Scarlet Rain by Kristin Cast #Review

Posted August 22, 2016 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 21 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Scarlet Rain by Kristin Cast #Review
Scarlet Rain

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: #2 The Escaped
Genres: New Adult Romance, Urban Fantasy
Published by Diversion Books
Released on May 17, 2016
Pages: 266
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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I was very curious to see what happened after the big cliff hanger in the first book so I was eager to pick up book two and continue with the story of Alek the warrior of Tartarus, Eva the Oracle, her best friend, the intrepid Bridget, and the stalwart and handsome cop, James.  I don’t know if it is because I’ve adjusted to the author’s writing style or if the writing improved, but this sequel was an improvement on the first book for me.

And yes, this is a sequel.  I suppose a person could pick it up and figure out what is going on eventually, but really it’s probably best to be read in order after Amber Smoke.

The last book ended with the next escapee from the Tartarus prison beginning to wreck havoc on Tulsa.  This time it’s a demon of disease and pestilence.  Alec and Eva are in Tartarus. Alec is recovering from having to come to Eva’s rescue and nearly using up all his energy because he stayed too long in the earth realm.  Eva is catching her breath and sorting out all the changes in her life and finally taking seriously her new duties as Oracle after meeting Alec’s mothers the Furies and seeing the weakened Tartarus.

Meanwhile, back on earth, James is trying to figure out exactly what happened when Eva disappeared right in front of his eyes.  He is under pressure for losing a suspect, but just exactly what is he supposed to tell people.  They’ll think he’s crazy.  Now, the captain has a new case for him and Schilling to work on.  Arriving on site of a double murder, James gets one look at the corpses and the neighbor’s security feed and knows the weirdness just got weirder.  There is only one source he can think of to get answers- Bridget.

Bridget is tickled to have the hottie detective there asking questions and learning the truth.  He doesn’t want to believe her and yet the truth is there and he can’t deny it.  After she has a good time seducing the befuddled man, they form a tentative alliance to work together.  Meanwhile the scarlet swarm is infecting more and more people.

Eva and Alec return just in time to team up with Bridget and James to stop the latest evil that threatens humankind and needs to be returned to prison in Tartarus.  Things grow dire and Eva is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice, but will it be enough.  And again, things end on a shocking note.

The first book was confusing and loose to me.  In fact, there were times I wanted to set it aside because it was pieced roughly together as it offered plot threads and flipped scenes.  The world building was half explained and somewhat confusing.  The characters felt like caricatures at times.  But for all that, it was an exciting story and I wanted to know what happened next.

I’m glad I stuck with it and kept going.  While some of what I mentioned above was present in this one, it was smoothed out better and the plot was stronger and more engaging.  Alec and Eva worked better in their roles and I liked that though they are attracted that they are not forcing it faster than it should be.  Now Bridget and James?  Those two jumped in with both feet.  That passionate encounter gave me whiplash.  First, he’s there at her place because he’s freaking over the weird woo woo stuff and next thing, their going at it like bunnies.  It was awkwardly described.  But, even then, I sorta laughed because this is so Bridget and it showed an interesting side to James.  I’m actually okay with them together.

The action side was exciting and was filled with the good kind of tension and pulse-pounding danger.  I don’t know what it is about plague and taking over people’s bodies, but that stuff is the scariest for me.

So, all in all, this was a good comeback.  No sophomore slump here.  I hope the books keep getting better as they go and I look forward to what comes next for this group.  I would recommend it to New Adult Urban Fantasy lovers who don’t mind a different and sometimes confusing sort of read.

My thanks to Diversion Books for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #230 NA

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • I’m glad this was smoother and stronger for you. I need to start reading more Urban Fantasy but I’m not sure this would be the series for me. I get a bit growly when books end with cliffhangers.

    • Yes, I am glad I gave the series another go, Angela, since I was rewarded by things getting better in this one. But yeah, cliffie, sorry. 😉

  • I may need to try this series before it gets too far ahead. I read the first 4 books in her House of Night series, hoping that it would get better, but I didn’t really feel the need to go on. Maybe this one will be better since the characters are older.

    • I didn’t read the HoN series so I can’t do a comparison for you. I know that one was with her mom. But I guess take the plunge with book one b/c if you get through Amber Smoke alright then this one is better. I think you’ll feel like you’re in a YA with Eva, Alex and Bridget, but James feels older though in this one, they all feel more their NA ages.

  • Always nice when the writing/story improve with each book. I’m glad to hear you had a better go with this one 🙂

    • Yes, it was a relief to know that taking the chance and picking up the next book worked so much better.

  • YAY…..ok then I am adding series to wish list 🙂

    • I was so glad it got better with this one.

  • YAY…..ok then I am adding series to wish list 🙂

  • It’s great that your perseverance paid off. Not sure if this is for me though, the mix of genres and half baked world building might not work for me well. Eep!

    • It is a tough slog through the first one and frustrating to not get strong worldbuilding so I don’t blame you for holding back.

  • oh this one does sound very different here!! I don’t mind it when books turn out like this because it can be a unique experience as a reader. And I do like mixed genres and it doesn’t happen very often so I am intrigued.

    • Yes, the Greek mythology and paranormal blended with the police stuff and new adult was a unique blend. It definitely had me curious.

  • Well that good that this book was actually better. It’s so nice when that happens.

    • I could tell near the beginning that things were going to be different and it was really nice to sit back and enjoy it more.

  • It’s always nice when the second book is better than the first one. Nice cover too.

    • For sure, Mary! Made it a better read of course, but I was also happy to see the author’s writing really improve, too.

  • I just lOVE the sound of this book! And the name is pretty friggin’ awesome, too! <3 All of the heart pounding action is something I need right now! I've been reading light books so this one sounds like it's bringing on the heavy! <3

    • It certainly does, Keionda. This foursome are great as they figure out how to battle the demon of disease and get it back to Tartarus.

  • I am glad to hear this one was an improvement over the last book. James sounds like an interesting character. And I am glad to hear the plot smoothed out in this book. Some series are better when they progress, so it sounds good that you stuck with this series and that it’s getting better now. Great review!

    • Yes, it was well worth pressing forward to the next book. Oh yes, James is the rock of the group. He keeps the investigation going even when all the weird stuff is freaking him out. I am interested to see how the third book goes.