Friday 19 June 2015

Book Review - Maxon

Author: Christina Bauer
Series: Angelbound #5
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | New Adult
Release Date: 12th May 2015
Publishers: Ink Monster LLC
Source: Review Copy - Ink Monster LLC
Prince Maxon may be twenty-two years old now, but he's still haunted by his boyhood abduction and torture in Hell. To deal with his past, Maxon limits his present-day activities to killing demons and seducing women. No long-term relationships. No combat too dangerous. No problem, right?


Maxon’s life has stalled out. The old thrills aren't there anymore, either on the battlefield or in the bedroom. While staking out his next fight, Maxon meets what seems like just another girl after a good time. What he gets is a close encounter with Lianna, a lady warrior with ties to the mysterious elemental rulers called the monarkki. It's love at first fight. Trouble is, Lianna's running from a dark history of her own, and her elemental enemies are closing in. When Lianna gets taken, Maxon realizes that after years of wrong choices and dead ends, the right woman is worth risking it all.

Ugh, why wasn't this the amazing sequel and look into Maxon's life I was hoping for? I'm not sure if there was something about my expectations, or my slightly less impressed state with Armageddon, or that there was overall more character and development, plot and action issues, but this was not what I had in mind. Credit where credit is due, this is a really good sequel, and I'm still going to continue reading the instalments that follow, I'll just be sure to lower my expectations this time around.

One of the features I think Bauer excelled in with this instalment was how she managed to expand an already vast world to include so many other new and interesting features that we had never expected. Her passion for writing jumps off the page, and how she creates these new species and characters, these new developments and other-worldy inclusions - I really enjoyed getting to know more about these features and other parts of the Angelbound world. Her writing was solid and it's clear to tell that Bauer has found comfort in her writing and is confident in the world she creates, and that's always a good thing. While lacking in some good world building that would have made this vaster world even more real and vivid in my mind, the actual execution was impressive and definitely made this instalment more interesting.

Sadly, well Maxon had a pretty interesting and intriguing plot with - come to think of it - a lot of actual battle and action scenes, I struggled to find myself connecting to both Maxon and Lianna''s perspective. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the different writing style Bauer decided to use in Maxon, with dual perspectives and more daringly sexy and highly sensitive personal backgrounds, just feeling anything strong and passionate for those characters was asking a lot. After all, this is the only novel with these characters, unlike with Myla's story that featured over three novels. I cannot fault Bauer's talent though; the characters themselves, their personalities, their chemistry, their passion and their strength, not to mention the weaknesses and horrors they each went through - their confiding in each other and striking a common sense of balance between them both was really rather good. Exploring abuse and captivity is never usually explored in fantasy novels, just used, so it made a positive change to actually get inside the thoughts of victims of these horrors.

There were of course other features of Maxon that I really enjoyed:

  • The sexual tension was as always, absolutely brilliantly written
  • The romance itself was both sexy and adorable in all the right places
  • The unexpected ending was intriguing and well executed, I was impressed
  • The constant exploration of women's strength and capabilities still shines though the series
  • The ending that welcomes cameos and a new story arc for the next instalment was great
  • The introduction of new characters and use of older characters was balanced and exciting
  • The level of darkness, abuse, violence and horror stepped up to another level all together -
  • While the continued family aspects, loyal friendships and overbearing grandmothers was grand

I definitely feel as though I struggled most with my issues regarding the world building, as well as the character development feeling a little on the rushed side, but, I did enjoy what I read, and I would read it again and most likely enjoy it more if I were under less pressure to read it quickly for review. Angelbound is still, without a doubt, one of the most engaging series I've read, and I definitely have an undeniable soft spot for the series as it's one of the first I reviewed, so no matter where Bauer takes this series, I will more than likely be reading her work - as is clear with my excitement for Portia.

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