I received a copy of Instinct free for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Book: Instinct (Halfling Chronicles Book 1)
Author: J.A. Garland
Publisher: Burst Books
Publish Date: September 2012
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Morality Rating: R (violence and sexual themes)
Readability Rating: 3 stars
In an alternate universe where paranormal species are real, underground plots and secret crimes take place. Rory Archer is a Tracker and hunts evil creatures from the Otherworld. He finds more than he bargains for when he runs into Halfling Amber, an exotic half-human and half-demon. Rory and Amber find themselves surrounded by danger as they find themselves falling in love. But can Rory and Amber outsmart the Others that now hunt them?
I found this book interesting. The idea of paranormal characters as individual races, rather than something that can be transferred (through bites or whatever) is interesting. I liked how J.A. Garland mixed the paranormal with crime thriller situations. The writing is solid, and there was action on every page.
Plot: I found the plot a little too fast-paced. I got a little confused trying to keep up with all of the twists and turns. The book certainly wasn’t lacking in action, but with a new plot element on every page, I found myself facing literary-whiplash. I would have liked to see fewer plot twists, and perhaps a little more attention on a few of the events in the story.
Characters: There were a lot of characters in the story. I found it a little challenging to keep up with who was who and what kind of creature they were. Oddly, although it seems like Amber is supposed to be the star of the series, the spotlight was taken up by Werewolf Rory for most of the book, as well as a variety of other minor characters.
Setting: I liked the setting for this story. Most fantasy books that I have read have a universe that is completely different from our own. I liked how J.A. Garland mixed the elements of crime dramas and action thrillers with the paranormal.
Writing: The writing for this book was solid. There were no glaring errors that I noticed. The only problem I had with the writing was that the descriptions were few, and so when they did pop up, they seems at odds with the story, almost like they were placed in the book as an afterthought.
When I first started reading this book, I thought for sure that it was written by a man. It reminded me a lot of books like The Interrogator’s Notebook. Honestly, I was quite surprised to find out it was written by a woman. The descriptions, characters, and the way the plot was constructed felt like it was written for men. I think the ideal audience for this book would be action-lovers.