Saturday, March 26, 2022

Kresley Cole - Munro

Coming off torture at the hands of his warlock captors, Munro MacRieve never expected to find his
mate, or to lose her just as abruptly. Driven to desperation, the ruthless warrior uses his enemies’ own powers to reunite with her—in the distant past.
When a crazed werewolf crashes her wedding, Kereny “Ren” Codrina does what any cunning huntress would do: she captures him. Yet she finds herself softening toward the wounded beast—until he turns the tables and forces her into an incomprehensible future.
As danger mounts, Munro will do anything to make her undying, even sell his soul to an evil sorceress. But first he must convince his fiery mate that she belongs with him. If seduction means her survival, Munro will use every weapon in his arsenal to possess her—forever.

Comment: When it was announced that Kresley Cole would be releasing the next installment in the Immortals After Dark series, which has a huge fan base, all fans were certainly glad and excited she seems to be coming back. The previous book in the series had been released in 2017 and the communication from the author's team has not been great. This has led to many opinions out there and it felt as if the author simply disappeared. Thankfully, perhaps this means she will be back to some routine and more books will keep coming out.

This last hope is what all readers and fans want, after all, there are plenty of loose threads to be solved/closed and many characters have been hinted at that they would have their own romances, especially since the overall plot is leading to a specific end, the Accession, which is a big battle between two sides. I confess I can't remember all from the past books, but the key characters and situations come back as one reads along.

In this book we finally have the story of poor Munro, a Lykae trapped in a hell scenario. He is the twin of Will, whose story we got in Macrieve. Munro wants to save his mortal mate, whom he discovers in Transylvania, for everyone knows mortals don't last long among the Lorians. However, Kereni is a huntress of Lorians and at first she doesn't want to believe him when he says they are mates. Problems go their way, though, and it comes to a point where Munro has to make a decision but how will Kereni react? Could they find common ground if only they spend time together? Can Munro show Kereni what would have happened if he didn't save her? Can she find happiness with someone of a species she had vowed to hunt and kill?

Frankly, I was worried this would be a convoluted story and with too many details, not only because too long has been since the last book but mainly because it's not easy to remember all important events to specific plot points. I'm glad to say that, for me, this book worked out well enough and I've finished with a sense of relief that the author maintained her usual style.

Some readers have critiqued the romance, that it isn't as romantic and solid as desired and in a way, I agree. It's true this is a paranormal reality so the behavior of the characters isn't 100% the same as one would expect of humans and this is enough to help me suspend disbelief, but after so many installments, it's also expected that the falling in love aspect is a must and when done well, makes the story feel even stronger. I think this could have been done better but at the same time, I feel glad enough over the secondary elements to make me think of this one with less severity.

Kereni is a human and a good part of her reluctance, besides meeting Munro in a not very appealing way, is that she doesn't see herself as becoming the kind of being she has been raised to despise. However, I'm happy to say her inner conflict isn't one where her decisions drag the story down. I suppose more time could have been spent on making her realize why being immortal was important or necessary of beneficial, but in the end, I kind of liked how practical she ended up being.

Munro is a less developed character, in my opinion. He is just like any other Lykae, with all their needs and features and while he was a protagonist, I don't feel he was as special as the book's title would have demanded. I mean, I liked he found a way to find his mate and to be with her, I certainly liked the evolution of their relationship but the patterned behavior he shows until they are official mates isn't anything special (to me).

The romance could be better but I must say I was glad enough to be back to this world. It's inevitable that, with such a long series, more reasons to dislike or to love can come out as we go through each book, and some in the past have been rather "meh", but I liked the overall pace of this one and it feels obvious how much the author tried to keep things as they used to be, and one element I truly enjoyed was the presence of other characters we knew from previous books, for me this made the story feel a bit more solid because we can make connections and we can put some things into perspective by seeing them in this new situation.

The end is very sweet and cute and I even felt there was a bit too much sugar, but I can deal with it. The last chapter is also an author's trademark provocation, for we learn about yet another character who has protagonist potential but the list of characters fans want to read about keeps growing and this can be a bit unfair, how can they all have HEAs? Let's hope the author is back on her rhythm.
Grade: 7/10

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