Vengeance Borne (Sentry of Evil #1)
Published: Sept. 3, 2013 (NYLA)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Born a Waerd, Jacquelyn has been hunting demons her entire life under the watchful eye of the Sentry. For every Waerd, there is a Bearer, someone who can sense the demons and take some of the emotional strain.
Jax’s Bearer of five years Finn has just become her ex-boyfriend. Awkward doesn’t even begin to cover it, particularly as he isn’t giving up easily. When an extraordinarily powerful, yet seemingly unrealized, new bearer rolls in town Jax quite doesn’t know what to make of him. Their chance encounter has sparked a connection and Micah’s power is off the charts, but he has no idea about the world he has just walked into.
When a spate of brutal murders rocks the town that Jax is charged with protecting, she has a hunch furies are behind it. Her less-than-productive working relationship with Finn means Jax will need to give Micah a Bearer-baptism-of-fire if she has any hopes of stopping the furies before they destroy her corner of the world.
The world created in Vengeance Borne is dark and immersive. I found the complex nature of the Waerd/Bearer dynamic particularly interesting. When your partner can feel and manipulate your emotions, relationships get real complicated, real fast. It took me a while to fully understand the exact nature of the Bearer abilities, but through Micah’s perspective we learn more as the story progresses. The background presence of the powerful Sentry organization becomes increasingly sinister and is something I’m looking forward to delving into in future books. Initially I thought I’d figured out who the mysterious character being controlled by the furies was, but twist after action packed twist had me questioning the motivation of just about everyone.
Years of hunting have honed Jax into an incredibly strong character. However, being in constant contact with Bearers means that she can never truly trust whether what she’s feeling is real or the depth of her emotions. Her break up with Finn has left her feeling more lost and disillusioned than ever. She struggles with the fact that being a Waerd is all she has known but resents that her life has been decided for her. Micah is horrified to learn that she was taken from her family as a baby and has been fighting ever since. That, even though she has supernatural strength and skills, she is made to feel almost disposable in comparison to the seemingly more valued Bearers.
Micah has struggled his entire life to suppress the gift that terrifies him, resorting to self-medicating. Once this world is unveiled to him though and he’s armed with a new understanding and guidance, he steps up—with few questions asked. We get to see the birth of a total badass in the making and watching him shake off his self imposed fog to become a force to be reckoned with was utterly fascinating. Jax may be schooling him when it comes to world of demon hunting but he challenges her to question her beliefs in the Sentry and open up to her emotions.
There is an almost instantaneous connection between Jax and Micah, one that both challenges and grounds them, but it doesn’t automatically fall into a romantic one. There are complications and obstacles that will have to be navigated for them to get anywhere near a relationship and I can’t wait to see just how that plays out (my guess – explosively). Couple that with immersive world building and bags of action, Vengeance Borne is a fantastic start to this new urban fantasy series. Can’t wait for book two!
Sexual content: Kissing