Review: BLOOD & THUNDER by Charlie Cochet
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: August 4th, 2014
ISBN #: 9781632161772
FTC Disclaimer: Book was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.
I’ve read this author before and loved her writing. I was totally unprepared for this. It was fantastic. Blood & Thunder is the second book in the THIRDS series, and I highly recommend reading them in order.
This book starts right where Hell & High Water left off, and once again we are getting the story through Sloane and Dex’s POV, which is something I loved about the first book. Their relationship has definitely intensified, along with their feelings for each other. I loved seeing the power struggle between these two. With Sloane having to be the team leader, he’s got to make some tough decisions. And Dex being, well Dex, is certainly pushing Sloane’s buttons, in a good and bad way.
I really liked how the author showed the softer side to both men too. We see Sloane beating himself up over his past and doubting that Dex will stick around after he learns the truth. I loved seeing that side of Sloane. Meanwhile, we see Dex being his usual funny self, but also feeling heartbroken by Sloane’s mental and physical distance. Now while I hate when characters I love are put through the wringer like this, I believe it makes them stronger – individually and as a couple. This is true for Sloane and Dex. I loved being there and watching their journey to find happiness with each other. I look forward to seeing them again in the next book.
I totally agree Lynn. In the second book we get to know the characters more. They become three dimensional – more depth, emotions, and investment in each other and the team. One of the things I loved about this second book was the knowledge gained about Sloane’s inner struggle with his decisions to pursue Dex. His choices manifest through his dreams. I feel the author uses these instances to further speak to Sloane’s strength of character, leadership, and depth of emotions. He is a very strong character and the new revelations do not detract from that image at all.
The author reveals even more about Dex’s character as well. Labelled by me as a jokester in book one, we get to see that extend towards the entire team. It allows them to deal with whatever the emotional crisis is at the moment. Dex is really a selfless person. His heart is not only with Sloane, but with the rest of the team and that is brought more to light.
Speaking of the other characters, we are invited to look deeper into who they are. Nothing like a good book with strong supporting characters. The author has put together a good team that I would like to defend me anytime. Additionally, they have each been given enough drama in their lives to reestablish the strong family unit.
The one thing that I did not like as much was the beginning. Wait…let me explain why. Hell & High Water and Blood & Thunder gives the impression of being written as a 600+ page book that was split into two installments. That would have been fine if I had just put down the first book. However, in my case, since I read H&HW several weeks ago, I spent more time than I would have liked trying to remember events and people from the first book. I would have preferred a few reminders to bring me up to speed at the beginning of B&T.
All that said, by the time chapter three began, I was soooooooooooo enthralled with this book that I could not put it down. I experienced many emotions. I even found myself laughing out loud, talking out loud, and at a couple of points, struggling not to cry out loud. I am glad no one was home when I was reading this. Blood & Thunder gets a 5-stars rating from me. I am eagerly awaiting the next release of this series.
I agree 100% with Lynn and Tina about the characterization of Sloane and Dex; great characters made better by the added complexity from Blood & Thunder. The first story was heavily Dex-centric so I liked that this one focused on Sloane. Past and present shame made him question his own leadership, and sometimes his sanity, which created an interesting dynamic. In addition, the roles of the other team members became clearer, allowing for many fun and endearing moments. Especially in relation to Dex, who is arguably the least complicated character. Even without their POV’s, there is no doubt that the team approves of the new guy. I look forward to hearing directly from them in their projected books.
I loved the human, therian, and romance elements of Blood & Thunder. I had problems with the action/mystery elements. The pacing was a bit frustrating because the reader knows Sloane is struggling but isn’t given much insight above the obvious until the very end. The same can be said for the clues the team acted on. I did not expect a lot of investigative-type events because it clearly states that Destructive Delta is not an investigative team. However, the clues provided were infrequent and required the reader to take huge leaps to follow. The ending had a great hook, yet lost impact because it felt rushed and unsupported, a major surprise after the balanced perfection of Hell & High Water. I wouldn’t want to lose any of the character building from this book, but I believe adding a few more pages/scenes/events devoted to the crisis would have connected more of the dots.
There are two other observations that readers may or may not like. The first issue: there has been minimal shifting. Personally, I am loving the shifter origins of the THIRDS series so I am not concerned about the amount of time spent in shifted form. The second issue: everyone and their brother, literally, is gay. The set-up for the core group makes sense, so does the bonus couple added in B&T. But as more characters are introduced, it would be easy to slip into convenient/soap opera territory. I hope that doesn’t happen.
We all agree that the characters drive this second installment of the THIRDS series. The war is complicated and ongoing and will unfold in due time, though we disagree on how slow or fast that will be. Nothing about this series is typical so expect the unexpected. We love that the shifter aspect is unique and fresh, so even readers who don’t generally like shifter stories will find enjoyment in these books. And the humor … so good.
Also, check out Charlie’s musical inspiration for the series, and BLOOD & THUNDER, on this week’s “Words & Music Monday” post.