Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: Michael Dean
Length: 7 hours, 26 minutes
Sawyer now has six of his mates, and he knows the seventh guardian is lurking nearby. But Yellow Eyes, as they call him, refuses to reveal himself. Sawyer sets out on a mission to woo his newest guardian. He treads carefully, as he’s pretty sure that Yellow Eyes has good reason to keep himself apart. But Sawyer is getting weaker by the day, and no one has an answer. His body is not meant to contain his powers. After a particularly bad episode, Yellow Eyes finally comes out of hiding to save the day. Dakota is a lynx shifter with a bad attitude, resentful of being one of Sawyer’s guardians. The reasons why slowly emerge, and while Sawyer understands Dakota’s anger, he doesn’t give the lynx shifter too much leeway.
While Dakota is finding his place among the rest of the guardians, they know the eighth and final guardian is being held captive. Sawyer and his guardians hatch a plan in order to rescue him. Sawyer’s powers are emerging even more, and he’s able to use more resources to get to Pip. But it sets in motion the events that will eventually lead to the end of the fight they’ve been barreling toward.
This fourth book in the Chosen One series makes for big shifts and changes in the world Sawyer and his mates have known. The author does a good job of pulling together all the pieces she’s laid out and gets everyone to the point where you know the big confrontation is coming. It’s been inevitable since the start, and the complex world Blake has built is coming to fruition.
I like the growth of the characters throughout the series, and I particularly like how Sawyer has gone from not knowing anything about the paranormal world to stepping into his role as a leader and god within it. He takes his responsibilities seriously, as well as owning up to the mistakes he’s made in the past, even though he doesn’t remember them. He has such a good heart and he’s determined to not only fix what he unintentionally broke, but to leave things better. But he’s not infallible, and he does make mistakes, which also keeps him on a relatable level. Yes, his mates and those around him give him a little bit too much leeway, in my opinion, out of love. And that’s why Dakota is a nice contrast to the rest of the guardians.
Dakota is pissed off and angry, and because of his abilities and what he’s seen, he has put together pieces where others haven’t. He holds Sawyer accountable for many of Sawyer’s past mistakes, and he doesn’t fall easily into Sawyer’s arms as everyone else did. It takes him a while to see that Sawyer has changed, and that he’s fighting for good, but I thought it worked well and brought a nice tension to the story as a whole. And it was sorely needed, especially as the events of this book unfold. I also like that over time, Dakota learns and grows too, and is able to see that things are different now and, with his role as a guardian, he’s able to be part of the change.
The epic rescue of the eighth guardian adds a great action sequence that keeps the books moving, and contrasts nicely with the quieter moments in the story. Pip is different than the rest of the mates, a fun and flirty younger man who adds something none of the other mates have. I really liked that Blake manages to give each of the main characters such different personalities, while at the same time, making them all fit together. We don’t get to know him well, though he does get a few chapters so we see the beginning of his personality and also how very much he wants to be part of the guardians and a mate.
This book does a good job of both being Dakota’s journey, while at the same time advancing the plot to set up for the final confrontation everyone knows has been coming from the start. With all the guardians finally together, the end is inevitable. And all the characters are certainly ready for this to finally be over. Blake has done a good job setting all the pieces in motion, and now the end is finally ready.
Michael Dean has such a great voice that listening to these books has been a treat. The smooth and easy voice makes for a great narration, so I’m enjoying listening. Especially as the action and emotionally scenes are performed. But I continue to have an issues with inconsistency in the character voices. Some are far too similar and then blend into each other, as well as Dean using ones he previously attributed to one character for a different character at different points in the book. Characters often start with one voice and it changes within chapters. In this book, it was Pip, whose voice when he first appeared was one way, that mellowed and smoothed out a bit the more he was on page. Or voices change from book to book. Listening to them all back to back makes this far easier to notice. While this may not be an issue to some, for me it hits my ear every time as discordant and pulls me from the story.
But overall, I’m a fan of the series and I’m really liking listening to them all. If you’re into paranormal, with ever expanding world building, then this is a series to check out.