I have spent the last few days immersed in a place called Vesturon. This was the second time I’ve read the Guardians of Vesturon series so you know the stories are good. That being said… they are very poorly written and even more poorly edited. I guess I was so into the stories the last time I read them that I didn’t really even notice that.
The first couple of books deal with Maddie and Rayn. I like that we get to see from each of their POV but then at some point it jumps from 1st to 3rd person and the transition isn’t a clean one. UGH! Hargrove does much better with this in the third book about January and Rykerian. The third book is all in 1st person and though it does show us both POVs the sections are large enough that you don’t really get confused as to who is doing the talking. (I sort of wish we could have seen Jurek’s POV too, actually.)
Like I said before, the stories are very interesting even though aliens usually aren’t my thing. I guess enough of it is based on earth and (at least in part) on humans that it holds my interest. There are still a lot of things that just don’t add up though. I mean in book one Rayn spends weeks (maybe months) locked up awaiting trial because he took a human (Maddie) to Vesturon and therefore broke the secrecy code. Makes for an interesting story until you realize that he was told very early on in the book that Maddie had the “mark” which proved her to be part Vesturion (and therefore has every right to come to Vesturon). They claim that he and the woman who discovered the "mark" were so engrossed in healing Maddie that they “forgot.” Come on! Really? From the moment Rayn laid eyes on Maddie he was head over heals for her and yet fought his feelings for months because she was human and it was therefore forbidden. Don’t you think that the comment of the woman who saw Maddie's "mark" would have made an impression on him in this scenario? DUH! And then in the second book when Maddie and Rayn’s family find the "mark" and realize what it means, instead of going straight to those in charge and explaining, they wait until the public trial to make a big exhibition and shock everyone with the news. Yea… totally makes sense *insert eye-roll*
And don’t even get me started on the fight between Rayn and Maddie in the second book which lasts months and only ends because Maddie saves Rayns life. Yea, that’s totally normal for 2 people so in love they can’t take their eyes off each other.
And then we get to the third book…. This is the one where I get the impression that Hargrove wanted to continue to write the series but she just got in a hurry. I still love parts of the story between January and Rykerian, but it all just starts feeling rushed toward the end. (Or maybe I just get bored and start reading even faster.) But honestly she packs more “stuff” into the last 3rd of Determinant than in the entire book of Resurrection. I think in part I just don’t like it because of the whole war going on in the universe and the fact that Earth is basically ravaged (which BTW is more than a little far-fetched since I don’t believe that smallpox would actually cause the damage that it supposedly does. Especially not on a worldwide level. Damage, yes, but wiping out 50% of the population and causing worldwide martial law… doubtful. If that were the case the entire world would have died before they invented the vaccine that wiped it out in the first place.)
So, with all the bad writing, poor editing, and discrepancies I still re-read all 3 in just over 2 days and I would have to say, totally enjoyed them. I do love the romance Hargrove portrays. She hits just the right notes of passion without getting into explicit details at all. And I love that Vesturions are celibate before marriage because of their belief that in sex the souls merge and can never unmerge. Not only is it beautiful, I honestly believe that is true for humans. I think that most people just choose to ignore that fact and then walk around with torn souls for the rest of their lives.
I guess where I’m going is this: even though I aired all my disappointments with this series, overall there are enough reasons to recommend them that I will most definitely do so. They are a must read for the romantic sci-fi/paranormal reader. Trust me, you will fall in love with these characters and will be able to forgive Hargrove for every error because of it.
(and if you like her books at all, click here to read her Amazon.com bio… it’s great!)