Book 2 in Jess Haines' 'H & W Investigations' Series
Annoyed with her werewolf boyfriend, Chaz Hallbrook for failing to keep their date and not bothering to let her know, Private Investigator Shiarra Waynest recontacts the enigmatic Master vampire, Alec Royce to ask for his advice and assistance in an investigation. While she's waiting for a pizza delivery - and Alec - Shia opens her front door to find a strange vampire pointing a gun directly at her.
Between werewolves, a manipulative (and seductive) vampire who might want to cause her harm, manipulative and violent vampires who definitely want to cause her harm, and an anti-paranormal being league (know as 'White Hats') who want to recruit her, it's hard for Shia to know where she's safe.
In this outing, there's a lot more about Shia's relationship with Alec, to whom she is (thanks to a bit of legal jiggery-pokery from her business partner) MUTUALLY contractually bound, and comparatively little sign of Chaz... who keeps disappearing on mysterious 'pack business'. An excellent second novel in the series, giving enough resolution to provide a satisfying conclusion, but still leaving plenty of plotlines available for future development.
on 14 January 2011
This is Book 2 following of the H&W Investigations series Hunted By The Others,
I eagerly anticipated the sequel & it cetainly has not let me down, Shia reluctantly gets involved again, when she learns with a gun in her face that a master vampire is coming to town & is gunning for both Royce & Shia over the death of a progeny. The options put forth by Royce are unacceptable and even though she knows it's a bad idea she goes to the last people she ever thought she would turn to for help.
I loved the supporting characters - the creepy talking belt is back & a vampire mute & charismatic elf join the fray. Ihe battle lines have really been drawn & Max is not going to stop with Shia, he wants the whole shabang, & Royce destroyed...
There's no let up from start to finish, & boy have the battlelines been drawn, superb drama, complex emotional reactions & an undiluted storyline that rachets up the drama & intensity til the finale.
You get real insight into Royce & his intentions, something Shia at any cost does not want to acknowledge or pay the price, there are hints thoughout the book of disturbing occurances that are never quite answered, so although not left on a cliff hanger, there's still plenty to chew on till the next release.
It has a deep dark undertone throughout, but still peppered with humour & flawed character's , I haven't enjoyed a series so much since Stacia Kanes 'Unholy' or the lighter but still addictive 'Chicago Vampire Novels' by Chole Neill
on 15 July 2011
When I picked up Hunted by the Others the first book in the series I had high expectations: some of my favourite bloggers stated it was the beginning of a fantastic new series and gave it 5 stars, so I was impressed and my curiosity was piqued). My impressions of Hunted by the Others were that the narrative flew so naturally, that before I realized it I was already 200 pages in the story! But besides Jess Haines' flowing and engaging writing what I enjoyed the most was what a different kind of heroine she made Shia. Shia is regular, she is just like you and me, an ordinary girl with no tough chick attitude and no superpowers. Shia is terrified by the Others (that's how the supernatural species (vampires, werewolves, witches, faes, etc.) are called in this universe) and her fear and reaction to danger is so real and logical that after all the tough heroines running head first into a fight she was a fresh breeze.
I just gave you this short introduction because what I loved about the first book was present in book #2 Taken by the Others as well and it even got better!
The novels in the H&W Investigations series feel like short chapters in Shia and co's life. Shia is a wonderful narrator: her voice is fresh, real and entertaining. Her biting sarcasm in her inner monologues is to die of laughter. Believe me it was excruciatingly difficult to only pick a few, because Shia's sarcasm and snark knob is constantly turned on and she has the best one liners. A few examples:
I'd picked them up way back when I thought Royce was trying to kill me. Turned out at the time Royce just wanted to make me his living slave and it was someone else who was out to kill me. Funny how these things turn out.
"You're the one who decided it was such a great idea to follow in Rohrik Donovan's footsteps and get people to see the warm, fuzzy-bunny side of vampires after all."
Jesus H. Christ on a stick, I've never come that close to being vamp chow before. It was one thing to face Royce in open battle, knowing we would kill each other if we could. Quite another to have him go from friendly and cordial to I'm-about-to-eat-your-face-pass-the-salt-please.
Since Jack was all too keen to have me join the Psychos R Us...
What does Ms. Manners say you do after drinking a vampire's blood? Thank him? Curse him? Run screaming from the room?
The whole gang is back: our favourite vampire Alec Royce who is just as irresistible and mysterious as before, Chaz who gets even more irritating than before and poor Arnold and Sara who get even less screen time than before.
I agree with some fellow fans when asked what makes this series so great and they reply: the characters. I would even be more specific and say it's the interaction between these characters. The banters crack with dry sarcasm, innuendo is dripping from the dialogues, the conversations, looks and small gestures between Shia and Royce are enough to make you squirm in your seat and feel your skin prickle with awareness. The tension between these two is phenomenal: Royce is the charming, irresistible vampire who oozes power and danger. He wants Shia for some reasons we can guess and others we have no idea about and Shia is completely freaked out by him in almost every scene they are together. His being a vampire and the depth of his powers terrifies her. Yet, at the same time we feel that there is a spark of interest even if buried deep down under all her fear.
I'm not a fan of Chaz. Which believe me is shocking because I'm a werewolf fan, love those shifter boys, but here Chaz just doesn't do it for me. Maybe it is his baby blue eyes (don't really sound that manly especially when compared to Royce's intense dark gaze), or his vanity, or his not having a real responsible job, but he seems like a boy in the body of a man to me. Despite his lovey-dovey behaviour towards Shia I don't see or feel the chemistry, the heat or simple affection between them.
I love in this series that Shia has her best girl friend at her side. Unfortunately a lot of UF heroines have to be alone, but Sara is a great addition and I am happy for Shia's sake that she has a best friend in whom she can confide and with whom she can stay real.
I really enjoyed the new development in Taken by the Others that Jess Haines introduced and included the White Hats more, and I even got a new favourite character in Devon's person! He is sweet, and brave and so adorable. A great addition to the team and nice to have another human protecting Shia's back.
Taken by the Others is full of non-stop action and thanks to Shia's narrative the reader feels as involved as if we were right in the middle of the action, prepare yourself for a few hours of nail-biting, heart-thumping because Jess Haines won't give you a moment of respite (but aren't we the masochists because we just love it? :-p).
Verdict: In Taken by the Others Jess Haines ups the thrill, the risks and the consequences. She takes Shia further down a road she never would have chosen to travel and I was curious to see how things will resume after everything that has happened in Book #2. A fantastic continuation to the series, I enjoyed Taken by the Others even more than the first book!
Those UF fans who haven't read this series yet, you HAVE too! Disregard the hideous cover, this series is wonderfully entertaining, trust me, you don't want to miss out on it.
Cover: 2/10 - only because I like the moon and the purple background, but as Tori said this is such an infuriating cover flop!
on 24 May 2014
There are so many problems with this book. I find the lead character incapable of defending herself despite being a hunter. She waits for a vampire to save her, and also is bigoted towards him. It's so frustrating reading her bigoted and racist thoughts about people who are trying to help her. I wonder why in hell the vampire even cares. Then when she finds out she herself might be other, there is just no revelation or thought. I really had high hopes for this series but it is really disappointing, don't bother.
on 22 April 2013
After reading the first book (Hunted By the Others) and really enjoyed that, was pleased to find that this continues in the same quick pace, with the same good, easy-to-read writing. Lots happens in a short space of time in this book. We get to find out more about the characters and as well as a good novel, where the main items are resolved at the end (I hate cliff hangers in a book - you have to wait so long for the next one!!) the writer continues to lay great foundations for an entertaining series. Looking forward to continuing the series!
This is the second book in a series. The first book is titled Hunted By The Others.
Once again Shiarra is bleating about how terrible the vampires are, but once again we never actually see anything to back this up. Sure Max is bad, but if we're meant to see the whole vampiric race as evil, then one revenge driven vampire and his minions aren't enough, at least not for me.
Shiarra says that in the last book Royce blackmailed her into signing a contract, the legally bonds her to him. So issues leftover from that boil over into TAKEN BY THE OTHERS; to the point that she happily blames him for the death of the previous books villain, even though she knows that he didn't do it.
Did he blackmail her? I'm honestly not sure, even after going back to reread it. He does briefly ask her about her family, so she immediately deduces that he's threatening to hurt/kill them if she doesn't sign on the dotted line - but there are several other instances in the books where she is overly dramatic and immediately jumps to the worst possible conclusion about whatever Royce does/says, so I'm not convinced that he was threatening her.
Even if he was threatening her, it's hard to sympathize with her; he had just found out that she was spying on him, is now in possession of a vampire-hunter-spirit-possessed stake [don't ask], and that she was involved with two groups of people who wanted to kill him.
I actually think he saw it as a way of protecting her from the mages and werewolves.
In TAKEN BY THE OTHERS Shiarra spends a lot of time with Royce, so her bigotry, already impossible for me to ignore last time, is now magnified. Yes, this is fiction so it shouldn't annoy me, but I see it as discriminating against someone because of their race, sexuality, disability etc.
What makes her attitude worse for me is that she [and therefore the author] cannot see what she's like; at one point she gets on her high horse and labels a White Hat member as a bigot towards the Others, when she is just as guilty - so long as the Others doesn't include her werewolf boyfriend and mage friend. But the scene that sticks is how she bitches that someone complains about the vampires, yet happily takes advantage of their hospitality's. Pot meet kettle.
In this book Shiarra mainly complains that Royce is manipulative and a user, but all I can see are numerous examples of her playing him along. At one point Royce calls her out on her behaviour towards him, so she plays nice, but her thoughts remain pretty much the same toward him and vampires in general. To me this shows how she in manipulative and is a user, plus it also shows how she has failed to progress and learn from the events of the previous book.
And then how does she repay him for the help and protection that he provides? By getting involved with The White Hats - a violent anti-other group, who especially want to kill him. This is another example of how she uses people; she doesn't like The White Hats either, she is again just playing them along, to use them for her needs.
Shiarra is the one who phones Royce up to ask for his help - several times, so why must she whine about getting involved in his business [and she in his] again? Then she has to wait as he is in a meeting, and she whines because he doesn't drop what he was doing and come running to her aid immediately. All of the above are some samples littered throughout TAKEN BY THE OTHERS that makes it so that I just don't understand why Royce is said to be in love with Shiarra. He must really hate himself.
Even if I managed to overlook Shiarra's faults, there is the issue with Chaz: I just don't like the macho Alpha male stereotype, and for a pack Alpha he is way too impulsive. The author tells us though Shiarra that his possessiveness is cute and romantic, but I practically will suffocated by a character in a book. He knows full well that he can't provide sufficient protection for Shiarra, but is so "grr, MY woman" that he seems willing to endanger her, rather then let Royce offer her assistance - allow me to repeat that it was Shiarra who invites Royce to be around her and her problems , not the other way around.
TAKEN BY THE OTHERS should be a fast read, but it took me a week to finish as I could only force myself to read two or three chapters at a time. The basic plot is a simple revenge driven storyline, that the author tries to pad out by tossing ANOTHER love interest into the mix; at first I thought that he was a better fit for Shiarra over Chaz and Royce as he is a White Hat member. But when I think about it he knows that she has Other friends and is dating an Other, so he should be mildly disgusted by her and unable to trust her.
To sum up; the plot threads and characters just don't gel for me, mainly because we're meant to see vampires as being evil but we don't see anything to back these views up. And, to top it all off, we're meant to believe that Royce has fallen hard for Shiarra. I just can't see what the author thinks I should be seeing here, but I'm clearly not seeing it. It's actually a shame, as the author has a few good ideas and solid secondary characters, so I have no idea how she has managed to come up with such a unlikeable heroine, who I want to see fail; e.g. during a scene where Shiarra's running from some bad guys, I was hoping that they'd catch her. And hurt her. A lot.
on 3 April 2013
This book I had to finish and could not put it down, was brilliant and fantastic to read, the twists and turns and plot was great. I would recommend this to read.
on 1 August 2012
This is a fantastic series that has me begging for the next book everytime i finish one. would recommend them to everyone.
on 28 March 2011
Loved this and can't wait for July ("Deceived by the others" will be out). If you like the Twilight series or the vamp / were genre in general then you'll appreciate this pacey, humorous book.