Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla
Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 307 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release date: March 5, 2013
Series: Shaede Assassin #3
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
Source: Personal Shelf
Nothing comes easy for Darian. Her heightened powers make her indispensable to the Shaede Nation, but dangerous missions have driven her lover, Tyler, to his breaking point. Darian must salvage their bond, but a new assignment to protect Anya—a fellow Shaede and the first of their kind to become pregnant in centuries—stands in their way.
It doesn’t help that the two Shaedes are longtime rivals and share nothing besides mutual hatred. But when it becomes clear that someone—or something—is bent on destroying the expectant mother and her unborn child, Darian must put her feelings aside and track down Anya’s would-be assassin.
As she probes into Anya’s past, Darian digs up long-buried secrets—and a connection between Tyler and the mission that could destroy everything between them…
Another great book by Amanda Bonilla! For some reason I didn’t enjoy book 2 as much as I enjoyed book 1 but Bonilla redeemed herself by writing CRAVE THE DARKNESS. In this book, we see a completely new side of Darian. Usually she’s hired as an assassin but this time around her king orders her to protect Anya, who happens to be a pregnant shaede that Darian can barely stand. I like seeing this new version of Darian because we get to learn so much more about her as a character through this role reversal. Protecting someone is definitively new to her and you can tell it makes her a little uncomfortable. Or it could just be from the fact that she’s protecting someone that she more or less hates and who doesn’t want to tell her who’s trying she needs protection from.
I’m glad Bonilla introduced us to new shaede characters in this book since the previous books seemed to lack an abundance of them. Now, I’m sure there aren’t that many shaedes in existence compared to human beings, but since there is a king, I assume that there’s enough population to warrant a leader. In this book, we’re introduced to new “warrior” shaedes, including Asher who isn’t completely trustworthy. The mystery surrounding this character is intriguing and it fells like we still don’t know the whole story about him. It’s frustrating at times because he seems like a likeable character, but when he goes off and does something completely out of order, it frustrates Darian to no end. Definitively a character to watch out for!
Now, I’ve always liked Tyler as a love interest for Darian, despite his evasiveness when it comes to telling the truth and the unknown aspects of his past. But the way he hurts Darian by leaving her with a broken heart isn’t commendable. Mind you, she had it coming because she wasn’t the best girlfriend either but I guess both characters could have dealt with the situation a little differently. So when heartbroken Darian feels some attraction to the king of shaedes, Xander, she reluctantly falls for him little by little. Xander is definitively a manipulative player and for some reason I never really liked him, but I can’t blame Darian for trying to find comfort elsewhere. Despite her and Xander getting closer and closer physically, still I kept urging her to make up with Tyler. Hopefully Darian and Tyler will come to their senses and go back to how they were, because in my opinion, their relationship is the glue to the series. Tyler’s protectiveness, despite their falling out, is admirable and as a whole, he’s the best romantic choice for Dorian. Even if he is a mysterious Jinn.
What is so great about this series is that every new release reveals so much more about the characters and the shaede world. It’s almost as if the author is keeping information to herself on purpose just so that we feel like there’s still a lot of unknown variables every time we dive into a new installment. There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure, as the action keeps coming. Bonilla has the ability to surprise you in every chapter of the book. You really don’t know what she’ll throw at you next, and her literary curve balls will definitively keep you up at night, reading to find out what happens next. If you haven’t read this series yet, and you’re a big fan of urban fantasy, this can be your newest discovery!