Titles: Tempest Rising and Tracking the Tempest
Author: Nicole Peeler
(c) 2009 and 2010, respectively
Other pertinent information: Tempest Rising is Peeler’s debut, and a third book in the series, Tempest’s Legacy, will be released early in 2011. After that, three more books are planned.
Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn’t quite fit in with so-called normal society.
During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.
Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures that are terrifying, beautiful, and deadly — all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.
It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spritis bag your grocieries; and whatever you do, never — ever– rub the genie’s lamp.
Why this book? Well, I walked by it several times on an endcap at Barnes & Noble but couldn’t be arsed to pick it up because the cover art screamed juvenile fiction to me, as I mentioned over at Readers Gab. But when I found a copy blurb out, the summary caught my imagination. Imagine my surprise when I saw the cover art that I did not care for attached to the interesting blurb 😉
What did I think of Tempest Rising? Well, after I got past the heinous cover art, I enjoyed the book. The concept felt fairly original in terms of what’s out there in urban fantasy with romance threads: Jane’s half selkie, although she doesn’t know it; all she knows is that she needs to swim in the ocean regularly, and can swim through ridiculously strong currents. But one day her swim is disturbed by a dead body…and the body is that of another halfling, another half magical creature. Jane’s involvement in the mystery introduces her to the paranormal world all around her, including gnomes, kelpies, goblins, and -of course- vampires.
I appreciated Jane’s voice, which is important since she narrates the tale in first person. The internal dialogue felt true to Jane’s age, or what I think a 26 year old sounds like. She’s full of snark, she loves her dad and she’s extremely well-read, which suits her job at the local bookstore.
The romance interest felt a little abrupt, TBH. I’m interested in seeing how it works out, since to a large degree, it felt entirely driven by convenience, exposure and hormones. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’m curious to see if reality will set in down the road.
What didn’t feel original or unique to the story was the looming love triangle. Please can we just not go there? [Apparently not, based on how the second book ends. But that’s getting ahead of things.]
Jane True has almost come to terms with her supernatural heritage . . . almost.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and Ryu — Jane’s bloodsucking boyfriend — can’t let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later and Jane’s life is thrown off course.
Ryu’s well-interntioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points toward another Halfling, much to Jane’s surprise…
What did I think of Tracking the Tempest? It suffered by being read too soon after the first book. Jane’s snark and me-centeredness was entertaining in the first book, but was wearing by the end of the second book. In some ways, she reminded me of Betsy Taylor of MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series, which I loved for a couple of books then eventually stopped reading because Betsy was so shallow and unchanging.
The pacing and plotting needed some editing IMO. Jane and cohort wandered around Boston, ran into the bad guy, got their asses handed to them, then escaped. Lather, rinse, repeat. And the sex between Jane and her boyfriend seemed like too much — here, we’re on the trail of a torture-murderer, let’s have sex. The distance between Jane and Ryu, her vampire boyfriend, was very much in evidence in the plot, as well, especially at the end. [And I called it! Love triangle of sorts!]
Keep or give away? Eh, if anyone wants my copies, drop a comment and I’ll mail them to you. I enjoyed the books, but they aren’t keepers.
Would I read more by this author? Sure, I’ll probably read the third book of the series, although I’ll probably borrow it from the library rather than buy a copy.