Sixth in the Anna Strong urban fantasy series about a newly-made vampire battling to retain her humanity.
Poor Anna. She just can’t catch a break with boyfriends. Betrayals and snarkiness just seem to go hand-in-hand.
This particular installment is full of introspection and discoveries for Anna as she works some issues out for herself while other problems are dissected by her true friends. The final aha moment is when Anna must choose how to answer petitions laid before the Chosen One. Her answers are so wise, you just know she’s channeling somebody!
A very interesting chapter in Anna’s life; I do wish I had read this one before I read Crossroads as it colored too much of my own expectations.
The whole “Story” section is a bit of a spoiler so you may want to skip it!
It’s the raid on the biker bar that clues Anna in to a new power she may have acquired. A power that spikes again when she meets Lance’s sire, Julian Underwood, after they’ve buried Anna’s attacker.
Anna’s feelings about Underwood aren’t helped when she finds Lance horribly beaten and she vows to Lance that she will help protect him. A vow that doesn’t seem to have sunk into Lance. Especially since Anna doesn’t tell him of the bargain she makes with Underwood and Williams to accept their aid in her role as the Chosen. An alliance that goes awry when Williams turns up as a pile of ashes with Judith Williams on her doorstep demanding aid.
Seems Williams really got off on the whole power trip. Turning his wife but not teaching her what she needs to know to fend for herself. Even worse, Judith’s arrogant personality has come along for the ride throwing everything off balance. Death and destruction at Culebra’s bar, David’s kidnapping, home invasions all mixed in with Anna’s own kidnapping. She is to be an offering to a god and goddess who have been waiting 500 years.
Then there are the vampire tribes who all have a stake in the Chosen One’s pronouncements, the direction vampires will follow for the next 200 years. Naturally, not everyone wants such a young, inexperienced vampire in charge of them all but it is during this challenge that Anna realizes the truth as to why she was Chosen.
Anna Strong was turned almost a year ago and, man oh man, it has been a busy, full-of-learning kind of year. David is her partner in their bounty hunter business and he’s pretty ticked at Anna. He’s also a former pro football player. Tracy Banker is their new partner and no dummy. Culebra is a friend who runs Beso de la Muerte, a blood bar down in Mexico. Daniel Frey is another friend and former lover, a shapeshifting panther, who finds out the nitty-gritty about becoming the Chosen. His current girlfriend Layla does not love Anna.
Lance Turner, a.k.a., Broderick “Rick” Phillipe DeFontaine is Anna’s current boyfriend. A vampire, a model, and a scion of the DeFontaine diamond family, Lance has it all. Seemingly. Too bad the boy ain’t got a backbone. Adele is his housekeeper in one of his California houses; from a line of old family retainers.
Warren Williams is the former police chief of San Diego and a 200-year-old vampire who sees Anna as his chance for greater power. Judith Williams is the snotty other half whom Warren turned vamp but hasn’t given her the instruction manual. Right along with Julian Underwood, Lance’s sire and a sorcerer with his own set of plans. Detective Harris is with homicide and has his own set of suspicions about Anna.
The vampire tribes represent geographic areas: Joshua Turnbull of North America; Miguel in South America; Rani is in charge of Central America which includes Mexico and the West Indies; Brianna rules Australia and Oceania; Northern Africa; Central and South Africa; the Near East; Amardad of the Middle East; Central Asia; Indonesia and the Philippines; Cheng-Li of China; Japan and Korea; and Chael from Russia.
Alexi, Dhakwan, Dato, Naruaki, Melisizwe, and Bayani are other tribal heads; I can’t figure out where they belong.
The cover has a rather otherworldly feel with that huge full moon and the pink-blue-green mists floating in and around a jean-clad Anna in her workaday tank and leather batwing vest. That humongous stake in her hand must relate to the fight of her life.
That’s Anna. And no matter how she tries to wriggle her way out of it, she is definitely the Chosen.