February 29, 2012

Title:  Exiled

Series:  The Protector

Author:  M. R. Merrick

Published: August 2011

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase’s birthday, the bloodline stopped.

Exiled without the Circle’s protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle’s agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can’t do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna — a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret.

In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle’s plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other’s life depending on it.

Ana will put Exiled on her second shelf!

My Review:  Whoa…I feel like I’ve just read the script for an action adventure movie.  This book grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let go.  I was immediately transported into this world of protectors, vampires, witches, trolls (and so many others) and delighted to find that this is not the same old paranormal story we’ve seen before.  Chase is a hunter who has no elemental powers, is exiled from the circle and made to live life apart from all he’s known.  Immediately I felt drawn to his plight.

What you’ll notice first is that the hero of this adventure is Chase Williams….a boy!  It’s rare to come across a book in the YA genre written from a male point of view.  As a matter of fact, this is my first.  What does that mean, you ask?  Well, it means that Chase helps you see things from a different perspective…just  bit more straightforward, a little less emotional and a tad gorier…but not in a bad way.  This first person view of the world is uncluttered and fast paced.  Seeing the world through Chase’s eyes is refreshing and, quite often, witty.

There are, of course, other characters that I love in this book.  Characters with powers and powerful personalities.  The secondary characters in this book are compelling.  My favorite is Rayna.  She has everything you want in a character…she’s strong, independent and gives just as good as she gets.  Her sparring with Chase is fun.  Oh, and did I tell you that she’s part demon?  It’s a complication that Chase is not ready for but must learn to deal with.  I also love the relationship that Chase has with his mother.  Being on their own, they depend on each other and Mr. Merrick wrote this intimate relationship in a very tender way.  Willy is the character you can’t help but love.  His simplicity and no-nonsense way of looking at the world is refreshing.  Finally, we meet Tiki well into the book and, although I feel like I don’t know him well enough yet, I like his calm demeanor and I think he’ll play a big role in the second book.

Now, I’ll be honest, I guessed who the bad guy was right from the beginning.  But that didn’t distract me from the story or diminish my enjoyment of it.  There are so many twists in this book that even knowing who the bad guy is doesn’t take away from the action.

I enjoyed the crisp, solid writing style, the fast pace and the wonderful world that exists in this book.  I look forward to catching up with Chase and Rayna in the second installment!

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