Review: Becoming Red (The Becoming Series #1) by Paula Black and Jess Raven
***This Review is SPOLER-FREE! Read on with confidence!***
Ashling DeMorgan is good at keeping people at a distance. She’s been an orphan for years after she lost both her mother and stepfather in tragic ways. When she gets a phone call alerting her that her grandmother had a stroke, Ash has no choice but to go back to the city that haunts her dreams; Dublin. After spending a few days there, it’s clear to Ash that something’s not right. People on the street are acting strange, and Ash soon finds out it’s because of a sexual drug named Rave. And when a creature that looks just like the things that killed her mother attacks Ash, she finally realizes that the beasts from her nightmares are very real…and they’ve got their sights set on Ash.
Connal Savage is a centuries old assassin who works for Nan DeMorgan- Ash’s grandmother. When the old woman has a stroke, it’s up to Connal to protect Ash from the beings that are after her. Ash has no clue who she really is, which means that Con is going to have to introduce her to a world where the monsters from ancient Irish myths have come to life. Connal has lived through hell, and because of his brutal past he has become a cold, unfeeling individual. No one has ever come close to getting past the barriers he has erected due to all that he’s been through…that is, until Ash DeMorgan comes along. The dark-haired beauty has an inner strength that Connal finds hard to resist, and with every moment he spends with her, Ash burrows her way deeper into his heart.
The first thing I noticed about Becoming Red was that the authors had a very unique writing style. It’s quite distinguished and sophisticated. There’s something almost lyrical about the way they string words together. Their abilities to write in such a detailed manner create the perfect atmosphere for the book. I also like how a lot of old Celtic lore was included in the story. I’d never read about the Fomorians before, so it was interesting to read about their society and history.
I also like how the relationship between Ash and Connal developed. They didn’t fall in love right after meeting; they were attracted to each other but their feelings grew steadily over time. And I just want to say that I loved their first meeting- it was definitely memorable (and a little funny!) They were both pretty complex characters. They’re very familiar with loss and they’ve lived through things that would have broken other people. They had some pretty steamy scenes together (two words: the woods) and I loved their nicknames for each other; Little Red and Big Bad, which are both fitting!
My only complaint is that there were many pages of nothing but narrative. There was a lot of time spent inside a character’s head without any dialogue occurring. This made the story seem slow at times, especially in the beginning when the setting and the is being established. I felt like the second half of the book is when the pace really picked up. Other than that issue, I enjoyed the book.
“Chewbacca!” Connal sneered at Brandr. “Hans Solo let you off the leash for the night?”
The table shook like it just took a four-point-nine hit on the Richter scale and Brandr actually snarled. “You defile this place with your reeking stench, Vargrliker!”
“Such a sweet mouth, Brandr. You mean I wasn’t invited to the Wookiee Convention? I suppose you and Gandalf the White here are going to make me leave?”
Perhaps he should have had a crisis of conscience about what he was about to do. But this was the bare truth of how it was, when you were down to the wire, bargaining with the Grim Reaper for the life of the one you loved, for the one thing that breathed life into your own existence. You would do anything. You would gladly walk through the fires of hell, break every promise you made when the cost had been merely hypothetical. You would offer up your life for theirs, because the thought of going on without them was unthinkable.
The reaction was lightning fast, his head whipped around in her direction, eyes at half-mast, dark as storm clouds, pinning her in a look that was deep-penetrating and resonated with feral desire. His arm fell out from the lip of the bath, palm up, beckoning, and his voice was gravelled and raw. “Come back here, Little Red.”
If you liked Becoming Red…
If you liked Becoming Red, I highly recommend Darkfever, book #1 in the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. This story also takes place in Dublin and has some Irish mythology in it. It’s Urban Fantasy, too, with a romance that develops over time.
Rating: Becoming Red