Author: A.J. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 210 Pages
At a Glance: I actually started enjoying the story at about 30%, but sadly, that didn’t last very long. I can’t recommend the book since I didn’t enjoy it, but I’m sure it’ll be a good match for some readers.
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: Orphaned at a young age and raised in the foster system, Jory Smith has no idea he’s half incubus. He only knows he has the power to heal people, making himself sick in the process. Exploited by a crooked faith healer who sells his abilities and his life to the highest bidder and then left for dead, Jory flees, falling into a job at a small-town café where he can put his lifelong obsession with baking to good use.
But the minister who exploited him wants him back.
Exiled hellhound-turned–bounty hunter Malpheus Pelle has no idea why his human client wants him to track down an incubus. Jory is traumatized and afraid to touch anyone, an emotional handicap that could prove fatal for a demon who requires physical contact. Needing answers, Mal concocts a disastrous plan: pretend to date Jory to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, his plan never included dealing with an ancient demon assassin, Jory’s orgasmic pumpkin cookies, or losing his heart to the incubus he’s supposed to be hunting….
Review: Strays is one of the most complicated books I’ve read in a long time, and I don’t mean that in a good way. There are stories that are extremely complicated with a hundred characters or a plot that weaves around and around, taking you on a journey you never imagined and returning you, ecstatic and bright eyed, from the amazing turns.
And there are stories like this one, where the plot is so complex you can’t make sense of it. Where the paranormal element isn’t explained in a clear enough way, and you end up lost about what each creature is supposed to be. Where you end up so confused about what’s happening that you can’t even follow the storyline anymore. I accept that maybe it was me who was unable to connect with the story, but it had some points that I can’t ignore. When I read about an imaginary world, I want the author to give me some details, subtle but there nonetheless. If that doesn’t happen, how am I supposed to appreciate the new world I’m reading about? Maybe it’s brilliant and maybe it’s not, but I have no way of knowing which one is true since I don’t have all the details. One thing I need is background info, and I didn’t get nearly enough of that here.
I actually started enjoying the story at about 30%, but sadly, that didn’t last very long. All of a sudden supernatural creatures were everywhere, and the explanation we got for most of what was happening was nonexistent. In the end, I just gave up and skimmed the last 20%. I was so lost and frustrated that there was no reason to keep reading everything that was happening.
As for the plot, it revolves around a guy on the run who has some weird abilities that he never questioned or tried to find where they came from, and the hellhound-turned-bounty hunter that was hired to find him and bring him back. Everything sounds fine so far. The confusion began once the hellhound found the guy. From then on, everything became more and more complicated and I got lost about what was supposed to be happening, who was the enemy, and who had sent that enemy. I stopped caring at some point as I saw that there was no saving this story for me. My favorite character was a side character named Neal, who didn’t have a particularly big part but was very interesting.
I can’t recommend the book since I didn’t enjoy it, but I’m sure it’ll be a good match for some readers. So, if you like paranormal stories that venture further than vampires and shifters, if you are okay with complicated storylines, and if you don’t mind getting only a few bits info about a new world, then give this story a try. Maybe you’ll like it.
You can buy Strays here:
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