I think it's kinda obvious what I thought of this one.. I REALLY disliked it! You know what, there were a few good parts that I wouldn't have wanted to miss out (if I chose to skip this one) and there are a few parts that are important for the understanding of the future plot. This is the story of Phury and Cormia finding their HEA together but luckily it has a lot to it then just the two of them.
There are a lot of scenes with JM, Quinn and Blay. There are revaluations on all sides, some we knew but other characters didn't and some are new. There is a lot about Quinn's family and why he is the way he is. It's heart breaking but he is a man about it. You see his hurt and his struggle but he deals with the cards he got the best he can. He has a lot to go through till he gets his "happily ever after" (on the 10th book). Blay is a sweetheart. He doesn't deserve the heartache he gets in this book and in the following ones but sometimes you need to wait for the one you love to come to grips. JM is having a hard time as well, his past, his present at the training center with Lash and missing his father - Thor. He also continues to be interested in Xhex.
We get into Rehv's story a little which is a prelude to the next book in the series. If you thought he is just a bad ass drug lord - he is SO much more than that. A new character is introduced (which has a surprise gift for the brotherhood) and he calls Rehv "righteous", Rhev doesn't agree with the term but as you come to know him you realize he too, like Quinn, has done what he can with the cards he was dealt and yeah, he's a man about it as well. He does what he MUST to protect himself, his family and his close ones. I have the utter respect for him (and naturally can't wait for the next one!)
More side characters are Mr. D and Lash which are ANNOYING and BORING. Lash like the Lessers is pure evil with nothing but revenge and chaos in his mind. No real agenda you can relate to (or hate). Couldn't stand their POV. On chapter 3 if I'm not mistaken we have almost 20 minutes with almost no real importance, just Mr. D blabbering about almost nothing. Yeah, there is a point but it could have taken less than 5 minutes to get to it..
Z, as Phury's brother has a few appearances and I think all of them are "well played" on his part. Even when he is being "an ass" you totally get why and you get that this is the place he is in, or he is trying to get a point to Phury. The last chapter has a beautiful scene with the both of them and I just fell in love with him all over again.
Oh, right this one was about Phury and Cormia. These too are a TOTAL and ABSOLUTE BORE. Cormia is like a 12 years old kid getting to know Phury's world (without his guidance he just "dumps" her in the room next to his) she is sweet, yeah, but she doesn't have a lot of interesting sides to her. I felt like the love between her and him could have been with anyone that would have been a little gallant. There is no special reason for her to fall in love specifically in him. Well, I do think there is nothing lovable about him..
Phury is basically a self-pitying drug addict. I couldn't stand ANY part of his POV or you know what, any part that he plays in this book. All he does is feel sorry for himself, smoke and consider doing something stronger for the pain (what pain? yeah he had a rough childhood but look at Quinn and Rehv sucking it up! so can he!!). His obsession with Bella is pathetic and feels unrealistic. Yeah, she is amazing but I do think he is in love with the fact that she "saved" his brother more than in her in general. She accomplished more than he did.. and maybe he wishes she could save him as well. Poor Cormia has to witness his "love" for Bella while harboring a love for him (that he doesn't return because he is too self centered to even realize she is into him).
I have no respect for his character, for who he is and how he acts and that's why his book gets 2 stars. I loved Rehv, Quinn, Blay and JM's parts and that's why this book doesn't get half a star.. I had zero interest in listening to this one and that's why it took me SO LONG to finish it.
Last but not least - the narration. I'm starting to get used to Jim.. It's not that he is better, maybe a little bit, it's more that I just got used to getting the plot from his voice. I would have wanted someone with more "feel", that can express the character's state of mind and emotion but that's all we have so I'm dealing..
Additional Details: Audiobook, 17:37 Hours, 20 March - 4 April 2014 / On GoodReads