August 17, 2012 by thebookslayer
Exiled by M.R. Merrick
Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase’s birthday, the bloodline stopped. Exiled without the Circle’s protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle’s agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can’t do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna — a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle’s plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other’s life depending on it.
Look at that cover! I love it! Love. It.
I absolutely love books that are not the typical girl or guy on the cover. I love trying to figure out what part of the book resembles the cover, it’s like a game of pictionary but more like covionary. lol Okay I am done with that. You get the idea.
This book hooked me from the beginning. Now you will have to forgive me because while I was reading this I kept flashing to Percy Jackson. If you know the series I am talking about than you know how awesome it was so seriously give this book a try!
Chase Williams has blond hair and blue eyes but the overall feel that Logan Lerman had in the movie is how I picture Chase. That kid that knows he has to do what needs to be done and just does it. He takes no shit from people but he still makes mistakes because he is at that point in life where he is transitioning from teenager to adult.
Now back to what I was saying about the beginning of the book. We get a glimpse of what Chase might be before we get a flashback.
“I knew the scratches would fade, the scabs would heal, and the throbbing ache of having been thrown into a brick wall would be gone. By tomorrow I’d be good as new: one of the few perks to being a hunter.”
Oh yeah this is going to get good. We got a hunter who is going to go out and hunt down evil.
Then we shift into how Chase got to be where he is. Let me tell you it is a sad, sad story. I have to say it, I cried during this book. Just letting you know up front there are some tear-jerker moments.
We flashback to Chase having just completed killing a demon and he is getting ready to find out what gift he has been given that will aid him. Now this part is cool because these gifts are elemental. His father has fire and his mother water. So it is up in the air about what he is going to get.
“But there wasn’t even a spark.”
Well you can imagine that it devastated him. But that wasn’t the worst part of it all. Oh no! His father goes and throws Chase’s mother out because no son of his could ever be without a power, therefore he must not be his son.
Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad things were running through my mind that I want to do to his father! Seriously, that is just F*-ing ridiculous.
So Chase and his mother now have to live outside of the Circle. Honestly, that was the best thing for them, but like most hard choices in life, it takes Chase a while to see that.
Now Chase is living in a crappy apartment with his mother who works herself to the bone. Chase has almost daily attacks by demons who are out to prove they can best Riley Williams son, since he is a legend among the hunters & demons.
One day Chase runs into someone he didn’t expect. A half-blood who actually helped him kill a demon. Man, is he ever confused. The boy can’t help but be attracted to her but with her being half-demon he is also repulsed too.
Meet Rayna :
“Raven hair spilled over her pale shoulders with hints of red highlighting the occasional strand. A tight leather top revealed a sliver of toned stomach and a tease of cleavage. Black pants hugged her hips and long slender legs and met knee-high boots. Her skin glistened in the light, but the most noticeable of her features were her eyes.
Bright green orbs sparkled with an odd glow: demon’s eyes. They had the slit pupils of a cat that I’d never seen on anything other than a house pet or a shifter in animal form.”
But the interesting part is that Chase’s father’s old “dead” partner (yes I know that is a mouthful) happens to be Rayna’s keeper. I know interesting twist right. Marcus Starkraven offers to help Chase out. However, Chase is in overload so he decides to sit on this information till he has a chance to digest it.
Once at home he finds out that his mother has known about Marcus all along and encourages him to take Marcus up on his offer.
“We’re giving you an opportunity to belong to something and not fight alone for what you believe in. Believe me when I say that feels pretty good.”
We all see where this is going, right? Chase goes over to Marcus’ place and he gets to workout and train etc. But while that is taking place Chase and Rayna are trying to track down what the Circle’s big secret is. Something is going down and they want to know what. Rayna gets to take him into territory where demons aren’t that different from hunters or humans. The question remains : Can he change the way he was raised to think in order to fight for what is right?
You will just have to read it to find out. *wink* *wink*
Oh yes, Chase does have to face a challenge or two throughout this book. I don’t want to give it all away. All I can say is that it is really cool and Chase may or may not find out he has a talent after all. Just Saying.
The ending of this book was bittersweet but I think it was a perfect start to a great series. I can honestly say that I am looking forward to reading the next book Shift. So…
If you are looking for a book that:
*is about a boy becoming a man
*complete with challenges to fulfill deals
*danger from all sides
*protecting the innocent
*finding out where one belongs
“You and me, always.”
Than you need to read this book because it is definitely for you.
What I loved about this book :
- I loved the challenges that Chase faces in order to find what he is looking for.
- I loved Chase’s mother and thought she was important role model.
- I loved that M.R. Merrick used elemental powers. I honestly haven’t read very many books with this kind of setting. I think the only other one that comes to mind is Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series.
- I thought that the flashbacks were a great way to slowly introduce history that we, the reader, needed to know. I loved that we weren’t hit over the head with fact upon fact. There was always just enough for us to get the idea but never letting on to too much.
- Rayna’s character was hard not to fall in love with. She has that sassy-sweet-do-what-I-say-or-die vibe. I loved it! It is always refreshing to have a heroine who can keep up with the hero and not rely on him to get everything done.
- Riley Williams played the perfect douchebag-of-the-year or life father! Honestly, from the moment he entered the story I just wanted to hate him and did well still do.
- Last, but not least, that ending was pure gold. I can’t believe that M.R. Merrick went there with the first book but Damn, it was tragically awesome.
The reason it did not get 5 Stars:
Obviously it is only .5 away from a 5 star rating so I don’t have much to say in this area. I really only found one thing that didn’t sit well with the rest.
- There were a few spots scattered here and there where the flow seemed to become disrupted. It seemed like Mr. Merrick knew what needed to be said but just seemed to miss it just a little. I can’t explain it very well, other than the flow of the words and emotions seemed to break off for half a page or so and then it jumped right back on track.
“…people fear what they don’t understand.”
“But he’s so cute when he gets all determined and commanding, isn’t he? … It’s not cute, it’s very manly!”
“Take care in your actions, hunter. There will be many who wish you harm. You stand in the way of many wills and they will all try to overcome you. You must remember: you cannot fight fire with fire,”
Recommendation : If you enjoy books like the Percy Jackson series, about a boy coming of age with challenges and danger all around than give this book a try. It really does stand out among the Young Adult Paranormal Genre.
Before I end I want to thank M.R. Merrick for gifting me a copy of this wonderful book for an honest review.