Saturday, March 19, 2016

#Saturday Review - Of Scions and Men by Courtney Sloan (Urban Fantasy)

Series: American Scions # 1
Format: E-Galley, 296 pages
Release Date: February 22, 2016
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Geopolitical babysitting while arresting preternatural killers, it’s just the daily grind for Scion Rowan Brady. Brash and sarcastic, Rowan has sold her life, her career and her very blood to the controlling paranormal ruling class of America, all to make sure her kid brother can eat.
Now she uses her powers as a scion to kick the ass of any preternatural creature idiotic enough to break the rules and prey upon humanity without a license. All it costs her is her freedom and a pint or two per week to her new Master.
But juggling her job and duties becomes even tougher when she is tasked with keeping a contingency of diplomats from Canada from getting gnawed on. However, negotiations for an International Blood Exchange are interrupted when bodies start showing up.
Now Rowan must rely on her talent and wit to defend the society she despises to save the lives she’s sworn to protect. But as she stumbles into the truth, she chances becoming a target of not only these killers, but of her own government. With shifters, ghosts, vampires and psychics all watching her, can she stop the killings before she is silenced?

Key Characters: Rowan Brady, Devon Shuvalov, Nadia Gavrilova, and Carson Holt

Setting: Chicago post Reclamation America

*The What*  

After a global economic collapse and an epidemic of nuclear terrorist attacks, the world has been decimated. To protect the world and their food supply, vampires rallied with other preternaturals world-wide to come to humanity's defense. Doing so, they took control of all governments to restore civilization and insure the survival of the human populace. Fifty years later, they have created a world with healthcare and order, costing only an reliable and tradable supply of blood.

Orphaned in this dark new world after her parents died in a car accident, Rowan Brady grew tired of watching her younger brother struggle in poverty. She sold her life, her career, and her very blood to become a Scion, a guardian by day and source of blood by night for a powerful vampire of the New American ruling class. What Rowan gained was superhuman speed, strength, and heightened senses. What she lost was her freedom. But she has found one silver lining in her new life as a Scion… taking down bloodsuckers guilty of blood theft. When monsters are the Government and blood is the currency, it is often Rowan's job to protect humanity from its very saviors.

*The Review*

Of Scions and Men is the first installment in author Courtney Sloan's American Scion series. Protagonist Rowan Brady is an officer for the DEC (Department of Energy Conservation). The DEC ensures compliance by vampires and humans. Rowan is what is called a Blood Theft specialist. She is the person who gets to run down vampires who abuse their power and take blood from unsuspecting humans without permission. 

In this universe, America has closed off its borders to almost all outsiders but there is hope or change after Devon hosts a diplomatic visit from Canadian vampire Nadia Gavrilova, and her scion Carson Holt (who are hoping to foster open borders between the countries). But, as things are getting started, the DEC, under President Selvic Romaric, demands that Devon and Rowan solve the mystery of unknown foreign vampires killing women who tested positive for ley hormones that are key to making a scion.

As a scion, Rowan and Devon are linked through blood. He drinks from her, she gains strength and speed and perhaps, longevity that non-scions don't enjoy. The only negative is that Devon can listen in on all of her conversations whether she likes it or not and she is considered a monster by non-scions or worse. Rowan is pretty much stuck with her situation since she would do anything to protect her younger brother Will from going hungry and living on the street. But, that is who Rowan is. She's a kick-ass, sarcastic, and perhaps a bit mouthy at times when she needs to bite her tongue heroine who doesn't play well with others. 

Plus, there is the whole return of the ex (Curtis) who is now working for a Human Gangster named Masterson to return humans to being in control of themselves and not relying on the vampires. It will take a whole lot of patience, stamina, luck, and pure driven desire, to survive what happens next.  Can vampires and scions work together in order to solve the murders, or will they both be disgraced and eliminated by the Basement? 

I paused on this rating for a few days because of certain aspects of editing that fell through the cracks. I don't care for the fact that in one sentence Rowan is talking about Carson, and yet the next sentence she is talking about her ex-loser Curtis. I have bitten my tongue over editing issues in the past, but I just can't understand how something simple as ensuring you are talking about the same character can be missed. I guess since this is an ARC, one can expect loose ends.

I will be reading the sequel whenever Curiosity Quills announces its release. There are a whole lot of questions remaining after the events of the last few chapters, and what they will mean for Rowan and Devon in the future.  

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