Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review/Excerpt–Taking back Sunday (Incarnate #1) by Cristy Moran

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                                                          Published March 11th 2014 by Cristy Moran
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After five years on the run, Sunday has finally settled into a seemingly normal life in Columbia, South Carolina. What her two best friends don’t know is that Sunday has a secret past. She is the Incarnate, a conduit of mystical energy transcendent of the mundane and the divine.

For most of her life, she served under Bernadette, the most powerful witch in the Northwest. Her power is terrifying, and what she remembers of her past—and what she doesn’t—haunts her. In the year that she’s been attempting to be anything but the Incarnate, Sunday has fought her abilities tooth and nail, but it’s been worth it. When Sunday joins her friends’ coven for an innocent gathering, Sunday discovers a darkness hidden beneath the blanket of the coven’s magic and she is determined to find out who is behind it and what she has planned.

For the last four years, Cyrus has been the point man on the contract to recapture the Incarnate and deliver her to the Pastophori of Iset. A gifted tracker and a fearless werewolf, he harbors a wild, inexplicable passion for the Incarnate that has driven him to hunt her. He was one of the original captors that brought her to Bernadette when his obsession with her began. Having found her, Cyrus and his pack find themselves torn between two objectives: take her by force and deliver her to yet another group of fanatics, or help her uncover the traitor among her coven.

Sunday Collage w links


As Cyrus and Sunday’s eyes met, the world shifted. The stale stench of cigarette and pungent clove smoke lifted. The penetrating music and the muffled shouting that passed for conversation at the club quieted. In less than a second, Cyrus was utterly changed. Cyrus’ soul settled. In the place of the consuming hate he’d nursed for over a decade, he knew peace. His entire body relaxed, and his mind quieted. His heart froze. The breath caught in his chest.

Sunday’s body swayed as her friend tugged to keep her moving forward, but she stood her ground. Even after Cyrus released her arm, her eyes remained locked with his while her friend asked what the matter was. Her cheeks flushed. As soon as she smiled, her eyes followed suit shimmering like honey.

Another handful of seconds passed when she finally looked away, bent her head slightly, and lowered her chin. She was blushing. Smiling. Tilting her face up, she wrinkled her nose coyly and batted her eyelashes.

“Do I know you?” When Sunday spoke, her voice drowned out every other sound in the room. She smiled again, awaiting his response.

His chest tightened.

All those years he obsessively chased her, and she didn’t even know he existed. Now, she looked up at him sheepishly and more adorable than he ever imagined. She wasn’t rushing to leave. She wasn’t running away. Minutes ago, he was dead-set on tearing her to pieces. It had occurred to him in the past that he would be unable to turn her over to his contractors alive. He considered the very real possibility that, when he eventually found her, she would inspire such blind fury that he might unleash his wolf and tear out her throat. Now, however, confronted with her in the flesh, his anger melted.

“No,” he painfully responded. For such a small word, it took a mountain of effort to say it. It was all he could do to keep from choking on the lie. She looked at him for another long moment.

“Too bad.”

She turned and walked away. Seconds later, Cyrus remained, staring at the gaping hole left by her absence. Her words echoed as she left him standing there feeling more lost and confused than ever in his life.

“What was that about, Cy?”

Cyrus didn’t have an answer. Not allowing his thoughts to delve into their momentary encounter any longer, Cyrus focused on the task at hand. The wolf couldn’t afford to let his prey on too loose a leash. Now, more than ever, she couldn’t get away.

Cyrus Collage w links


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1. Rebel Girl - Bikini Kill

2. Little Lies - Fleetwood Mac

3. Midnight Creeper - Eagles of Death Metal
4. Devon – Grimes

5. Burn the Witch – Queens of the Stone Age

6. It's a Curse - Wolf Parade

7. Wolf Like Me - TV on the Radio

8. Soon - My Bloody Valentine

9. If the World Ends – Guillemots

10. The Queen of all Returns - Dead Meadow

11. Demons - Sleigh Bells

12. Witchcraft – Wolfmother

13. The Lucid Dream - The Life and Times

14. Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac

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Well, where to go with this review? I liked the book as a whole, it was very well constructed and the writing was perfect for grabbing the reader and drag them into a dark, scary and extremely treacherous world of magic and supernatural beings. Taking Back Sunday was INTENSE! And gritty, with angst and hot, nasty sex, and characters that would not be out of place on Sons of Anarchy. (One of my favorite shows, by the way, so I really appreciate Opie in the teaser pic) Buuuut, not what I would call a romance. So if you are looking for warm fuzzy, or swaying daisy fields.... it ain't here. There were some romantic elements, but they are by no means the focus of the book.

I would classify this as a New Adult Urban Fantasy, even though it is thankfully not written in first person. I believe this makes the book exponentially better, and gave me the opportunity to enjoy a book that is rather outside the parameters of my wheelhouse. My favorite thing about Taking Back Sunday, besides the actual story, which was very compelling, was Sunday herself. She was an outstanding lead (no gender assignations here) and after enduring what she has should be broken and suicidal. She's a fighter and she damn well has to be.

Then there is Cyrus. Hmmmm, my first impression of Cyrus was "OK, shaggy, psycho shifter who could use a shock collar and a good neutering." He is about as anti-hero as your can get without being smack dab in the middle of dastardly villain territory. (yeah, I'm a fan of labels. And?) He improves enough that I cancelled his vet appointment...... for now. I haven't ruled out estrogen therapy though. He has issues. But, I believe he might be a late bloomer who has a core of, if not goodness, at least decency. It's his feelings for Sunday that set him off (typical male), but he has such a violent reaction to her he attributes it to evil. Like I said, he is a work in progress throughout the book.

While this is not my first choice of book to grab for a relaxing weekend read, I can definitely appreciate the talent it has taken to create this world and these very, very unique characters. There are also times when a book of this type fits the bill one hundred percent. In those times, I can think of no better choice than Taking Back Sunday. I will have the second book, Trail of the Dead, ready and waiting for the next stormy night when dark and edgy are just the thing. Well done.

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                          ~ Fun Facts ~

1. One time, I was offered a job at the White House. But I was in middle school then, and I couldn’t take it. True story. white_house_back-50x50

2. Neil Diamond called me on the phone one time and woke me up from a nap. Yes. That Neil Diamond. And I cried because, seriously, it was amazing and I was overwhelmed.  images

3. I know all the words to Wayne’s World by memory and can recite the entire script at the drop of a hat. 1

4. My favorite fictional character of all time is Dr. John “Trapper John” McIntyre from the novel and movie MASH.  images (1)

5. I am tall: 5’11”, and I’ve been this height since I was thirteen years old.  download

6. I did a two-week-long Shakespeare study abroad at Stratford Upon Avon in England when I was in college.  Stratford_Shakespeare_1900

7. I absolutely love going to the dentist.  download (1)

8. Technically, I was once in a high-speed police car chase. I wasn’t the felon, nor was I the cop. I was somewhere in the middle when my friend who was driving at the time said, “Wanna be in a high-speed car chase?” to which I answered, “Gun it!” and we did.  download (2)

9. Of all the colors I’ve dyed my hair, I prefer washed out blue the most.  tumblr_m7xpunOWv51rbicmeo1_250

10. My cat is named after a comic book character of a little girl who doesn’t realize that she is dead, Lenore, and my dog is named after Indiana Jones and Sherlock (Henry Holmes).  download (3)

Profile 2
Cristy Moran lives in Miami, FL. She is a college librarian some of the time, a reader and writer most of the time, and a knitter much less of the time than she was six months before she took up writing again. She’s also a nerd and a geek, and proud to be.

Cristy writes the books that she likes to read. Her women are strong and outspoken and her men run the gamut. Love stories abound in Cristy's work because, really, aren't love stories the best? There's always a killer soundtrack running in the background of her novels - all you need to do is turn to the playlist to know what's up.


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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting today! Loved your review and the images for the fun facts!! LOL <3