97: The Warlochs' Pact (book review & giveaway)
97: The Warlochs' Pact was written by V.L. Holt. It is the first book in the Rise of the Battle-Bred series. This post has been organized by The Book Stalker. I was provided with a copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
About the book:
Newspaper Girl Jane Burrows is a hard-working likeable teen who is satisfied with her small town life far from urban cares. She lives with her mom and beagle on a quiet street in rural Oregon. She has a best friend, wheels, and a smartphone that keeps her in touch with current events. A senior in high school struggling to help her mom, Jane has other things on her mind besides romance.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Jane’s ordered world changes when a new boy moves in just a few doors down. William McLeod isn’t your typical senior. He has the build of an MMA fighter, the skills of a parkour expert, and can quote Jane Austen’s fiction no problem. He’s also pretty evasive when it comes to the simplest of questions. Where is he from? What does his dad do? Why does he keep following Jane around like a puppy dog in training?
William Has a Secret
There is that other thing too. The thing where he keeps dying in battle and resurrecting. William descends from an ancient Warrior race, created to be invincible in battle. It’s kind of a secret, until he’s faced with a life or death situation involving the cute girl he just met.
History Repeats Itself
Zarastrid is the leader of a powerful group of immortal Warlochs. In ancient times, he and his brothers had a wonderful idea. Create a race of Warriors to fight their battles for them. Zarastrid finds a Christian woman suitable for the task, but quickly discovers he can’t stay away from her. The Warriors created would be deadly, powerful and fearless. There was only one problem; it turned out that their loyalty couldn’t be guaranteed.
Zarastrid Wants Revenge
The Warlochs are hunting down every last descendant of the Warrior race. The Lochspawn monsters reign with blood and horror, wreaking devastation wherever they land. A rogue Lochspawn has tracked William to Jane’s small town, and William must make a choice. Preserve one of his last lives in order to save Jane’s frail existence? Or hoard his precious remaining lives and watch his future go up in flames?
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I loved the way this story unfolded... the telling of the current day story with Jane and William, and the history of the story with the Warlochs creating and beginning the race of warriors. I especially liked how it all came slowly together. No questions were fully answered outright... they were slowly drawn out. It left a lot of intrigue and really pulled me into the story as Jane learned what was going on.
The collision of real world high school situations and fantasy made for a fun read. I liked that Jane didn't outright believe everything that was going on. It seemed to make the story much more real simply because she didn't just accept everything. She had moments of thinking she must be totally crazy (because wouldn't the average real high school senior girl think she was losing her mind before saying "oh yeah, demons and warriors and magic are totally real."?). The cute boy made her blush with his attention. When something seemed wrong or questionable... she actually googled and asked questions.
At the same time... the fantasy and magic is front and center just as often as the average teen crush romance. I was impressed by how well V.L. Holt was able to write such a real world and such a magical world... and keep them separate while also weaving them together. Can't wait to read the next book in the series to find out how William and Jane's story continues... and what happens next with Zarastrid and the other warlochs.
While I enjoyed the modern day story... I really loved the history of the story. I loved the subtle changes in writing style that came with switching time frames. The struggle of Zarastrid and the other warlochs being these cursed beings with no hearts... but being faced with caring for women (or 1 woman in particular) that were studied and chosen for being superior made the character development interesting and complicated. I'm hoping we learn more about the details of the history in the next book.
Oh.... and 97. Very clever title.
About the author:
V. L. Holt adores escaping housewifery by reading all kinds of books, from non-fiction how to declutter-type books to paranormal romance to historical regency to sweet fiction and memoirs. But her favorite mode of escapism is writing-though she doubts she will ever undertake to write a bestselling decluttering book.
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