A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

TBR Challenge: Fatal Strike by Shannon McKenna

on October 16, 2013

Review copy from the public library

The challenge: Paranormal romance or romantic suspense. I covered both!
Why this one: Honestly, I had already started reading it during my review vacation, and I didn’t have time to start another book. I had to break my rule of only reading books I own in print, but I tossed out a couple of print TBR books to make up for it.

What tickled my fancy: the ending ties together nicely.
What ticked me off: So much like the other books, but without the oomph.
Who might like it: I got nothin’. If you liked all the other McKenna books, I guess you’ll probably like this one too.

This is a really difficult review, because I finished the book yesterday and I’ve already pretty much forgotten what I thought about it. It was just such a blah book, and so much the mixture as before. I barely even have any bookmarks to remind me of anything I found significant.

The tenth book in the McCloud series features Miles, the formerly geeky guy who was made badass by the McClouds and their friends. But that wasn’t enough to compensate for how incredibly geeky he once was, I guess, so now (after events in the previous book) he’s developed all kinds of psychic powers. At first they totally mess him up, but then he discovers they’re unexpectedly useful in helping him to reach Lara Kirk,  the woman kidnapped by the baddie in the last book. (Despite all these recurring threads, you could probably read this as a stand alone, though I’m not sure why you’d want to.)

If you’ve read one of this series before, you know there’ll be a tough hero who falls devotedly in love, a fragile yet feisty heroine, a seriously dastardly villain, an angsty conflict, and lots and lots of juicy sex, in both the figurative and literal senses of the word. There is a bit of an interesting difference here, because the cruel and ruthless villain actually believes himself to be a benevolent person trying to save the world. And the future he might cause — which Lara can see in her visions, because she’s also psychic — is seriously creepy.

The woo-woo has gotten wooier with every book and at this point, I feel that the series has kind of painted itself into a corner. The whole point of the McClouds and their associates is that they’re incredibly badass and capable of dealing with just about anything. Except when they’re faced with a psychic villain who can squeeze their minds. So Miles has to be ever more psychically badass, which is pretty damn scary, as even the book admits. Where can it possibly go from here? Will the next hero be Godzilla, or a Transformer?

And then there’s the fact that all the past characters have been popping out kids, which means they’re even more vulnerable to bad guys. Honestly, the books have just gotten too tense for me. There’s some really ugly collateral damage done to innocent bystanders, too.

I did think the end was somewhat redemptive — not the very, very end, which got all stereotypically cute with Miles’s ex and Lara duking it out for him — but the grand finale with the villain. And I just wish I could remember now why I thought that.

Not a terrible read, but I’m just as glad McKenna is planning to give up this series after the next book. Although I am curious to see the Transformer hero.

2 responses to “TBR Challenge: Fatal Strike by Shannon McKenna

  1. Phyl says:

    Interesting to read your thoughts about this one. I have the book because I'm hooked on the series, but haven't read it yet. Without reading it I can say that I've thought that recently the woo-woo has gone way over the top. I prefer the early books that were just plain bad-ass. Still, once I start this one, I'm sure I'll have a hard time putting it down.

  2. […] even when he turns out to be — surprise! — a brilliant financial gazillionaire. (Alas, he’s no Transformer.) And Sveti is dumber than a sack of hammers, which is so disappointing. (She was introduced in my […]

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