Preyfinders, #2

Intimidator is the second entry in Cari Silverwood’s Preyfinders series and it clearly assumes you are already familiar with its world. If you have not read Precious Sacrifice, the novella which kicked off this new series, you are going to be lost, especially since it begins with an epilogue from that book. Intimidator tells another story of another member of the alien world alliance which is now in the middle of a battle with their ancient enemy, one who is now doing everything they can to completely subjugate the Earth for some as-yet-unclear reason.

The basic themes found in the start of the Preyfinders series are also found here in Intimidator, albeit with more content since this is a full-length novel. Another warrior in the alien alliance, Stom, has been granted the reward of finding and capturing his own sexual pet on the planet Earth. As with all Preyfinder targets, Willow is unaware that she’s already destined to die on her home planet, but that’s what makes it acceptable for her to be taken by a Preyfinder. She doesn’t appear to have a very pleasant life, but what is good comes from her young cousin, Ally, and their unwavering love for each other. It’s that love and need to protect Ally that might keep Willow from being able to accept her fate when the man who comes to claim her arrives one fateful day.

Stom has had great success on the battlefield but none of it matters to him since the violent death of his wife and child at the hands of his enemies. When his superiors choose to reward him with his own sexual pet female, his initial intent is to only enjoy her for a short time, then let her go before completing the full process of claiming her forever. But it’s not that easy to walk away from Willow and allow her and her cousin to be harmed by both earthly and unearthly forces which threaten them both. By the time Stom realizes what he truly wants, it may be too late to prevent the loss of his second chance at a lifetime love, or be able to save the Earth from an enemy who seems much too interested in both Willow and Ally for anyone’s comfort.

Although I enjoyed the Precious Sacrifice novella, I was less taken with this sequel. I enjoyed the premise of how a Preyfinder acquires his target, and the backstory of how Willow and Ally came to be near-recluses in their grandmother’s house in the middle of a neighborhood they both should have left behind years before. But the level of violence was quite a bit higher in Intimidator than it was in the previous story, most likely due to the comparably greater length, and I don’t have a particularly strong stomach for such things. The scenes with the alien enemy’s “nerve chewers” were especially distasteful for me, and I actually forced myself to skim through them, as much as I hated missing out on likely important plot points, especially near the end of the book. But if you have a greater tolerance for this type of thing, then it shouldn’t affect your appreciation of Intimidator. It will be interesting to see where this series goes next. I wonder how long the inevitable story between Talia and Brask will be teased out, or if they’ll finally get their own story in the next book.

Book Blurb for Intimidator

This is Book 2 in the new Preyfinder series. Book 1, Precious Sacrifice, is currently in the anthology, Kept.

Willow has her hands full scraping out a life in a grungy neighborhood where drugs and crime are the norm. Life is hard, but it's about to get harder. Being transformed into a sexual pet for an alien warrior may be her only way out.

But Stom, the man she's been awarded to as a battle honor, has no use for a female, not when his heart is still in a million pieces.

Though the need to be Stom's mate is overwhelming her, mending his heart isn't going to be enough. His enemies are searching, looking for the women who are more than they seem, but she's in their hands before she discovers she's more-than-human.

Sometimes it sucks to be a chosen one.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2014 3.50