Mar 6, 2009
Ravenous - Review
Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood. Signet Eclipse, 2009.
Holly Carver is a witch hired to rid a sentient house of its malevolence. this is a particularly difficult job, but take it she must because she needs the money. Alessandro, her undead partner, will be there to aid her as best he can. Lives are at stake including that of her boyfriend Ben, a professor at the local college. He and a colleague who had disappeared inside. Now all are missing.
While searching the house Holly and Alessandro encounter a black, vile smelling river of evil which has covered the bodies of the missing and is slowly leaching away their life force. Nothing but very powerful magic, big M Magic, will be able to save anyone. Holly reaches into herself and with great difficulty pulls forth enough power to push the blackness away. She suffers great physical distress afterwords but believes it was worthwhile since some victims did survive including Ben. Unfortunately Ben is so unnerved by his experience that he only wants to distance himself from anything or anyone having to do with the supernatural world. Holly of course is part of that world and cannot, will not, leave it. Her strong attraction for Alessandro helps heal her broken heart.
Alessandro understands that as a predator he and his kind can only present a danger to humans, thus he tries desperately to keep his intense feelings for Holly in check. He also holds a secret. There have been several murders in town and all have the hallmarks of a vampiric nature. Yet something is different. What Alessandro discovers is that some very strong entity has found a way to open the gates of hell. And all of this leads back to Holly and the magic she holds within her. Someone desperately wants that magic and will do whatever necessary to get it. The entire supernatural community, not to mention normal humans, is at risk.
Even thought Holly and Alessandro try desperately to keep their intense feelings for each other at bay, remember, this is a paranormal romance so how long can that last? Answer. Long enough for the tensions of several story threads taught right up until the end.
Ashwood's novel begins with the suspenseful hunt through the demonic house. Later, the pace slackens only slightly as the hunt for the evil that is behind several hideous murders continues. All the characters are well realized, and their actions in trying circumstances are completely believable. Ashwood has a unique and fascinating take on demons and the nature of hell. Brisk pacing and credible characters add up to an entertaining and captivating story.
Read an excerpt.