Review: In the Company of Killers #1, Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski

18052619Blurb from Goodreads

Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.

Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.

While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.

As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.

This is their story…

Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 393 pages
Published June 19th 2013 (first published June 18th 2013)
edition language: English
series: In the Company of Killers
genre: Suspense, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
My first impression to this book was there will be so much action in it. In some point it reminds me of one of my favorite TV series, Alias. Victor is a male version of Sydney Bristow. Therefore I set my hope high for this book. And after 4 awesome 4 stars worthy books I read, I guess no wonder I’m more than eager to read this book.

So, I began this book with the highest hope I have. I did like and enjoyed first part of the book. I get everything I wish from a good action story. And the most important thing is I can feel and connected with Sarai. She made me keep reading her story, though there is one thing I didn’t quite believe in the beginning of the story. As a well-trained assassin, I can’t believe how easily Victor told Sarai his real name only after a couple hours they met. Even if it isn’t his real name, I still think he is too kind to Sarai. It lead me to a theory that he isn’t a bad BAD guy after all, that somehow he is an undercover agent, like Sydney Bristow, maybe? Apparently I was wrong, at least until the end of this book he still is a very BAD guy. An assassin who works for the organization called The Order. He gets order to kill without questioning why his target should be killed which lead him encountered with Sarai.

She ran away from Javier, a powerful drug cartel and has main business in women trafficking, who captive her for 9 years. As the story goes, I especially liked when Victor and Javier back and forth use Sarai as leverage. I surely know Victor won’t kill her but eager to know how he will save her. Moreover Javier paid him to kill Sarai because she knows too much. And when *SPOILER* she killed Javier*END OF SPOILER* I’m waiting for what will happen to her since Javier organization and his clients are still running. But then there is nothing happen to her. It made me questioning whether Javier’s clients knew about Sarai and feel threaten and how about his organization? Did Victor exaggerate Javier’s motif to kill Sarai? It seems reasonable to me but why there is nothing more after *SPOILER* Javier’s death *END OF SPOILER*. I feel it just left unfinished in order to make a new story, which lead to second part of the story.

In this part, I have to say I kinda lost interest. It still has actions but somehow I couldn’t connect to Sarai and Victor anymore, even when Victor has part to tell his POV. I feel the story that built in the beginning is only a background for Sarai’s story because there isn’t anything more about drug and women trafficking that I thought will be the main world building for Victor and Sarai. And I feel the new story is too rush and too sudden, if it’s possible. 

As my fifth books from J.A. Redmerski, I think she can write any kind of genres now. My first encountered was The Edge of Never, a new adult contemporary romance. Then, I read 3 books from The Darkwood Trilogy, a young adult paranormal romance. Now, it’s time for action packed new adult story.

Those books have different genre yet I enjoyed all of them. It made me think it doesn’t matter what story she wants to write. She will write it as good as her other books, though it completely different from the one she already had.

In the end, although I enjoyed and liked Killing Sarai and I think it is a good book, it didn’t wow me. But, will I read its sequel, Reviving Izabel? of course I’ll read it, I think I will read anything she write, but I also think that sometimes there is a book that just isn’t as I expected and somehow it caused me a minority here.
Result: 3 of 5 stars

Review: The Darkwoods Trilogy #3, The Ballad of Aramei by J.A. Redmerski

The Ballad of Aramei (The Darkwoods Trilogy, #3)

Blurb from Goodreads

Everything about Adria Dawson’s life has changed in unimaginable ways: the shattering betrayal of her mother, the fight for her life and sanity…the loss of her humanity. But now Adria must face the ultimate challenge and risk not only her life, but the lives of everyone she loves at the wrathful hands of Isaac Mayfair’s father.

Determined to help unravel a mysterious message deeply rooted in an unhinged mind, Adria becomes obsessed with traveling into Aramei’s turbulent past to see the truth of how the relationships and betrayals between the Mayfair and Vargas bloodlines were formed.

Meanwhile, Adria and the Mayfairs are doing everything they can to smoke out and trap the Praverian traitor. A trip to Providence uncovers not only an old family line who are enemies of the Praverians, but also raises questions about the Praverian’s true agenda.

But the traitor will be caught. People will die. And Adria’s destiny to be the cause of a war will come to pass. But what could a kind and simple girl like Adria Dawson ever do that could be considered an act of war? The landscape of the werewolf world will be forever changed in the climactic conclusion to The Darkwoods Trilogy.

Kindle Edition, 453 pages
Published: November 18th 2012 by J.A. Redmerski
edition language: English
genre: Paranormal, New Adult
series: The Darkwoods Trilogy #3

My Thoughts

There’s one thing that I really paid attention from this book, Adria’s character. I love her stubbornness. She has her own opinion, stick to it and took responsibility. She didn’t just follow Isaac around. She always said she wanted choices. When she made a choice, whether Isaac agreed or not, she’ll stick with it and take its responsibility. In a way she’s a stubborn but I like it, it means she has willing heart. I also like how Adria – Isaac relationship works. Their relationship didn’t like other couples I’ve read in YA books. She didn’t have to be with Isaac constantly along the stories. They didn’t have always to be together but their love stronger in each chapter.

After four-awesome-four-stars-worthy books, I don’t think I have to write (again) how I love the way Redmerski wrote her story. Wait, I just wrote that. Okay, I write one more time then. I love her writing. She doesn’t just write stories, she tells stories. The description, the dialogue, Adria’s mind are so clear. It’s like the stories alive and I, as a reader become part of it. I’m sad, I laugh, I giggle, I swoon, my heart beats fast with Adria. Hey, I feel like being Blood Bond with Adria 😀

This book may be the last of The Darkwoods Trilogy but the story itself hasn’t finished yet. When I read The Mayfair Moon, I thought it was just a werewolf story, as simple as that. Now, I know this trilogy is a part of bigger story. It’s part of the chronicles, the Praverian, which slowly reveal along the books. And once again I love how Redmerski connected each story in each book to become a trilogy. I surely will read next trilogy of the Praverian chronicles, The Darksouls Trilogy. Hope it’ll be Nathan’s story.

Result: 4/5 Stars

Review: The Darkwoods Trilogy #2, Kindred by J.A. Redmerski

Kindred (The Darkwoods Trilogy, #2)

Blurb from Goodreads

Isaac Mayfair is hiding a dark secret. And just when Adria Dawson thinks the worst of her life among the werewolf world is over, she learns the secret that can rip her and Isaac’s love apart. Adria must come to terms with what the truth means for her. What it means for her life and how much time she has left to live it. She must choose between two different fates, neither of which can offer life as a certainty.

As if Isaac’s betrayal isn’t enough, Adria learns that there are things out there older and more powerful than werewolves could ever be. An archaic entity known only to few as the Praverian, unlike anything Adria has ever known or heard of.

As Adria struggles with her own fateful dilemmas, she must also try to find out why the Praverian is so interested in her and do everything in her power to stay out of its way.

Due to MATURE YA content, this book is recommended for 17+.

Paperback, 348 pages
Published: July 20th 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published July 19th 2012)
edition language: English
genre: Paranormal, New Adult
series: The Darkwoods Trilogy
My Thoughts
The end of The Mayfair Moon left me want to read the sequel in a row. Actually, it kind of ruined my reading plan. In the other hand, I’m glad that I read it now, instead of last year when the book came out because I don’t have to wait for the sequel.Kindred opens with Adria feeling guilty keeping secrets to Isaac. It’s kind of consumes her and with all that happen to her made her emotion at bay. The worst is she knows what it’s all about. Yet she can’t tell Isaac because their relationship depends on it.This is a second book of The Darkwoods Trilogy, but the story and life of Adria & Isaac and people & werewolves around them is just begins. Redmerski took this book straight to the point she didn’t describe her characters and the story building anymore. It has already done in The Mayfair Moon. In one way it makes The Mayfair Moon just an introduction to The Praverian Chronicles, a tiny glimpse of it. And other way I feel this book going so fast with so much story that I have to learn. It make me headache but in a good way, if that possible because it keeps me wanted more of the story.I think this book better than the prequel. In this book I can see that Redmerski wrote it as a trilogy not as a standalone book but then push the story into trilogy. The way she told stories and described it connected to the prequel. It is clear that she made each scene intertwined with others. When I read it I finally understand each scene in The Mayfair Moon. She wrote it with meaning, not just to fulfill the story and I can see the reason and the answer of it in this sequel. It also has more emotions than the first one. I can feel Adria’s guilty, sadness and confusion. Here for the example:The tears pour from my eyes and I don’t try to stop them this time. I just let them flow, my body shuddering in a surrendering mess. I cry quietly in the night under the tree, my legs pulled up onto the swing seat, pressing against my chest with my arms wrapped around my knees. My bare feet are cold, but I didn’t care to put on shoes before I came out here and I don’t care to put any on now. I hear Isaac’s footsteps shuffling through the grass and sand behind me. “I’m sorry,” he says, “but that’s as long as I can leave you out here by yourself.” The swing shifts as he sits down beside me, pulling me into his lap. His closeness only makes me want to cry harder, but I don’t. He wraps his arms around me and kisses the edge of my chin. The sweetness of his breath lulls me. “I’ll wait for as long as you need before we talk about it, but I need to be here with you.”Although I’ve already guess what Adria will become, Redmerski didn’t make it easy for me. There are surprises that I couldn’t predict while I read it. And to be honest I kind of curse her 😀 but then again I love her for make me feel that way because I love the feeling when I can’t guess where the story goes. So, book #3, The Ballad of Aramei here I come…..Favorite quotes:

“And when someone grows up knowing so little of what real love feels like, whether from family, or friends, or the love of a companion, that person starts to believe that they weren’t meant to be loved, that good things will never happen to them. They start to believe that whenever something good does happen, it’s inevitable that something bad will come along to replace it.”

“I believe there’s someone out there for everyone,” he {Isaac} says, “and when you meet that person, sometimes you know right away they are who you were meant to be with. And sometimes, years can go by before you let yourself believe that the feeling you’ve had about a person for so long, is actually love. And what a waste that is.”

Result: 4/5 Stars

Review: The Darkwoods Trilogy #1, The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski

The Mayfair Moon (The Darkwoods Trilogy, #1)

Blurb from Goodreads

After a nightmarish encounter with a werewolf, seventeen-year-old Adria Dawson loses her sister, but gains the love of a mysterious young man and his legendary family.

Strange and tragic things begin to happen in the small town of Hallowell, Maine: residents come down with an unexplainable ‘illness’ and some disappear. In the midst of everything, Isaac Mayfair is adamant about keeping Adria safe, even from her sister whom he has warned her to stay away from.

As unspeakable secrets unfold all around Adria, impossible choices become hers to bear. Ultimately, no matter what path she takes, her life and the lives of those she loves will be in peril. As she learns about the werewolf world she also learns why her place in it will change the destinies of many.

Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 6th 2012 (first published January 6th 2012)
edition language: English
genre: Paranormal, New Adult
series: The Darkwoods Trilogy #1
My Thought

Remember Jacob Black from Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer?

No offense to his fans but I’m kind of feel sorry for him. He’s the most misfortune werewolf I’ve ever read. He seems always in the wrong place meet wrong person in wrong time.

And then there’s Sam Roth from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, a sentimental musician werewolf which surprisingly I enjoyed his story.

Now meet Isaac Mayfair,

a 19 years old werewolf from the most famous bloodline. He’s pureblood, second in line and his Alpha is feared by other werewolves. He met Adria Dawson, female main character in this story, when he has to watch her sister. She is a 17 years old human who has to move to Maine, where she met Isaac.

Werewolf isn’t my favorite story. That’s why I rarely read it but after my awesome encountered with Redmerski’s book in The Edge of Never, I kind of promise to her that I’ll read her other books. And I didn’t regret it.

Although this book written from Adria’s POV I really enjoyed it. She’s a lovable character. She’s brave yet vulnerable. But not in that kind of whine female character, yes she cry but she also fight hard for her sister. Isaac and his pack are also well described, they have their own story I’m willing to read in the future.

I really love the way Redmerski described the werewolf. It’s the werewolf I know for a long time.

A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope (from the Greek λυκάνθρωπος: λύκος, lykos, “wolf”, and ἄνθρωπος, anthrōpos, “man”), is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf or an therianthropic hybrid wolf-like creature, either purposely or after being placed under a curse or affliction (e.g. via a bite or scratch from another werewolf). This transformation is often associated with the appearance of the full moon. In addition to the natural characteristics inherent to both wolves and humans, werewolves are often attributed strength and speed far beyond those of wolves or men. The werewolf is generally held as a European character, although its lore spread through the world in later times. (Wikipedia)

Her werewolves are dangerous tall big kind of beast, it just like Remus Lupin from Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling.

She also took European story to describe it. It reminds me of Richelle Meade’s Vampire story who wrote vampire from Russian story. It’s like I read werewolf story based on original description.

All in all, I love this werewolf story and can’t wait to read the sequel. I think I have my favorite werewolf now 😀

Favorite Quote:

“Time is cruel like life. It slows down so that you can truly experience the worst moments of it. Only if you make it through them do you get to say ‘It all happened so fast.”

Result: 4/5 Stars

Jacob Black, Sam Roth and Remus Lupin:
Model of Isaac Mayfair: