Review of Relentless and Refuge by Karen Lynch

1:50 PM

Hey Addicts! I've got a brand span-kin new review for you on a.....gasp.....paranormal YA series. Yes I'm talking Vamps, were's, hunters and SOOOOO many more creatures of myth and legend :)

Relentless--Book 1
Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.

Refuge--Book 2
To keep the people she loved safe, Sara left everything she knew behind. She soon learns this new world is nothing like her old one, and she struggles to make a place for herself among the Mohiri. But it soon becomes apparent to Sara and to everyone one around her that she is not your typical warrior.

As the weeks pass, Sara builds new relationships, copes with her new trainers, and tries to manage her ever-changing powers, while keeping her unique heritage a secret. Looming in the background is the constant shadow of the Master who will do anything to find her.

Sara finds herself on a journey of self-discovery that uncovers her true strengths and awakens a part of her she never knew existed. She experiences the delight of new friendships, the sweetness and pain of first love, and a loss so deep it could be the thing that finally breaks her. At the end of it all, she discovers that the one place she was supposed to be safe might not be the refuge she thought it was.


Sara Gray's world was ripped apart after she witnessed her fathers murder at the hands of a Vampire when she was only 6.
Sure as heck ain't no sparkling hot vamps here. Nope. Karen Lynch has taken vamps beck to their roots of pure evil and ugliness, but added her own twist by making them parasite demons! LOVED IT. I admit it's been a while since I picked up a new YA vamp/hunter/were book and actually liked it. Truth be told, I bought this book ages ago and it just sat on my kindle for ages, until last weekend.
I sure picked a good one! I finished it in about eight hours.
RELENTLESS kept me intrigued and dying for a good romantic scene between Sara and Nikolas (our hero who is like Sara--a Mohiri: half demon half human who hunts the baddies). Honestly its hard to pick a good place to really start this review because there were so many good qualities.
#1 for me--the romance. I've said it before, I have NO PROBLEM with insta love, as long as it fits the story. Relentless DID NOT have insta love, at least not for Sara. It was for our baddest-biggest hunter ever: Nikolas; though it wasn't confirmed until book 2 REFUGE.
It took me until almost the end to realize I wasn't going to get the hot makeup session I wanted, but then I realized I didn't mind. A total first for me! The way Sara's feelings developed felt very natural and believable, which made it okay.
#2 Remy. Sara's oldest and best friend who is a Troll. Yup, a Troll. Big, smelly, and scary to all but Sara. This whole adventure kicks off with her selling Troll Bile (black market style) to get medicine so Remy can heal another mythical creature. A sale that gets her in so much trouble she doesn't even realize it until it is way beyond too late.
#3 her other best friends: Roland and Peter. Definitely to the typical 2 gal pals that accompany most YA heroines. Even better--Peter and Roland are Werewolves! A fact they kept hidden from Sara for years.
But Sara has her own secrets, like the "beast" that lives inside her mind that tends to lead her to small acts of aggression aka beating up school bullies. But that's not all, she's also got the ability to calm and talk to animals and she see's Elementals. A very rare thing! And she has the purest heart of a character I've read in a while. She's tougher than she thinks herself capable of and she'll do anything, ANYTHING for the people she loves.
Notice Nikolas hasn't been highlighted much.......that's because, despite the fact I love his character, I wanted a bit more. Not the hotness or fearless tough guy warrior department--he's got that beyond covered. But for being over 200 years old, and having dealt with a few difficult female Mohiri's before, he KEPT getting tricked and bamboozled by Sara! And not just him, but also his hunting partner, Chris! That said, he made up for it a little, but I still got annoyed that he always seemed a few steps behind Sara and her habitual harebrained schemes.
And damn if there weren't more than a few. It was one after another after another. But they all fit perfectly into the world build for RELENTLESS so I loved it.
Not getting my romantic kiss payoff in book 1 I just knew I'd get it in book 2 REFUGE. And guess what, as soon as I finished RELENTLESS I went right to amazon and bought REFUGE!

Now this brings me to my review of REFUGE by Karen Lynch.
Book 1 leaves off with Sara deciding to leave her home, friends and Uncle to go with Nikolas to a safe haven/training facility for young Mohiri; so she can protect the people she loves from even more danger than they were already in.
Just before arriving she also realizes that her Mohiri half comes for her mother--who cold heartedly abandoned her at a way too young age! Nikolas also reveals that Sara has Mohiri family at the compound who are all anxious to meet her. A fact that intrigues Sara, though she is hesitant. It's a lot for a girl to take in, especially after going through so much already, so you can understand why I was upset with Nikolas for dumping Sara there then taking off for weeks without even a goodbye.
She spent 3 lonely weeks trying to figure out where she fit in, how to fight, deal with her Moiri ("beast") half that was kept at bay for so long by her Fae heritage. A fact that makes her physical weaker than all the other trainees.
Wait....I said fae. Yep, Sara is half Fae, a fact revealed very late in the first book after the Elemental Fae's saved her life in the end of RELENTLESS. That side of her heritage is much stronger than her Mohiri side giving her abilities no one ever imagined possible. Needless to say her being a "half breed" is a problem, especially because she'd got a Psychopathic Master Vamp hell bent on hunting her down. A fact that makes Nikolas and her Mohiri family and even her Werewolf friends way beyond overprotective and even a little prison wardn like. She can't even walk around the compound forests without being escorted back by armed guards who are constantly watching over her.
Not that the other Mohiri aren't nice or uncaring, they just go way overboard. And her grandfather is one of the leaders of the Mohiri so that also comes into play with the over the top security for her.
All that angst had me worried about what bad things Sara would have to deal with, without any real allies or friends; then the Hellhounds she tamed in book 1 come back into play and things take a much happier turn from there.
She even manages to get a leg up on a rather nasty fem Mohiri who is jealous of Sara and her bond to Nikolas. That made me cheer!
Then she's at a movie with the others and they'r attacked! Que her terrified, but totally brave badass fighting skills and the return of Nikolas, after hearing about it.
Then things got REALLY good then, and a little more than half way through I finally got my hot kiss that made me grin like a fool.
Of course more angst got tossed right onto that; but I still loved it!
The things that set this book apart from RELENTLESS and made me like it even more was the new characters we get to meet. Desmund, for example. He was a bad ass Mohiri who got whammies by a bad magic witch and suffered mental instability for a century, at least until Sara came along and healed him all the while befriending him. It didn't matter that he was very grumpy, rude and bad natured in the beginning because he turned into a charming, dashing, wickedly cool man--I loved him :)
I also loved getting to see and learn more about Nikolas and his history and he definitely became better at judging when Sara was going to do something stupid. Totally made up for book 1!
I won't give away too much more, but here's my top 5 list of the other things that made book 2 so amazing.
#1-Wyverns   #2-Sara's family  #3-Fae Magic   #4 Bad ass fight scenes  #5 a massive cliffy that has me itching something fierce for book 3!

Okay, was that long enough for you Addicts? LOL I can't help it, I just have so many great things to say about this series and I can certainly say Karen Lynch has jumped up on my favorite authors list! Book 3 RIGHT NOW please! :D

Karen Lynch grew up in Newfoundland, Canada - a place rich in colorful people and folklore to which she attributes her love of the supernatural and her vivid imagination. She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina years ago and was immediately charmed by the southern people but she says she will always be a newfie.

Though she loves supernatural fiction, she has a soft spot for Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austin. She is a fan of classic rock, country and classical music but her favorite music is the sound of a good thunderstorm or a howling blizzard. Two of her favorite past times are baking artisan breads for her friends and spending quality time with her two German Shepherds.

A voracious reader, she fell in love with books and writing at an early age and it grew into a lifelong passion. Relentless is her first published work and she hopes it is the first of many.

Later Addicts

All info was pulled from goodreads. I bought these two books for myself, they were note gifted to me in exchange for a review. 

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