Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.
Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.
Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.
I haven’t done this in a while, so I hope I’m up to the challenge. There will be some serious gushing about a YA fantasy coming up, including some sort-of inappropriate fantasizing about a hot guy. The only problem I’m going to have is avoiding spoilers – Torin keeps telling Raine there are a lot of things he can’t tell her and that’s going to be the theme of my review too.
Raine meets the super sexy Torin when he moves next door into her childhood friend Eirik’s house. He’s a little arrogant, a lot cocky and there’s something kind of strange about him that he jokingly calls magic. Raine is completely tongue-tied and usually irritated around him but can’t stop looking to see if he’s around. Torin seems pre-occupied with her too, always there when she’s in trouble or just on the periphery of her sight when she’s thinking of him. When three new students show up at school and there are actual attempts to harm Raine, it’s Torin who comes to her rescue, displaying otherworldly powers that stir something inside of her.
I sort of knew which direction Walters was going just by the title of the book, since the general area of mythology that uses runes are limited. I was still thrilled with her vision of things and the way she worked it all into a contemporary YA setting. From the outside, this may look like a typical fantasy, but it’s creative, a little violent and a fast ride. There are a number of twists, some I saw coming, some I didn’t. I’ve remarked before that one of my pet peeves is that a lot of YA protags don’t have parents present and I’m happy to say Raine has a loving mother here who actually cares about curfew, dinner, her car and classes. Her father has been missing for three months after his plane crashed into the ocean, and it’s a significant plot in the story too.
Raine was an…interesting character. I can name a lot of things about her character that annoyed me that should have made me not like her, but I still did and I really wanted that happy ending for her. She was ridiculously blasé about all of the insane things that were happening, about a momentous development – several momentous developments – near the end and she went running into trouble so many times after she was told not to. I wasn’t happy that she encouraged Eirik’s romantic feelings for her when all along she and Torin were really practically making fire with the sparks they were throwing, not to mention I kind of saw Eirik with someone else. I still liked Raine a lot though – she had a funny, snarky way about her sometimes, she was sweetly vulnerable and I loved the scenes she had with her chatty and fun friend Cora.
Torin was hot and sexy personified. I’d feel really gross writing that about someone his age, except he’s not really his age. Cryptic, huh? I know I complained a little about his arrogance earlier, but on him, it worked. I loved that he called Raine, “Freckles,” and that even though she hated it when anyone else did, from him it was nice. Sure, it’s kind of stereotypical, but he rode a motorcycle and, hello? Another sexy point. I didn’t understand why he couldn’t explain to Raine what he was, but I think that had more to do with Walters warping the mythology than any character flaw.
I hadn’t planned on it, but I gobbled this book up in one sitting – sorry, laundry. I loved how fast it moved, the way the revelations about the mythology were doled out and the relationship between Raine and Torin. One thing I didn’t like was the ending. I. Hate. Cliffhangers. There’s no doubt that I’ll buy the next book because I have to know what’s going to happen, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t scream a little when I saw the last few paragraphs.
My Rating: A-
EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.
Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN.
Ednah also writes New Adult paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. She is presently working on book 2, IMMORTALS.
Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She’s presently working on book six. You can visit her online at ednahwalters.com or ebwalters.com.
Ednah is holding a tour-wide giveaway (open to international entries) with 2 grand prizes. The first is for a signed copy or ebook of Runes plus a $25 Amazon gift card and the second is for a signed copy or ebook of Runes plus a $10 gift card from Amazon. Good luck everyone!