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Dark Protector (Paladins of Darkness, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2006
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"This is so hot!"
-- USA Today bestselling author Susan Sizemore
About the Author
Alexis Morgan has always been an avid reader, and she loves spending her days with hunky heroes and gutsy heroines. She’s published more than forty books, novellas, and short stories, including contemporary romances, American West historicals, and paranormal romances. She has been nominated for numerous industry awards, including the RITA© from the Romance Writers of America, the top award in the romance genre.
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't sure how I would like this book. The mention of paladins made me think of the "World of Warcraft" game. Of course, this author has a completely different story line from that, but the premise behind those noble characters was there. As the story went on, I got the feeling that a touch of Christine Feehan's Carpathian series had influence as well. Just like her series, it looks as though these male warriors who slowly lose sanity from so much fighting and death will need a special woman to keep them whole. The difference being this first book does not fully answer this question and no one realizes this may be the answer. Regardless of those minor similarities, I found myself really enjoying this novel. It had a new an interesting twist on the paranormal. The end of the book brought it's own surprises and the writing got better. I will certainly be looking at the next books in this series!
I liked Devlin, but wasn't super interested in him to be honest. He was described as losing his humanity and in danger of turning Other, but he seemed to have very human emotions and acted quite in control. So I thought he would be more interesting and volitile than he was. We also get next to no background for him, which hurt as well. We at least get more information about Laurel's past, and as romance heroines go I liked her well enough. I wasn't totally into them as a couple, as so much of it just seemed to be about sex. But I guess the build up to that happened "off stage" since these two knew each other before the story began. I never felt any real sparks, though, other than when they were first contemplating being together. I found myself more interested in Blake Trahern and getting information about the other Paladins than truly caring for Devlin or Laurel.
The "who is the bad guy" plotline did keep me guessing between a few different people until close to the end when I figured it out. So that was well done. I'm not sure who the "greater" bad guy is yet, either, so I'm interested in continuing the series to find out what is going on and why. HOWEVER.... as I have seen other reviewers mention, the world building here is a bit weak. It's never really explained where Paladins come from, how they are identified, how they end up working there to defend the Barrier. It's sort of hinted at that they come from Others crossing with humans... maybe? I expect a first book in a series to explain at the very least the basics of the "race" or whatever of the heroes. That was not done. What makes a Paladin a Paladin, what can they do, etc? Even the Barrier concept was vague. I thought it was a natural phenominon, but at the end the Paladins can apparently bring it back up from a distance. Um, how? Another issue: I spent a lot of the book wondering if the existance of Paladins was common knowledge or not. By the end, we know it is not. Well.... then how do the people at Research and Ordnance know about them? Who decides whom to tell about them so they can be hired to work with them? Again, I know this is only the first book, but the basic concepts of the world need to be explained a LOT better than this before the end. It made me wonder if the author even knew the answers, or was winging it and hoping to figure it out later. The story and world felt incomplete, and I had a hard time connecting and being immersed.
I'm intrigued enough, however, to move on to the next book, and overall I did enjoy the book. The writing is solid, although as is the usual in books of this genre there were some major eye-rolling moments (It's a pet peeve of mine when breasts have a flavor, for one thing...). But I have tried the first book in a number of series lately and been unable to finish the majority of them. This one, I read in under a day. I saw that Trahern's story is up next, so that was encouragement to move on! If the author can work on solidifying her world concepts, this series has a lot of promise.
However, after getting through the first third, where alot of the explainations have to come, I found I like the premise of the books. I definitely will be on the outlook for more.
Devlin Bane is a Paladin, a secret warrior who protects Earth from the Others. He has been fighting for a long time and each warrior finally turns into what he fights (an Other). So they have a Handler who patches them up when they die in battle, or ends their lives if they turn Other. I Know, I know, sounds like you've heard it before. But I guess I never get enough of Macho Men.
Dr. Laurel Young is his Handler. She is Handler for alot of the Seattle Paladins. But she in not in love with alot of the Seattle Paladins, only one, Devlin Bane. It is forbidden for a handler to love a paladin.
Everything goes along as usual until Devlin is killed by a human. There is a conspiracy in the Ordinance or Research Division. The attacks on Devlin lead to revealing the secret desires of both of them. Both are in danger now and the other Paladins rally to protect their friends. Everything leads to a violent conclusion.
This has very graphic love scenes and leaves you with alot of questions,I hope we get some answers in her next novel. But I have to conclude there will be more novels. For the first novel in a series I think it is better than most of the others I have read. And I do think it is worth the price and the time.