

Many (most? ;->) men exhibit at least a little of this self-centeredness trait. Certainly, all alphas do. The main difference is the degree to which they will pursue their goals and on what their goals are based.
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