Cover Image: Sons of Ymre: Erik

Sons of Ymre: Erik

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I received this book from Net Galley. This book was by an author I had not heard of before and I did not like the characters nor the storyline.
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An alternate world within ours with monsters and warriors and nothing is as it seems, even among the good guys!  Engaging and building storyline that keeps pulling you forward until the end.
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I am going to be honest, this one was a struggle to read for me. My actual rating is 2.5, but I bumped it up because the writing and style of writing is pretty solid for a romance..

So the premise sounded a bit dodgy, but I was like "okay, it might be okay. Let's give it a try!" Oh boy...

So the beginning was super super dodgy for me. Liv goes on this date, and this guy is full of himself so Liv dodges out the back door with the help of the serving staff. Awesome! But instead of leaving it there, the author later reveals that Liv dodged a huge bullet, apparently this guy likes to roofie his dates and rape them. Could have left that out for sure.

Why? because Liv pops out the back door and into a fight. Erik and his brother (whom I forget the name of already) are fighting in the backstreet and Liv gets caught in the crossfire and goes down from the hit. She's out cold. Erik and his brother finish the fight and immediately realize Liv is no ordinary woman, but some sort of dream. The brother immediately starts talking of raping her to 'seal' her. Erik is a bit more with the century and says no...followed up by 'let's kidnap her instead.' 

Liv spends the next bit of the book, waking up and trying to figure out various ways to get away from her kidnappers.  When these attempts fail she goes back and forth between trying to escape and making their lives far harder then they need to be in revenge for kidnapping her. Good girl.

But then the temple is attacked and they are forced to flee and somewhere in the mix Liv gets Stockholm syndrome and joins her captures to battle the blatantly obvious villain who is far more powerful than they are. Good thing Liv got a few weeks of practicing with her new found ability and Erik is willing to die for her though! 

Seriously though, once the first temple is attacked things pick up in the pacing. However, by this point I was pretty un-invested and was reading this book in small chunks whenever I only had a few minutes to spare to read and didn't want to get locked into something better. If the first half of the book was shorter and the author cut out all the rape talk from the 'heroes' and the last bit of the book is longer, I would have been happier. The end of the book was cute, but there were a few loose threads. Did Liv ever tell anyone from her life she was still alive and kicking, or is she just another missing person at this point? Why did the mad god want her? What is so special about her?

 As David Attenborough says, "We simply...don't know." 

Conclusion?

I hated the start with all the rape talk and the kidnapping and a bunch of powerful dudes not respecting the wishes of Liv. For her safety or not, imprisonment, even in the nicest place, is still imprisonment. The reason why Beauty and the Beast works for most people is because the Beast learns this and lets Belle go. She comes back because it's love. Stockholm syndrome or no it makes for a better story.

It got better towards the end, to a degree, but not completely. By the time I got there I had emotionally checked out. Some people complain Saintcrow is repetitive, but seeing how this is the first book of hers I recall reading, I can't say if it is true or not. This one wasn't for me but I am definitively willing to try another one of hers.
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So here's the thing. The story here was actually pretty good and interesting. But for some reason, absolutely forgettable. I would literally be like, 'what was I reading?....Oh yeah!' when I would think about it between reads. And I honestly can't say why.

For most of the book I found Liv to be sooooooo annoying. Especially in the beginning. I mean, I get it. She was, for all intents and purposes, kidnapped. But just something about her personality and her actions really grated on me. As for all of the other characters, I was really rather quite ambivalent about them. Even the male lead, Erik. He was just way too by rules in how he clearly liked Liv as a person but wouldn't allow himself to even think of her as more than someone he has to protect because it is his duty and she's owed it.

So basically what's going on here is that nightmares are real and these creatures of the dark go out every night looking for their next meal. The only thing stopping them and the Mad God they serve is an army men who have turned against said god who call themselves the Sons of Ymre. And people known as dreamers. It's kind of iffy what exactly a dreamer is. I mean, we learn that they can have premonitions, and they can heal the Sons with energy from the Earth, as well as use that same energy to fight back the monsters. But what exactly they are or do? Not so much.

Liv is escaping from a horrible online date when she walks right into a fight against the monsters. It's immediately realized that she is a potential (as in potential dreamer) and taken to the Sons' temple for protection. But when she wakes up, that's definitely not how she sees it. She's determined to escape and to make her captors' lives hell. She succeeds at only one. Waiting for the days to get longer before they move her to a safer location proves to be a horrible decision when the monsters attack the temple they're in en masse, forcing the Sons to fight a losing battle and flee with their precious cargo.

Things do pick up in the story from here as they are on the run. But nothing goes right for this group. From having their car blown up (more than once), to being attacked in waves by the monsters, and having what they thought was an active temple be abandoned. When the three Sons are split up, it leaves Erik alone to protect Liv. And he's determined to do so even if it literally kills him. At least he some how manages to get Liv to an active temple without that happening. But by this point it's clear that there is a traitor somewhere because nothing of this situation was standard procedure. Worse. Erik and the two Sons stationed with him have been reported as dead for over 10 years.

When the traitor makes his move at the end, it's really not a surprise. But he sure lets his crazy free now. Even though Liv is woefully outmatched, she has been practicing with her own unlocked power for a few weeks now and manages to at least save herself until help comes. And Erik might just have to give his life for her after all.

I gotta say that while the ending was probably one of those sweet cute things, it was very unfulfilling. When you give the impression that the two main characters are going to become a couple in the book....they should become a couple in the book. But I hardly even saw either of them doing anything that would make the other like them that much. It was really frustrating.
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Thank you Net Galley and the Publisher for giving me. a ARC in exchange for a honest review.

This book had great promise in the beginning. It had a very supernatural like feel to it which included monsters and monster hunters, as well as dreamers who possessed magic. However it started to drag on very early in the book for me once Liv was captured. I also could not really relate to Liv at all I felt that she came off as scared and confused and hardly tried to look for any solutions to her own problems. Also the romance between Erik and Liv seemed very one sided most of the time, the only one putting in effort was Erik. I did enjoy parts of this book but overall would skim most of the parts from Liv's point of view.
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Liv is on her way home after a bad date when she is suddenly kidnapped, but it's not the kind of kidnap one would expect.  She is taken hostage by an organisation who claim they are protecting her from monsters who are out to get her.  Obviously Liv finds this very hard to believe and quickly and easily builds up resentment towards her three kidnappers.  They include the Father, young Son and Erik the Elder.  She finds out she is a Dreamer and the nightmares she has always kept to herself throughout her life are actually real.   

The plot is very slow paced and although the three protectors are military type actions figures, there is very little action to count on.  A lot of the story saw characters waiting around for things to happen.  One thing I found disturbing from the start was the male characters Jake making light of raping Liv, as well as the constant theme of a man wanting to force himself onto Liv throughout the book.  I found this uncomfortable and I'm sure it will be triggering for others too.

Overall I thought the book was rather slow but the plot had lots of potential as an other-worldly, underground, supernatural type story.  Had the author removed the constant references to rape from the book I would have been more interested.
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Kind of a weird one. The world building was a little sloppy and the beginning really dragged on. I've read a lot of other stuff from Lilith Saintcrow that I preferred,
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Three and a half
I loved this authors Dante and Jill Kismet series but hadn't read any of her recent work until I happened to spot this. It's as unique as I expected but does kind of take its time. No not a slow build but more lots (particularly the first half) of nothing really happening. The first page grabbed my attention as our heroine just came across as bright and sassy but then unfortunately a lot of page time went on describing the various monsters. That could be good but I struggled to really imagine them as we are constantly told they cannot be truly understood by humans and frankly there are just so many types and I defy anyone to understand what a cross between a spider and a vegetable looks like!
I feel this series has lots of potential and the characters introduced and their somewhat both peculiar and ambiguous circumstances are definitely a new departure in urban fantasy. I feel Liv's life with the Sons will be a bumpy one but as I trust this author to entertain her readers I do look forward to following this journey.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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From cover to cover I could not put this book down. So happy to be reading a new and exciting fast paced series from Lillith St. Crow. Characters and world (ours, great twist) MC's Liv and Erik and the slowly building relationship in the midst of madness and constant action were like paranormal eye candy.
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I love this book. Liv is not your simpering female and I am so glad. I can't wait to read more of Lilith Saintcrow's books, especially if there are more Soms of Ymre books.
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I am a fan of this author.  That said I am not a fan of this book.  The premise is a good one.  The characters unique and interesting.  The story dragged for me.
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Sons of Ymre Erik by Lilith Saintcrow.
Sons of ymre book 1.
Long ago, there was a mad god who almost destroyed the world.And he is still out there, waiting…
On a cold winter's evening, Liv Stellack escapes a bad date…and walks straight into nightmare. Kidnapped and held without ransom, she's ready to use every trick in the book to escape. But her captors aren't criminals, they're Sons of Ymre, hunters of the unclean things living in the cracks of sanity and dreams—and Liv is a valuable tool in their war against the Mad God.Erik knows the beautiful woman they've rescued can't possibly understand the danger she's in, or the fact that she's being held for her own protection. Some things can't be explained, only shown; he and his fellow Sons have to keep their precious potential alive long enough for the days to lengthen so she can be transported to another temple and learn how to fight an evil older than recorded history.But treachery lives in the Mad God's chosen, and it's soon obvious that one of the Sons can't be trusted. Fleeing for their lives, Liv and Erik must make an uneasy alliance, depending on each other to reach tenuous safety.That is, if the monsters don't get them first…
I really really enjoyed this book. I liked Liv Eric and Jacob. 4*.
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