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Paranormal Romance Early Review: Damian by D.B. Reynolds

Damian by D.B. Reynolds (Stone Warriors #1)

Egalley thanks to ImaJinn/Belle

Synopsis from Goodreads
It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until . . .

Damian Stephanos honed his skills in battles fought with magic as much as swords. Caught by a deadly spell that left him trapped for centuries in darkness and obscurity, he is finally freed, only to discover that his enemy still lives. Determined to find him—and to free his brothers in arms—he first must fulfill his blood debt to the woman who released him from his torment. Unfortunately, being so close to this enticing female is another type of torment altogether . . .

Cassandra “Casey” Lewis is a hunter. Possessing the rare ability to sense magic, she spends most of her time shadowing arcane collectors, and more often than not, stealing the dangerous artifacts she pursues. Her job is risky, especially when she’s stealing from one of the most powerful sorcerers alive. But having a gorgeous warrior by her side is a definite bonus. He’s great in a fight . . . and in other places, too.

Following a trail of dead bodies, the two of them must join forces to track down the sorcerer who cursed Damian, and who now plans to turn an ordinary magical device into a deadly weapon. Risking everything, including their hearts, they’re about to discover that trusting each other might be the hardest thing of all.

Release date: June 15th 2016.

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK


* * *
 Right, peeps! I sense some confusion here. Usually I rate D.B.'s books much higher, and I am convinced that two to three books into this new series she will find her usual balance, but the first book in was a bit shaky.

I can see the potential. Nick Katsaros is awesome. An ancient sorcerer looking for his lost warriors all over the world, fighting his sworn enemy, Sotiris, for more than a millenia, he also drives a Ferrari and can call Cyn, who is mated to the most powerful vampire lord in America, as his ex-friend with benefits (now just a friend if he values his life!). He is rich, has sense of humour and no one knows how much power he actually wields as he is insanely secretive. What's not to love about him?

Damian is a book about his first warrior and closest friend who is awakened from his curse as a statue by an FBI agent working for Nick, Casey Lewis. Now, Damian is a pure hunk of a man, but he is too perfect, ladies and gents. He can learn how to drive a car by just watching someone do it, he is amazing in bed, he is sensitive and caring, a talented strategist and ruthless warrior, he picks modern habits with lightning speed and he feels completely modern in his language and manners.... You see where I'm going with it? He was too perfect and inconsistent as a character. The guy spent a thousand years as a statue, for crying out loud. Yet, he is alright using emails and messenger apps like a pro, never mind pesky scanners and printers. There is a loophole, of course, which explains that it's his unique talent of knowing how to use something as soon as he lays his hands on it, but I found it too convenient. I was expecting anachronisms, which would have been part of the fun, but none of this happened.

Casey was very inconsistent as a character as well. She is strong and professional and yet, she falls apart and blows the gasket at the slightest provocation which wasn't a provocation in my view at all. Her behaviour puzzled me, and she also needed constant saving and reassurance.

There were a couple of awesome action moments which made me cheer for the characters, and the sex was super steamy, but the balance between urban fantasy and paranormal romance which is what D.B. is famous for, was leaning heavily towards the romance. The book could have really done with more fights, shootouts and magicking? to even it out.

Having said all that, I think it will be a fantastic series, it just needs to get into the flow. I also have a strong suspicion that if you prefer paranormal romance with urban fantasy elements, you'll enjoy it much more than me.

As a reader I think you can easily pick up Damian without reading Vampires in America, as there is nothing here which would cross over with Nick's interactions with the vamps. The world itself is exciting and rife with possibilities, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series! Overall, recommended.

* * *
В общем, друзья, я вижу, что вы уже нахмурились в недоумении. Да, я обычно оцениваю книги Д.Б. гораздо выше, и я уверена, что автор выровняет все шероховатости ко второй и третьей книге этой новой серии, но первая очень была сырой и неровной. Надо было ещё с материалом работать и работать.

Я ж вижу прекрасный потенциал! Ник Катсарос - шикарный персонаж. Древний чародей, ищущий своих проклятых и потерянных воинов вот уже пару тысячелетий, сражающийся со своим заклятым врагом Сотирисом, он также очень привлекателен, богат как Крёз и водит феррари. Он также может похвастаться дружбой с Син, его бывшей любовницей, которая теперь замужем за сильнейшим вампирским лордом Америки, Рафаэлем. Что здесь не полюбить, спрашивается?

Дэмиен - книга о первом из воинов Ника и его ближайшем друге, чьё проклятие случайно разбивается агентом ФБР, Кейзи Льюис, работающей на Ника и охотящейся за магическими артифактами. Дэмьен конечно мужчина очень привлекательный, но вот он настолько идеален, что аж противно становится, дамы и господа! И в постели он бог и у него есть уникальный талант взять что-то в руки и сразу же научиться как его использовать начиная от современного оружия и заканчивая программой мессенджера на ноуте, добавьте к этому постоянную заботу о Кейзи, умение её слушать и угадывать её желания, а также его талант как стратега и блестящего воина, и всё веселье от этого персонажа теряется. Ну вот что с таким идеалом делать? К тому же, несмотря на то, что он провёл тысячи лет как статуя, в его речи и мышлении отсутствуют анахронизмы, что вообще меня убило.

Кейзи - не лучше. Она преподносится нам как профессионал и сильная, самодостаточная женщина, однако вся её уверенность в себе разбивается в пух и прах, когда она решает, что Дэмьен сделал что-то в секрете от неё, и она как полнейшая дура, решает отказаться от его и Ника помощи и попадает в ловушку, из которой её приходится спасать. Я как-то совершенно потеряла к ней уважение как к характеру.

Баланс между городским фэнтези и паранормальным романом, которым так известна Д.Б. здесь тоже отсутствует, и несмотря на пару-тройку очень хороших моментов экшн, Дэмьен - чистейший паранормальный роман со всеми характерными для жанра клише. У меня подозрение есть, что я так негативно восприняла эту книгу потому, что ожидала меньше романтики и больше перестрелок и боёв.

В общем, книга неплохая, но не для меня. Я думаю, что со следующей книги серия пойдёт на ура, так как и мир и предпосылка сюжета прекрасны, и мне хочется читать дальше. Рекомендую с небольшими оговорками.
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