Sunday, January 9, 2011

     Unless you have been living under a rock the past few years, a trend of Paranormal Romance has developed in the literary world. We have hit the mark when everybody and their mom has started writing about vampires and were-creatures. It is also the point where the genre starts to incorporate new characteristics to make the books seem fresh and new. From this evolution, the reader normally discovers a new subgenre developing from the parental unit. I have discovered a great book that has the essence of a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy book but weaves the page turning effects of a suspense novel within its cover.

     Nature has been at the core of literature since writing fictional stories to paper began. Prime Evil by Heather Long, is a story about a hedge witch named Chance Monroe who is given power from mother earth to keep the many aspects of the environment in order, including those pesky imps and fairies who always find the perfect home in an area already occupied by humans. Chance has developed a carrier relocating the imposing creatures to an area that would better suit them and the homeowners of their current location. She learned the trade from her Grandmother, a well respected hedge witch in the greater Virginian area. Chance loves her work even if she gets looks from friends she has known for years.

     Chance has a violent past that haunts her present . While attending college with her best friend, Jack Parker she was attacked and left for dead by the serial killer Randall Oakes. Now, a decade later, the nightmare she thought she left behind her has taken center stage in her life. Prime Evil is a suspense filled adventure following Chance and Jack trying to figure out how a person thought to have died years before, could be murdering young college aged woman again. The murders feel the same but something just doesn't seem right to Chance.

     Prime Evil is a well written suspense novel with a paranormal twist unique to the genre. There are no vampires that pop up out of nowhere which give the book a fresh feel. The lack of the usual paranormal elements does not leave us wanting, but instead brings the avid PNR reader access to a new world to explore. The connection to modern day America leads the reader to believe that this story really could happen in a rural town down the road.

     Once the reader gets past the development chapters, the book is filled with twist and turns of who-done-it and how can that be. The character development leads you to truly feel for the characters you meet along the way. There is no black and white within this book. All the characters have flaws that at the end make you care for them even more. The real world is lived within shades of grey and so does the world within Prime Evil.

     One of the things I like most about the book is the story development. Knowing this will be a series, I was very happy that nothing was rushed. For those who read mostly PNR, I am sorry to say that the main characters do not jump in the sack after eighty pages. The relationship is given time to develop in our eyes. Through the book, you can sense what the characters truly mean to each other. I know there will be romance in the future, but I was very happy with how the relationship is grows and hits road bumps through the story. You get the sense that the story being told could happen between two people instead of the ever popular, "you are my soul mate... let's make babies!" that you see over and over again.

     Reading Prime Evil left me wanting to spy more into the lives of Chance and Jack. It is an excellent first book in the series I know is to continue. I am happy to give Prime Evil five out of five stars. I can't wait to read what Heather Long has for us next.

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