ARC Review: Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

cover89780-mediumTitle: Race the Darkness (Fatal Dreams, #1)

Author: Abbie Roads

Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca

Expected Release Date: October 4, 2016

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense

Format: eBook, Paperback

Page Count: 352

Rating: N/A

 

synopsis

Cursed with a terrible gift…

Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.

A gift that threatens to engulf them

Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.


 

♦ Personal Thought ♦

Another new-to-me author for this year introduced me to the Fatal Dream series debut. I have to say that this was one conflicted read for me because and not necessary in a good way. Much as I liked the idea of couple with supernatural power that connected and complimented each other, this was nothing new.

At first, I was suitably hopeful when the male character came into the picture. Ever since he had been struck by lightning, Xander Stone could listen to other people thought. This ability came in handy at his work with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), headaches over the noises notwithstanding. Not only that, his brain took a new occupant of powerful Bastard that seemed to let loose once in while. Not that I really knew what sort of let loose would happen; there’s not much telling nor showing here.

But let’s picture a broody, scarred face hero who wouldn’t take BS from anybody. Add another BCI agent who took on whatever attitudes our hero thrown at him without flinching; that they knew one another since they had been kids. Heck yeah, I had thought this was gonna be awesome! Frenemies with respects between the lead character and – for lack of better word – his sidekick!

Only that happy bubble didn’t float up for long.

Before long, the tough BCI agent brought along his mutt and sister while interviewing victim… witness… the female lead character in the book. He also loved to stir trouble just to raise the hero’s hackles up. And boy, was the hero had short fuse that easily lit up over any eye-rolling provocation!

I loved dogs in a story, don’t get me wrong. But the way this agent toted his dog along – not to mention his sister, adding trouble in an already murky situation – …I had no word. (As a female reader, one might wish me to be more understanding with the young woman fighting for who she wanted or applaud a brother who supported his sister; but really, in this case it’s too weird a situation for me to see!!)

As for the heroine, Isleen Walker, a tough cookie who survived years of captivity and tortures, I liked her confidence on claiming what or who she wanted. I would not say anything on the insta-lust-love she had with Xander (although one might debate years of dream-connecting could not be described as instant; but I’m willing to forgo their whole smutty stuff including Xander’s overuse of “baby” endearment. So there) but I wish the way she handled her “power” could appear firmer than shown here. I mean, she was supposed to be strong because of her connection with Xander, no? But the idiocy of a trick turned incident that caused chains of events close to the end chapters; that was convoluted and didn’t show any smartness at all.

Characters issues aside, I also found the story arc not clear. Whether the legend mentioned here was true or if the crazy bunch origin (and why the use of King, Queen or whatever names) had something to do with it or even if it was all simply sick coincidences or whatever; everything was rather fuzzy.

To add to the confusion was another mysterious Alpha male with yet another supernatural ability. Not that he contributed anything useful here; other than – my guess – an intro for the upcoming installment in the series.

So I guess, in a nutshell, considering the ranting I’ve been spewing about the characters and the story, this installment falls into the fail category for me. But I’m willing to give benefit of the doubt that the next book would reveal more on the question marks I had now. Who knows, maybe next experience could fare better. Fingers-crossed

Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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