Book Review: A Stone Kissed Sea
This review is about a week overdue. Elizabeth Hunter’s latest came out one week ago today, and if you haven’t picked it up yet, do that RIGHT NOW! Need more convincing? Fine. I can do that.
An immortal wanderer. A brilliant scientist. A centuries-old menace written in blood.
Lucien Thrax, son of the earth and child of the ancients, is a healer of immense power. But years of work on a deadly vampire virus have not led to a cure, nor have they softened the wall he built around his heart. When he’s forced to work with Doctor Makeda Abel, Lucien is convinced he’s reached his limit of patience with humanity.
Makeda Abel may be human, but she’s far from impressed with the brooding vampire healer, even if his mind draws her reluctant admiration. She’s learned how to survive in the immortal world, and it’s not by being afraid. Working together may lead them to answers, but it also pushes Lucien and Makeda’s attraction to the boiling point.
When nightmares become reality, Makeda will have to trust Lucien with her life. Finding answers has never been more vital. Finding love has never been more deadly. To heal the Elemental World, Lucien and Makeda must follow ancient paths and ask for help from the most inhuman of immortals. Because even with a cure in hand, the battle has only begun.
AHHHH! I loved this book. I read the ARC that I got from Elizabeth because I am a lucky, lucky woman who is friends with this (among other) amazing authors.
Makeda is so smart. And she is not putting up with your bullshit, Lucien. This story involved one of my favorite romantic tropes: two awesome people who have so much sexual tension and also annoy the shit out of each other for reasons they can’t quite figure out.
It also had danger! and excitement! and magicscience! I know how much research went into making sure the magicscience was as sciencey as possible, and it really, really shows in the final product. There is no real reason to suspend your disbelief when the book gets technical about how the elixir virus is affecting humans and vampires.
This book gets so many bonus points for including my two favorite vampires: Tenzin (about whom I plan to write some fanfic where she’s my bestie and we have awkward get-togethers where we vacillate between TMI and no conversation at all) and Carwyn, who…yeah…sigh…(I’m not going to tell you about the mental fanfic I compose about him, because I’m a little afraid of Brigid.)
The amazing magicscience and my swooning over Carwyn are only the beginning. There is a huge chunk of the story set in Ethiopia, and you can tell that the author really has a feel for that land. Her research trips there really paid off and I could almost picture myself there.
Makeda and Lucien work with Saba, the oldest and scariest vampire of all, to save everyone from the Elixir, and that adventure gives you everything you’ve come to expect from an Elizabeth Hunter Elemental World novel: romance, sexy times, mystery, suspense, and amazing world building with really solid writing.
“It’s an odd sensation,” he said quietly, “to give your heart completely to another. I feel as if my soul is tied up with yours.”
Swoon. That kind of love is the stuff of legend and just as terrifying and rewarding as you’d think.
Elizabeth Hunter is the kind of writer I aspire to be, and every book she writes is better than the last. You can tell how much she puts into each book, and this one is no exception. I can’t recommend this book (and this series) (and this author) highly enough. She is an excellent example of why fantasy and paranormal genres are just as worthy of recognition as anything else.