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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: Brink of Eternity (Dawn of Ascension, #1) by Caris Roane

Brink of Eternity (Dawn of Ascension, #1)(Guardians of Ascension #2.5)
only $.99 for the kindle

Guardians of Ascension novella, tracks vampire Militia Warrior Gideon, who is on the brink of becoming an elite Warrior of the Blood. The Militia Warriors strive to keep the peace on Second Earth while battling death vampires whenever they can. Brink of Eternity gives a glimpse into the Militia Warrior world as Gideon breaks all the rules to protect his ex-girlfriend, Elise, during her rite of ascension, a process that puts her directly in the path of a dozen lethal enemies.

I've never read Caris Roane's books before but I must say the idea of winged vampire warriors was intriguing. Brink of Eternity is a Guardians of Eternity novella, however it isn't like any novella I've ever read. While most seem to speed through details and tend to leave this particular reader unsatisfied, this was completely different.

Though it does fall into the novella category, Brink of Eternity has enough details to give readers a taste of what a full-fledged novel by Caris Roane is like. Gideon is strikingly handsome (though for some reason I kept picturing him as a dark haired hero even though he is clearly a blond, go figure), as well as fierce, deadly, and stubborn. He tries not to form attachments to anyone because of his job as a warrior, though once he starts to love, he doesn't do it in half measures. Elise is one of those silently strong heroines, meaning her strength isn't as obvious as the hero's but when it's tested, she more than matches up. She's a reasonable but not malleable female and that's a definite plus.

Readers meet Gideon and Elise about a month after they've broken up and it's immediately clear that these two characters are not over each other. Caris Roane definitely doesn't hold back on the sexual tension or sex just because it is a novella; this is definitely a mature, adults-only book.

There's quite a bit of action packed into the story and it keeps Brink of Eternity from becoming stale and ordinary. I enjoyed the overall pace and plot of the story, and the characters definitely worked for me. While marked as a paranormal romance, it contains elements of science fiction and fantasy as well and the story works to make everything more believable and exciting.

There was only one point of contention for me throughout the story, and that was the immense amount of terminology used. Caris Roane definitely uses a lot of descriptive phrases and that's fine, but when it comes to a new reader picking this up, well, at times I was left a little befuddled and slightly disoriented. Words like breh-hedden and cadroen are a bit difficult to remember on top of all the other specialized terminology used. Another terminology problem for this particular reader is that words like "folding" don't mean what you might think; it's slang for dematerialization. So a good memory would be advisable unless you're a long time fan of the series then you've already got everything memorized.

Overall, Brink of Eternity was a very good read, with a strong story line, brisk pace, and steamy scenes. If author Caris Roane could just include a "For Newbies" type chart/dictionary at the end I'm sure that would help new readers a lot. As it stands, there is only a dictionary at the end which helps a lot, but I didn't know it was there until I finished the book. I would like to have had a bit of a primer on Mortal Earth, Second Earth and Third Earth for starters but I'm pretty sure that since I plan on picking up more of her books, I'll learn the differences in time.

3 and 1/2 Sheep

About the Author:
I confess I've had a love affair with vampires for several years now, especially warrior vampires, the kind found in the books of Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lara Adrian and JR Ward. Though I've been published in Regency Romance under the pseudonym Valerie King--and yes one of my Regency Novellas features a vampire--one day I woke up knowing I had to create my own contemporary world of the warrior vampire.

For some mystical, magical reason, early in the process, my vampires appeared with enormous beautiful wings and it has been the most amazing experience to include flight in my novels, in both battle scenes and scenes involving spectacle. My special vampire world, published by St. Martin's Press, is introduced in the first book called, ASCENSION (12-28-2010). The second book, BURNING SKIES (May of 2011), opens up the world a little bit more. And even as I write this, I'm on the final draft of my third novel, WINGS OF FIRE (September of 2011). What a thrill it has been to live with my ascended vampires through the creation of this extraordinary, multi-dimensional world!



  1. Awesome post Adria!!! Caris is a big fav of mine and I look forward to reading more of her books AND your reviews! baaaaa! :)

    1. Thank you Katie, I'm very happy to be a guest reviewer here, it's both a challenge and fun.

  2. Nice review Adria! I have this series on my wishlist, and hope to get it on my buylist somewhere this year :)

    1. Thank you Aurian, I hope you get to read them soon, I picked up the first book and I hope to get the others ASAP.

  3. I think the terminology and world building in a series is one of the main reasons I tend to always go back to book one to start. I tend to get lost otherwise. I can see me now thinking how much laundry was getting done in this universe ;=D Thank you for sharing with us today, I will have to start out at the beginning.