Empath Trilogy, Book #2
by H.K. Savage
Author’s Website: http://www.staccatopublishing.com/Staccato_Publishing/HK_Savage.html
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn
The bad guys are licking their wounds leaving Claire and James to enjoy what promises to be a merry Christmas. Only a traitor among them sends Stephen and Claire into enemy hands.
Past lovers, obligations and rivalries compete, all the while the bond between Claire and James grows and Claire is pulled further toward the vampire side. James is growing dependent upon her to feed his humanity until the boundary that separates them is no longer clear.
A potential husband and a job working for the Court threaten to take Claire’s newfound control over her life from her and stick her firmly under someone else’s thumb. She must try to keep her wits about herself enough to figure out what she wants before the ability to decide is gone forever, and try not to get any of her loved ones killed in the process. (Barnes & Noble)
Bonded is the sequel to Empath.
After finishing the semester at college, Claire formally moves in with James, although it was a already a done deal. They explore the “marking” in this installment. The “marking” is revealed slowly as you learn about it through James and Claire. It’s a clever plot point; I like how it plays out. Claire struggles to deal with James’ emotions as well as her own. She loses control a number of times. She battles jealousy, rage and insecurity. She is hit with every obstacle but it forges a stronger relationship between them.
Squeal! Claire gets to be the hero for once. I loved seeing her take control. She was determined to do whatever it took to save the man she loves. Claire matures in book 2, she becomes more self-less instead of so self-absorbed. She puts her life on the line for both James and Stephen. It was refreshing to see her growth.
The Vampire Council and their politics is fascinating. I like the world Savage has created for Vamps and Weres. The Council would like Claire to work for them, helping train new vampires with gifts.
Claire also considers becoming a vampire but she struggles with what she might lose and gain if she makes the choice.
Due to a choice she makes, Claire suffers unspeakable violence. But she did not wilt and die. She channeled it into anger to save herself and the others. James is truly there for her in a way a lot of men would not be considering the circumstances. His support and love was truly beautiful.
Stephen shares more about his background, some of it is heart-breaking. Surprisingly, they grow closer as he shares his similar experiences.
In my experience, most middle books in a series are uneventful and often boring. Bonded does not follow that path. There are numerous plot twists and action to keep you absorbed in the book.
Bonded is a severe emotional roller coaster ride. I laughed and cried but it evokes strong feelings as only well written books can.
P.S. I really really want Claire to kick Anton’s ass.