"You look like mayhem and magic all rolled into one--which has been your aesthetic since the dawn of the wiggle dress."
I've been wanting to explore the 'Rogue Ethereal' series by Annie Anderson for some time. So, when I got the chance to read her upcoming release-- 'Priestess of Storms & Stone (Rogue Ethereal Book 5),' I jumped at it.
As I haven't read the previous books in the series, even with research.. I won't go back and talk about the origins of any of these characters. However, the lead-- Max, is incredibly likeable. She's funny, she's got a smart mouth I can completely relate to, and she often seems to subscribe to the 'throw punches first, ask questions later' belief system.. which I..
..well, I plead the fifth on that one.
This book finds Max on the trail of a newly turned succubus, making her way through the realm of Faerie, along with her entourage of guardians, friends, and family members. As is to be expected, not everyone's a friend. There are those who want her dead and those who want to use her to their own ends, but she's made a promise and intends to keep it. She's loyal and seemingly made of determination.
"The rational part of me knew I sounded co-dependent as f*ck. The irrational part of my brain told the rational one to go f*ck itself."
It's a well-structured novel with a lot of page-turning action. I feel like it's a bit of a guilty pleasure read because the author just seems to draw in as many tropes as possible and run with them. Long lost relative? Got it. Buried psychological trauma? Got it. Fated mates and tragic origins and characters who are not what they believe themselves to be? Got all those things too.
That's a pattern throughout the book actually.. the author loves to compile and collect. There's are multiple worlds of creatures at play, from fawns and dryads.. to demons and angels.. to wraiths and shifters.. even a kitsune.
Action scenes read the same way. They tumble constantly from one situation to the next, always potentially in some new and even greater danger. Even down time is used efficiently to further story or build relationships.. or develop characters.
"I leave you alone for five bloody minutes and you've gone and caused the apocalypse.."
I'm not complaining. It's a really fun book. Annie definitely knows how to manage all those spinning plates with ease and none of them ever hit the floor unless she wants them to do so.
Sure, there are a few things that I'm not typically a fan of.
There's always an easy answer to pretty much every situation. Max instinctively knows how to solve them or who to ask or exactly what to say or do to keep moving forward. Everyone in the group is perfectly reasonable once they understand why someone acts in a certain way. Her demon boyfriend is a perfect mixture of loving protectiveness and supportiveness for her independence. And there's always a convenient, easy way to deliver/receive information.
The difference is.. with this book.. I just didn't care. I was having such a good time, she made it all work. And I applaud her for that.