Thursday, May 14, 2015

*Book Review* Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olson (UF)

Series: Boundary Magic # 1
Published by 47North
Released: May 1, 2015
Format: E-book, 302 pages
Source: Amazon First Read
Genre: Urban Fantasy
After her twin sister’s brutal murder, former US Army Sergeant Allison “Lex” Luther vowed to protect her niece, Charlie. So when two vampires try to kidnap the baby, it quickly turns into a fight to the death—Lex’s death, that is.
She wakes up to two shocking discoveries: she has miraculously survived the fight, and baby Charlie is a “null,” gifted with the ability to weaken supernatural forces...and a target for creatures who want to control that power. Determined to guarantee her niece’s safety, Lex makes a deal with the local vampires. She sets out with the mysterious—and undead—“fixer” Quinn to track down whoever’s responsible for the kidnapping, sharpening her newfound magic skills along the way. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her powers become.
Boundary Crossed is a dark, thrilling journey into a world where the line between living and dead isn’t nearly as solid as it appears.

Boundary Crossed is the first book in a new series called Boundary Magic. Melissa F. Olson is a new to me author who also wrote Dead Spots, which is supposedly set in the same world. Told in the first person narrative by Allison “Lex” Luther, a US Army Veteran who has seen her fair share of horror, Boundary Crossed is an eye opening adventure for an individual who was just an ordinary girl working nights, taking care of abandoned animals, and grieving over her lost twin sister Samantha. After briefly dying keeping kidnappers from taking her 18-month old niece Charlie, Lex's eyes are opened to an entirely different world that lies just out of sight of human eyes. 

The most intriguing twist is that Lex herself is anything but purely human. She is what's called a boundary witch, and a very powerful one at that. Lex also learns that Charlie is a null who is able to turn vampires human again. Lex, keeping her promise to Sam, will do absolutely anything to keep her niece safe. That includes working for powerful vampires who call Colorado their home, learning about magical abilities she didn't know she possessed, and working alongside the secretive Quinn who works as a fixer for the vampire leaders.  

I can totally understand Lex's personality, as it pretty much aligns with my own experiences. For some, who are not veterans of wars or have not faced death head on, Lex could be considered a bit over the top or even boring at times. I do believe that Olson could have touched a bit more on Lex's PTSD possibilities since denying it exists causes even more problems. You don't die, and then shrug it off like nothing happened. You are affected by the experience in dreams, in the way you treat others, and the way your family sees you. I don't have a problem with lead characters who are damaged or vulnerable to the whims of others. 

There are a few interesting secondary characters like witches Simon, Ivy, & Hazel Peller who help Lex understand her magic, the aforementioned vampire Quinn who gets tangled together in order to protect Charlie, and the head vampire of Colorado, Maven. I did like the twisted mystery. You really have no clue who the villains are until they jump off the page at you. The minor hiccup for me was the romance angle. Is Lex really over her first love? Will Lex and Quinn end up together and do the grove thing? Will this become a twisted love triangle? HOPEFULLY NOT! 

As a connoisseur of all things Urban Fantasy, I do believe that Boundary Crossed is a hopeful entry into a genre that has seen way too many series come and go without resolution. Hopefully, since this is Amazon's baby, the author will be allowed to explore Lex's new world and new responsibilities that she's been handed. Apparently, Boundary Lines is the sequel's title per Amazon, and the book releases October 13, 2015.

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