Servants of Fate #1
Source: Thank you, Nick!
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.
Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?
Marked is a thrilling start to this new series from Ms. Fine, introducing a fascinating mythology as to the politics of death itself while providing more than a little mystery and romance to keep us on the edge of our seats. The futuristic, flooded version of Boston takes a little while to really come into focus, the amphibious vehicles and the lawlessness of canal pirates creating a bit of chaos in the opening chapters, but before long the strength of Ms. Fine’s characters overshadow any lingering confusion we have as to how this world operates, and we easily find ourselves swept up in our lead couple's rather significant problems.
Cacy and Eli set a bar by which a large number of the romantic couples to follow them will find it hard to meet, treating each other with respect and maturity despite the landmines awaiting them every step they take. The communicate effectively not only as work partners but even more importantly as romantic partners, not allowing any behavior from the other person to tip them over the emotional edge before they’ve had the chance to talk things over. While it does take Cacy a little while to reveal the totality of what it means to be a Ferry in this world, Eli is well aware there’s something she’s not telling him from the beginning, thus relieving us of the full burden of her secrets.
While the chemistry between Cacy and Eli is incendiary and the slow escalation of sexual tension between them enough to have us flipping the pages with unprecedented speed, the romance, though prominent, is secondary to the mystery as to who is responsible for the dissolution of the ancient treaty between the Ferry’s and the Kere. Ms. Fine throws in a number of twists, Fate itself forced to snip a number of threads and then reweave them in a pattern that was never meant to be, and we read with breath held until a piece of the larger conspiracy is finally revealed.
Overall, Marked is pure entertainment, giving us a cast of beautifully layered characters we simply can’t wait to spend more time with and a world full of darkness and grit with shadowed corners we look forward to seeing come into the light. Eli and Cacy’s siblings have their chance to shine next, and the release date for Claimed can’t come soon enough.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.