Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: Refugee (The Captive, #3) by Erica Stevens

Whispers, rumors, and horror stories abound about The Barrens and the strange creatures that lurk within them. Determined to find the remaining vampires that stood against his father in the war, Braith knows that it’s dangerous to enter the inhospitable land, but that they must if they are to have a chance at gaining allies to help overthrow the king. Though he once knew the powerful vampires that are rumored to reside within The Barrens, he is unsure what to expect if they succeed in finding them. He will do whatever is necessary though to ensure a future for himself and Aria.

Aria is fearful of entering into the land she’s heard nothing but cautionary tales about, but she’s determined to help Braith locate the vampires that may help them with their cause. She is fascinated and amazed by the world they uncover within, one that is unlike anything she has ever seen before. However, the more immersed they become in a world that she doesn’t entirely understand, the more she realizes that it won’t be the war, or even the king that will eventually tear her and Braith apart.

It will be her.

I think it's safe to say that the chemistry between Braith and Aria is in no danger of dissipating if Stevens has anything to say about it.  I kept waiting as I made my way through each installment in this series for the two of them to get tiring, or for their relationship and all the obstacles and turmoil that goes hand in hand to bore me, but it never happened.  Without delivering spoilers I have to issue up a warning to all those getting ready to read this third installment...you might want to wait until you can get the fourth book in your hands before you get started.  I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for the fourth installment, but if I hadn't, after turning the final page in this title I might have suffered a breakdown.  Stevens triumphs yet again with her legendary cliffhangers that have readers throwing their books across rooms, undergoing emotional roller coasters with no end in sight...it could get ugly.
The added characters this time around really sold me all the way.  The new dynamics between the characters, the relationships that develop with these new introductions, as well the continued ones that only deepen their connections, it was all artfully done by Stevens.  I'm not sure that I can narrow down any favorite characters with so many to choose from and for so many reasons.  But I can say this...Xander is definitely in my sights.  There's something about him, maybe its how he always appears to be taking everything in, calculating how everything can and will work out, weighing the options laid out before them, it's hard to wrap your head around what all could possibly be going through his mind at any given moment.  He's definitely a character to watch and one I look forward to seeing more of in the next book.
It all comes down to what readers think of the series as a whole.  As for myself, this third installment was equally as exciting and eventful as the previous two and I can't wait to see what Stevens has in store for her readers through the wonderful characters many have come to know and love.

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