Review: Vengeance Borne by Amanda Bonilla

Posted September 12, 2013 by B. in 4 stars, Rating A, Reviews, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Vengeance Borne
Author: Amanda Bonilla
Reviewer: B.
Rating: A-, 4 Stars

What I’m Talking About:

Born and raised to be a soldier in a secret war against the horrors that roam the night, Jacquelyn Byrne has never known anything other than a life of bloodshed and duty. As a Waerd, she is the only thing that stands between the humans under her protection and the supernatural creatures that prey on them. With no one else she can trust, except the Bearer assigned to be her partner, she can’t afford to think of her own needs, although getting her car repaired before the winter snow makes biking to a hunt impossible would be a good idea.

Micah Marinescu has felt like an outcast all his life, his strange ability to fully experience the emotions of those around him driving him to medicinal, as well as physical isolation from everyone he knows. But, when he stumbles across a woman who is his dream made flesh, he can’t resist the fire that burns within her, and suddenly finds himself wrapped up in a deadly battle he never knew existed.

As a fan of the Shaede Assassin series, I was very excited to hear about this new series from Ms. Bonilla. Jacquelyn, or Jax for short, is a strong, imperfect hero who is the key player in a war against all the “nasty things that go bump in the night,” which no typical human could hope to survive. She is stubborn and beautiful, and is both resentful and defiant in the face of an insidious authority she is powerless to escape. While she makes plenty of mistakes, they don’t render her completely hopeless as they might have done. Jacquelyn also has an impressively sly sense of humor, given the circumstances, even though it is largely borne out of exhaustion more than anything else.

Micah is also a great character, and possibly my favorite in Vengeance Borne. Although some of his rapid adaptation to his role in Jacquelyn’s world is conveniently attributed to his unrivaled natural “gifts,” he approaches the whole situation with an un-jaded fierceness that’s a pleasure to read. That he demands answers to questions most of the other participants gave up asking long ago makes him one of the most interesting characters, as well as one of the most endearing, in the story.

Also interesting is the relationship between the Bearers, those partnered with the Waerds in order to heal them and help them maintain “emotional stability,” so that they can remain the detached weapons they’re trained to be. Even though they’re meant to “bear” the pain of the Waerds, it is a power that is prone to corruption in the wrong hands, as Jacquelyn discovers firsthand. Yet, the attraction between Bearer and Waerd is inevitable. As the local mentor, Trish, puts it:

“A Waerd possesses a very specific fire in their soul, Micah, and only a Bearer can see that flame. Only a Bearer can truly feel the heat of it.”

It is an interesting and darkly fascinating concept.

There’s plenty to like about Vengeance Borne aside from the characters and world building. With plenty of well-written tension and Ms. Bonilla’s ability to cast suspicion in several directions at once, this story kept me guessing most of the way through. There’s also a fair amount of humor hidden in unexpected places that effectively lightens the tone of the narrative when needed, without lessening the intensity of Jacquelyn’s purpose with cheap gimmicks.

With some unexpected realizations of familiar creatures and an exciting supernatural whodunit, Vengeance Borne has plenty to offer as the first in a new series. Although it is most certainly an Urban Fantasy novel, there are enough romantic moments of real promise that my desire for the happiness of the two main characters was encouraged, even if it wasn’t fully realized. Of course, it all combines to make me even more eager for the next novel in the series, which is just as it should be.

4 stars: Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)


About the Book:

Fated to Hunt…
As the local hunter, and a ward of the Sentry, a secret organization dedicated to eradicating the forces of evil, Jacquelyn has been protecting the small town of McCall, Idaho for the past five years. The hours are horrible, the pay is nonexistent, she has to work with her jealous ex-boyfriend – and forget about quitting. She’s in for life.

Destined to See…
When a rugged drifter comes through town, Jacquelyn immediately knows what he is – an Empath who can read emotions and sense what others are thinking – even though it’s clear the handsome stranger has no idea what, or how powerful, he is…

A Town in Peril…
When people in McCall start turning up dead, viciously ripped to shreds as if by a wild animal, Jacquelyn knows better. Furies are loose in Idaho and hell-bent on exacting revenge. But against whom? And for what purpose? Jacquelyn has until the full moon to stop the Furies’ killing spree and save the people of McCall, figure out how to work with her ex – oh, and there’s a handsome stranger in town who’s in desperate need of some schooling…

Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: NYLA
Series: Sentry of Evil #1
ISBN: #978-1625172501
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): e-book
Book Source: Author

Giveaway: Amanda Bonilla is offering a chance to win an ebook copy of Vengeance BorneStop by her guest post from early today HERE.

Purchase Info:
Vengeance Borne (Sentry of Evil #1)