Title: Healer's Choice
Author: Jory Strong
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Post-apocalyptic paranormal romance
Standalone/Series: Series (Ghostland World #3)
Release: September 7th, 2010
Received from author for review
Author info: http://www.jorystrong.com/
Spoiler Alert: Some spoilers for previous books
GoodReads Blurb: In a post-Apocalyptic world where supernaturals have emerged from hiding, ancient, unseen enemies play a game that began at the dawn of human civilization. War is coming and neutrality isn’t an option. For Were shapeshifters, a healer’s gift holds the key to their survival…
Born into a world of violence and paid-for-sex, Rebekka longs for a family of her own and dreams of freeing those trapped in the shapeshifter brothels of the red zone. A witch’s prophecy claims she’ll one day use her gift to heal the Weres made outcast by their mixed human-animal forms. But Rebekka knows all too well that everything comes at a cost. Made a pawn in a game she can barely glimpse, by beings whose motives she can only guess, she must navigate a dangerous course that might well cost her life. With her gift changed in terrifying ways, a plea to save five children sends her into the arms of Aryck, a Jaguar enforcer—and into territory controlled by pure Weres. It’s a place where humans and outcasts aren’t welcomed. Where dead ancestors watch from the shadowlands and have the power to judge and punish the living. It’s a place where plague threatens and the fate of the Weres hangs in the balance. And where the choices Rebekka and Aryck make are paid for with their hearts…if not their souls.
REVIEW: This post-apocalyptic paranormal romance (say that three times fast) takes you on a dark journey into a world that has been ravaged by catastrophic wars and now is run by Vice lords who deal in human and were (shifter) flesh. The protagonist of this story, Rebekka, uses her powers of healing to help these abused sex workers and carve a niche for herself in her dark world. This is the third book in the Ghostland series and the first of the series I have read, though I was lost at a few parts, particularly in the beginning, you don’t need to read the previous books to delve into this story. Rebekka really draws you into the story as you try to comprehend the cruel world she lives in and really I don’t know if I could be as strong and compassionate as she is given all she faces. Quickly in the story, Rebekka gets caught up in another dangerous situation when she is called on to go the aid of the Jaguar clan that lives in the hills outside Oakland, her home. Some cubs have become gravely ill and Rebekka is seen as these kids last hope. It turns out that the disease these kids suffer in is a lot more ominous than first believed and hints at someone wanting to unleash germ warfare to systematically destroy all weres. The bad guys in this story are seriously sinister and creepy and once again drive home the brutality of this world. This is definitely a dark book and even though the story is good and engaging after reading I had to medicate with some lighter paranormal romance afterward.
Rebekka also gets entangled with an enforcer for the Jaguar clan, Aryck. Aryck’s animal soul instantly is attracted to Rebekka but his rational human half knows that nothing good can come of them being together. Aryck is constantly fighting a battle between his animal instincts and his better sense when it comes Rebekka – while ratcheting up the sexual tension it also gets frustrating. Aryck is dark and sensual while Rebekka has remained untouched for fear of what giving herself to someone will do to her magic. She has plenty of reason to stay away from the sexy jaguar enforcer, including her fear of how Aryck will judge her once he finds out more about her upbringing, her mother was a prostitute, and the marks it has put on her body.
Overall 3 out of 5 stars for me, an interesting tale of a strong and loving healer in a dark and sinister world.
I love all books snarky, sexy, or action-packed! My favorite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal romance though I read a little of everything. Please feel free to contact me at darklyreading (at) gmail (dot) com