Format: E-Galley, 280 pages
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancé, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked. It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.
Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancé’s estranged brother. Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected. Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission. With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.
Sarah Fine, the author of such books as Sanctum, Scan, Of Metal and Wishes, Marked, and The Impostor Queen, returns with yet another series with the release of Reliquary. Reliquary features Matty Carver as a lab tech and veterinary assistant, who wakes up the day after her engagement party to find her fiance missing and most likely kidnapped. In searching for Benjamin Ward, Matty learns that Ben has been keeping more than his fair share of secrets from her.
He is not only deep into debt, but is also hooked on magic that causes an addiction not unlike alcohol or cocaine. The fact that her own Grandfather knew that Ben is keeping secrets from her, and attempted to use magic on him, should have been the wake up call that knocked some sense into Mattie's head. But, more about that later. Mattie, known as the Queen of biting off more than she can chew, finds herself entering a world of magic.
A world that is more dangerous than Mattie can imagine. A world that considers her to be a Reliquary, and a very powerful one at that. A Reliquary by definition is a container for holy objects. In Mattie's case, she is able to contain magics like Sensilo (sensing), Ekstazo (pleasure), Knedas (manipulation) and Strikon (pain).
As Mattie attempts to find out what happened to Ben, and who may have taken him, she encounters the one man who Ben hated more than anyone else; his older brother Asa Ward.
Mattie and Asa end up on a cross country journey from Sheboygan to Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, Las Vegas, and on to Bangkok, Thailand trying to stay one step ahead of Mob Like bosses who collect all sorts of magical relics. Can Mattie stay focused on getting Ben back, or will she fall for the dangerous and sexy Asa who pushes all of her buttons?
I really hate to discuss the negatives I found, but seriously, I need to get them off my chest. First, let's talk about Ben. Ben, I absolutely, and totally loathe you. I hate you for putting Mattie through her ordeal. I hate that you thought putting your magic addiction ahead of yours and Mattie's future was a good thing. I hate that you actually used manipulation magic on her! I believe you should be down on your hands and knees begging her for her forgiveness every single day of your rotten existence.
Asa, oh Asa how I am confused by you. I loved that you are the dangerous type. I loved how you pushed Mattie, but kept her safe at the same time. I loved how utterly and absolutely heartbreaking your past was. A past that made you disappear into the magical world where you feel at home. I loved how much you and Mattie together made total and absolute sense to me. I am sorry that Mattie's head is set in one direction. I dare hope that you make a spectacular return in Splinter, the sequel to Reliquary.
Mattie. Dear Mattie. I adore that you remained true to Ben regardless of all the crap he kept from you, and the ordeal you went through to get him back home. I don't mind that loyalty actually. In fact, I think it's a bit naive, but charming for a person to have. I have to say the scenes between you and Asa were sizzling hot, and dare I say, I prefer Asa to useless Ben? I would love if you can find out more about your abilities from your Grandfather. Do so before you no longer have him around.
Alas, like others, I choose not to like the ending of this story. I choose to not like the choices that Mattie makes. I choose to hope that Mattie rediscovers a whole new life choice before it's too late.