For a librarian with a focus on rare magic books, Olivia’s new job is a dream come true. She has been hired as part of a team to help manage the safe transportation of the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling Severan. The fact that the library is located on a mysterious island in an Other land only heightens the adventure.
Head of security for the expedition, Sebastian Hale is tired of his rootless life of adventure and finds himself attracted to the calm, beautiful librarian. But he is living a personal nightmare. He has been hit with a curse that is slowly taking away his sight, and he doesn’t know if he will survive the results.
But the powerful feelings growing between them, along with Sebastian’s inner turmoil, take a backseat when they learn there is a traitor lurking among their expedition team. With Elder Races politics and a priceless library on the line, they’ll have to rely on each other to survive the experience.
When Thea Harrison comes out with a new book my first reaction is all fangirl-y: 'AAHHH GIVE IT TO ME!'. Now with time I'm able to overcome this, lol, but I have to admit to a bit of the rose-colored glasses syndrome when it comes to her Elder Races series. The Wicked focuses on two new-ish characters, Olivia (a friend of Grace's, the heroine in Oracle's Moon) and Sebastian, the owl shifter charged with protecting her and her colleagues as they work to move Carling's library.
I gave the story a couple read throughs before forming my full opinion, and luckily it's short enough that this didn't take too long, so I'd say that while The Wicked is good, I think the lack of conflict and/or surprises makes it not one of my favorites. I feel weird complaining about a lack of drama, but Olivia and Sebastian where just so good. They felt something, they connected, and like the true adults they are they discussed Sebastian's curse, the future, their feelings - all of it, without nary a problem. I was hoping the traitor would turn out to be someone other than the obvious, but nope, you know the bad guy pretty quickly and he does what you'd expect.
It all culminates in an easy HEA which, while comforting to read, doesn't stand up as well to the riotous, emotion-filled romances that Harrison usually writes. For fans of the series I think this quick read will be enjoyable to reconnect with characters we've grown to love in earlier books, but on its own it's sweet but lacking a little in the gritty department.
Overall Feeling - B
Series - 1) True Colors 2) Natural Evil 3) Devil's Gate 5) Hunter's Season 6) The Wicked (The Elder Races Novellas)
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