Book Review – Dark Rivers by Morgan Brice

This review is part of Morgan Brice’s blog tour with Gay Book Promotions but I’m posting now as I received the review copy the day of the tour!


Witchbane #2
Publisher: Darkwind Press
Pages: 209
Characters: Evan/Seth
POV: 3rd
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Series

Blurb:
One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.

Seth Tanner uncovers the cycle of ritual killings that feeds the power of the witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on getting vengeance for Jesse and stopping the murders. His fledgling romantic relationship with Evan Malone complicates his mission, but Seth can’t walk away. Seth and Evan are learning to navigate their partnership—as lovers and monster hunters—while they chase down the next witch-disciple and avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention.

When the hunt takes Seth and Evan to Pittsburgh on the trail of the next killer, they’ll have to save the intended victim and take down the powerful witch. If the skills they possess and the bond between them isn’t enough, the evil will remain unchallenged, and more people will die…

Note: Includes mention of past domestic violence and stalking.

Buy Link

Review

I’m already a huge fan of this series, and this author. Dark Rivers is a great addition to her Witchbane series. I couldn’t put it down. The author writes a fabulous, edge-of-seat action scene, and I had to keep reading to make sure (spoiler) was okay.

I loved the addition of new characters to this story and in particular Travis and Brent who are the MCs from a forthcoming new series. It was great having a wider team come together to face off against the bad guy, with each man bringing his own skill set to the table. Series which are a part of a bigger universe and interconnect have always been a big draw card for me, and I had a few squee moments when one of my other favourites had a cameo. I also love the way the author is building a family of hunters, each having their own stories to tell, but with the potential to turn up in each other’s series to help each other out.

As with the first book in the series, Seth and Evan take alternating 3rd person POV. I thought this worked very well, as it gave insight into each other’s characters. I liked how their relationship is still developing, considering they’ve only been together a short time, and that although they love being together, they still cherish having time apart. It’s a good sign of a healthy relationship, and shows how far they’ve come in building trust. I also thought it gave the story and the characters an edge of realism that they both still suffer from PTSD because of their past experiences.

This story really showed how far Evan, in particular, has come since he was first introduced to the world of monster hunter, and I loved that way he used his newly developed skills. Very nicely done! Another thing I appreciate about these guys is that they do their research, and that always includes a library.

The city of Pittsburgh felt like a character of its own in this story, and I enjoyed all the references to different places, together with their history. It gave a fabulous sense of the story being part of wider world, and as always the world building and magic comes across as detailed, well thought-out, and thoroughly researched.

I’d recommend Dark Rivers to readers who enjoy urban fantasy with edge-of-your seat action scenes, realistic characters who are part of a wider universe, and a story that leaves you satisfied but wanting more in the series. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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