Title: No Rest for the Wicked
Author: Kresley Cole
Review number: 16
Stand alone or series: book 3 on the Immortals After Dark series
Summary: From Amazon.com
A soldier weary of life . . .
Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire — a nightmare in his mind — against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.
A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him . . .
When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow — accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings — particularly lust — emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.
Become competitors in a legendary hunt.
The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity — as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world — to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?
Why did I read the book: I loved book 1 of the series and wanted to read more.
Ok, I am totally digging this Immortals After Dark stuff.
I am reasonable enough to understand that there are probably other paranormal series out there which are more agreeable to the usual readers of the genre, but boy, this one got to me. As with the prequel, A Hunger Like no Other, I could not put it down until I read the last page and Dear Partner now knows that whenever he sees me reading a book with a dreadful cartoonish cover with two people embracing above a title that has 5 words or more he is not to approach me under any circumstances.
The protagonists this time are the Valkyrie Kaderin the Cold Hearted and the Vampire Sebastian Wroth. Kaderin is a badass Valkyrie who is thousands of years old and a perfect vampire killing machine. Ages ago she lost her two sisters in a vampire attack and the grief was so immense that she prayed to a higher power to relieve her of this – she was granted her wish, but all of her emotions were extinguished as well and for over a millennium she has lived without grief or guilt but also without any happiness, joy or lust. Sebastian is a much younger being, in comparison. Some two hundreds years ago he was turned into a vampire by his two older brothers in an attempt to save his life after an attack on their castle. Sebastian has never forgiven them and has spent the last two centuries alone in his castle, feeling empty and depressed, cut out from the world. Hating himself for what he is now – a living dead.
So he is more than happy when the Valkyrie is sent by the villagers to kill him. But as soon as they meet something happens to both of them: all of Kaderin’s feelings come rushing back at once and Sebastian feels his heart beat again. She is his Bride , the one being who can awaken his body , making him alive and who he is destined to spend the eternity with. They both rejoice in the joy of feeling again and succumb to passion but Kaderin suddenly remembers that he is a vampire and an enemy. Vampires are hated by everyone in the Lore and poor Sebastian now has to prove himself worthy. Plus she has no time to ponder on the consequences of being a Bride because she has a race to attend to: The Talisman’s Hie.
And that really is what got me turning the pages. The Hie is a mystical Amazing Race that happens every two hundred and fifty years and members of the different Factions of the Lore can attend. It is a gruesome race around the globe where the competitors must perform tasks in order to win magical trinkets for the Race’s Sponsor: Riora, the Goddess of Impossibility. He or she who wins most points wins the final prize. And this time, the prize is a key to turn back time and Kaderin is determined to win it in order to go back and save her sisters’ lives
Sebastian decides to join the race and is the first vampire to do so to everyone’s dismay – did I mention that vampires are the most despised faction of the Lore? Well, they are. His sole purpose in being there is to protect and help Kaderin which amuses her to no end – this woman needs no protection. She is a vicious competitor who has won the race for the past 5 times, a true Champion.
But this time the competition is tough: There is Mariketa the Awaited, who is rumoured to be the most powerful Witch and Cindey the Siren who has been her most merciless rival through the ages. But no one is more fierce than Bowen MacRieve, who we first saw in a Hunger Like no Other – he is the werewolf who lost his Mate and after two hundred years of absolute misery is willing to do anything to win the Race so he can have her back. He proves to be Kaderin’s most dreaded nightmare – he is merciless and will stop at nothing. He manages to entrap the witch along with a few other competitors in a Guatemalan tomb but not before Mariketa curses him and removes him of his immortality which makes him lose some body parts on his way to the gran finale.
Kaderin must be ruthless and prepared for anything if she wants to beat him but finds it hard to concentrate as she fights her attraction to Sebastian who, on the other hand, has always been a tender soul (even though he was a warrior when alive) and is taken aback by the ruthlessness of his Bride. But eventually they find a way to work it out, but not before some back and forth, a lot of fight and super hot sex scenes (which as before, are there from the start – again, not a problem with me. Immortal sex is awesome).
If in the first book we were fully immersed in Lachlain and Emma’s story with a few glimpses of the Lore, this time it was the opposite. The romance sometimes felt like a secondary plot, which worked really well for me as Sebastian was not a favourite of mine – he is was too emotional and to preoccupied with the fact that he had close to none sexual experience. Although that was quite a turn on for Kaderin who was more than willing to teach him – she is truly an amazing heroine and I loved her: powerful, sensual and who knows what she wants and how to get it. Is there such a thing as an Alpha Female? Because if so, she is so one of them.
I loved that there were a lot of scenes with interaction with other Valkyries , other vampires or other members of the Lore – witches, nymphs and demons . And as I immersed myself in this world I wanted to read more and more about it. About all the Valkiries and the other vampires and of course Bowen’s story, which is the next in line. There is so much here to be explored, so many stories to be told , enough to keep Kresley Cole occupied for years to come.
And in case you were wondering: Werewolf trumps Vampire. Big time. And Valkyrie trumps everything.
Notable quotes/parts: Any part featuring a Valkyrie or their Coven. These are powerful women, warriors who are thousands of years old and yet they live like they are in a sorority. Shinny things can turn their heads and their love for gadgets, videogames, the Internet and the likes amuse me to no end. I specially like Regin, the “younger” of the Valkyries who talks and behaves like a teenager and Nix the proto-Valkyrie and soothsayer who is a looney whose predictions about the future are dead on. I want MORE of them, Kresley Cole. Pretty please?
Additional Thoughts: I really like Kresley Cole’s writing and she is a clever storyteller who leaves a few loose ends that keeps us wondering. It is also interesting to note that she came up with an awesome explanation for all this inter-species pairing who causes so much tension for the protagonists: there is an Accession to come which is kind of major battle between all the sections of the Lore that occurs every five hundred years. The ultimate point is to purge some of the immortals in order to create balance and as the time approaches for a new Accession it’s like the Powers That Be are trying to make sure that there is fair play by mating people from different species at this time, so that balance and truces can be achieved between the warring clans.
Verdict: YES, yes, yes. Buy it. Unless you don’t like crazy over the top sex scenes– these books are hot, erotic, with downright crude and explicit sex scenes and sex language. I think it only adds to the story but some may find offensive.
Rate: 7, only because Sebastian was a bit of a wanker. And also, the Gobi Desert is NOT in Africa. Such a silly mistake, so easily fixed, Mr editors. Just google it.
Reading next: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night. Book three on the series which features Bowen, the werewolf.