Author: S.J. Pierce
Release Date: Oct. 10, 2012
Alyx Rayer Chronicles #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book Source: Author
About the book:
Alyx Rayer’s existence in Atlanta, the eternally bustling capital of Georgia, is one of routine and blending in among the worker bees. But her ‘normal’ life is actually a façade for a higher calling; she’s a three hundred year old soul, encased in a human vessel and sent from the darkness between heaven and Earth to capture her Marked when summoned by her superiors.
During the initial, routine stake-out of her Marked, a dream prophet named Isaac Walsh, Alyx is thrown for an emotional loop when his allure captivates her heart from two rooftops away. The event marks the very instance when her sense of what’s right and what’s wrong is brutally challenged as her contact with him is strictly forbidden.
While already trapped between honor and desire, her emotional struggles are further challenged by a man in a black suit who continually pops up when she least expects it, his presence evoking a strange response from the scar she was branded with at birth. The scar tingles like a warning beacon, alerting her that something is amiss. Because her superiors never told her what this would mean, or much of anything except what to do when they summon, she can only conclude to try and keep her sanity, and her life, from completely shattering to pieces.
This engaging first book of the series is a Paranormal Romance novel interlaced with twists, turns, and thrilling suspense that is sure to satisfy readers of any genre.
May not be suitable for YA.
What G & U are talking about:
Marked for Vengeance is the first book in the new Alyx Rayer Chronicles. It is an intriguing concept that was not flushed out well. Gikany and Una were left with more questions than answers and some of these questions detracted from our satisfaction with the ending.
In the “About the Book” section, they do say it may not be suitable for YA. We agree. We would be comfortable recommending this book for juniors/seniors in high school, but no younger. Due to implied domestic violence and adult situations (involving sex and alcohol), we do not recommend this as a full young adult novel.
The mysterious prologue of Marked for Vengeance is what kick starts this intriguing but faulty mythology. We discover that Alyx, and others like her, are created and sent to Earth as adults. They are given three tours of duty before they are retired. What this retirement is, they do not tell us. During their tours of duty they are responsible for watching one person, their Marked, and waiting to be activated. Upon activation, they must capture their Marked. If that person dies, they die. This is Alyx’s final tour of duty. In her past two tours of duty, she kept a watchful eye on her Marked until their natural deaths without being summoned.
As we mentioned above, we thought there are some holes in the mythology of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles. We will attempt to discuss these holes without giving anything away. Alyx and others like her have stringent rules to follow – rules that seem to be without punishment if broken. It also seems that Alyx is very different from her counterparts and we are left wondering why. What compounds this is that Alyx’s superiors seem oblivious to her differences. Another intriguing concept is that she is the only one of her “group” to have had previous tours of duty. It makes Gikany and Una wonder why? Why do there appear to be so few of her kind and, if they need more, why can’t they make more? If Alyx is on her final tour of duty, why would she be frightened of her Superiors? Why is she unable to ask those vital questions? We have other questions but fear we would give away the plot if we did.
Speaking of giving something away, Marked for Vengeance is a mystery of who and what Alyx is – and what her purpose for her Marked is. We felt that it was unnecessary to have this mystery. It actually detracted from our enjoyment because we interpreted the story a completely different way which leads us to be a little disappointed in the end. The story is told mainly from Alyx’s and her Marked, Isaac’s, points of view. Most of they story is from Alyx’s point of view. This added to our confusion, because wouldn’t she know what she is? This detracted from our ability to connect with Alyx. The preservation of the mystery of whether Alyx is good or evil was unnecessary, in our opinion.
Another unnecessary aspect dealt with Alyx’s boyfriend, Benjamin. He was an interesting character and added something to the overall story and intrigue of Alyx. However, the foreshadowing anger management issues and the implied beginnings of domestic violence between the two – were entirely unnecessary. We felt it was an insult to his character. If they were used as a way to explain why such an eligible man was still single – there are much better ways of doing so without it being a violence issue. Considering that Benjamin was a very attractive and successful surgeon, it made sense to Gikany and Una that he was being very selective about whom he would want to date seriously.
Besides our intrigue at the mythology and our desire to see where it goes, there is a strong positive element in Marked for Vengeance and that is Isaac, Alyx’s Marked. Isaac and his son, Micah, have a very positive relationship. Isaac is a widower and a strong, compassionate and loving father. The relationship between him and his son, along with the relationship he has with his own father are touching. Isaac is a well-balanced character. We enjoyed immensely the handling of Isaac’s grief. He lost his wife five years prior to the beginning of the novel. The way he recognizes his grief and processes it was refreshing. We eagerly anticipate seeing more of him as well as his son, Micah and learning more about them.
Although we had some issues with Marked for Vengeance, we are intrigued by the ending and want to see where it all goes. Gikany and Una are especially interested in seeing some of our mythology questions answered. We again apologize for some of our vagueness, but we would hate to spoil a major plot point.