Monday, August 6, 2012

Double Review: Five and Dark Matter by Christie Rich

Genre:  New Adult Urban Fantasy 
(meaning our mc is just starting college)

Publisher Type:  Indie

Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

Rayla Tate’s life is about to turn vertical…again. As if it wasn’t bad enough her mother disappeared under questionable circumstances leaving Rayla to be raised by her aunt in a horrendously small town. Her overprotective guardian is determined to ruin Rayla’s life. She refuses to let Rayla out of her sight or out of the state. Provincial living might be what her aunt demands of her purposely sheltered niece; but, Rayla has other ideas. In a desperate attempt to follow her dreams she flees the safety of her home and runs away to college with her best friend toward a bright future in the art world.

However, excitement over her newfound freedom turns into terror when she is chased by a mysterious stranger on her way to school. When his motorcycle suddenly morphs into a fire-breathing pegasus, Rayla questions her sanity. Worse, the man riding next to her stirs a burning desire in her soul she has never known or could have ever imagined. Using all the will she owns, she manages to resist the compulsion she feels; yet, as he disappears into the night, she is certain he hasn't gone far.

Rayla quickly dismisses the encounter to her overactive imagination. She is determined to settle into her new life, yet the images and feelings of that night still haunt her. To make matters worse, her aunt seems to be in on the act, insisting that Rayla will soon be hunted by a pack of fae lords for a power over the elements she never knew she possessed—a power that could change the world. Quicker than she ever thought possible, she finds herself surrounded by stunning men that all seem determined to win her heart. Why does she feel drawn to each one of them? More importantly, what dark power do they hold over her? Rayla must quickly learn to fend off these beautiful and seductive pursuers using whatever means necessary or find herself lost to the fae world forever.

Dark Matter (Elemental Enmity #2)

Rayla Tate’s dreams for the future shattered when she discovered she was an Elemental capable of manipulating matter. Thrust, once again, into the magical fae realm of Faeresia, she has an important choice to make. But now that she has Heath to contend with, deciding between Zach and Luke is the least of her concerns. Tall, dark and lethal to her will, her attraction to Heath eclipses all she has experienced with any other lord, but he is using compulsion to wear her down. If only she could trust her feelings?

In a desperate attempt to escape Heath, she accepts the help of a little troll and finally gets what she wants; however, her relief is short lived. Things go terribly wrong when a dark force closes in on her, threatening to steal her burgeoning power before she even has a chance to test her abilities. Now, with Rayla as their captive, the Order will stop at nothing to create a male Elemental, and willing or not, Rayla is the key.

Caught up in the age-old battle for dominance between human and fae, only one question matters to her now—will she be able to save those she loves most without losing herself in the process? Or will she be forever haunted by the choices she alone can make?

My review:
...never fear, no spoilers will be revealed from either book in this review...

Being a blogger has some wonderful perks!  One of those perks is the chance to read a book that an author has generously offered in exchange for an honest review.  Back in September I had the opportunity to read Five and have just recently been blessed with book 2, Dark Matter.  As the later half of Five was complicated (in a good way) and I have a poor memory, I thought I'd skim the last few chapters of Five to reaquaint myself with the details.  I ended up rereading the whole thing.  It just sucked me in; I couldn't help myself!!!  It's simply an amazing read and I liked it even better the second time through.

So what did I love?  The plots of each book are complex, mysterious and intriguing.  I love Ms. Rich's striking verbiage. She paints the most beautiful scenes, ones of which you can practically feel the texture without being bogged down with useless details.  Her stories ooze with creativity and magic!

Then, the characters: Rayla is the perfect protagonist.  Likable from the start, but with room for character growth, I immediately connected with Rayla. That character growth (which I love) is steady, believable and well written.  The characters surrounding her are well-rounded with their own back stories and issues.  The antagonists (and those we aren't sure are which they are) are dimensional, not merely evil with their own inner struggles.  

Then there's the sizzling chemistry between Rayla and these mysterious fellas hanging around!  You'd think that having so many men involved would not gel right with the reader, but Ms. Rich has an incredible way writing each of these characters in a way that you completely empathize with Rayla in not being able to choose.  I was 100% Zach, but then came Luke ... and in book 2, there's even more!!!  It's hard to express how well Ms. Rich writes chemistry.  And the crazy thing is, there's never anything more than kissing.  Rayla has standards (good for you, girl!).

Book 1 is full of the excitement and mystery of discovery.  Rayla's best friend Cassie doesn't act much like a best friend, but -as it turns out- there's a pretty good reason behind that.  Jessica's strange animosity makes sense later as well.  Nothing is as it seems for poor Rayla.  Rayla goes along trying her best to deal with these changes.  I admire her tenacity.  I did think there should have been more if an internal struggle when she decided to share with Zach the crazy details of what was going on, but that's really my only complaint.  The book does end in a cliff hanger, but it's a good stopping point (except that I hate to be left wondering and tend to want that next book IMMEDIATELY and when I first read this, I had to wait and I hate that ... tee hee hee).  

Book 2 picks up right where book 1 left off.  Thrown right into the action, I read this book cover to cover in 2 days.  Sleep's overrated anyhow.  I was shocked that there was still even more sexy men introduced and found myself rooting for Heath in no time flat.  Poor Rayla just doesn't know who to trust, and who to let in to her heart.  The whole compulsion thing makes everything all the more confusing.  This makes for some crazy good reading!  Then, just when we've gotten deep into fae issues, BOOM we are hit with the human bad guy side and again nothing is as it seems.  Hmmm... crazy intriguing!  I must read book 3 ... which came out just last month ...  right away!

Cover Art:  
I love these covers!!!  Purple is my favorite color and covers that really reflect the book content always score high with me.  These covers just get better as they progress with each book, too.  It's like they slowly grow closer to the subject matter, just as the reader grows closer to the truth.

These are totally MUST READ books.  Here's where you can buy all 3 books....
Add them to your Goodreads TBR list here.


  1. Danielle, you are absoultely amazing! Thanks so much for your kind words and I am so glad you liked my books and characters.

    Having a reader that connects with my characters is the most rewarding expierience I could possibly ask for.



    1. **blushes** Thanks! So glad to have had an opportunity to read your work! Looking forward to book #3!

  2. Wow, these books sound really great! I love the idea of the mysterious and complex plots. Those kind of books definitely draw me in. The covers of these books are also gorgeous. Great review, thanks for not spoiling either book!

  3. Hi Danielle,
    Your so lucky! I've read "Five" and it was a great experience. Hope I will be able to put my hands on the sequel to know what will happen to Rayla...
    Great review!