Title: Killing Time
Author: Elisa Paige, http://elisapaige.shupeweb.com/
Publisher: Carina Press http://www.carinapress.com/
Pub Date: 08/22/2011
Category: ADULT: Urban Fantasy
Killing Time is another stunning and highly original urban fantasy from Carina Press, one where Native American supernaturals run alongside the traditional European kind and the fae are the nastiest I’ve ever seen. They also genetically engineer assassins and keep them as slaves to do their dirty work for them.
Genetically engineered warrior Sephti would go to any lengths to destroy the fae that made her their killing machine. Finally escaping servitude, she has meticulously planned revenge against her former masters, and time is running out. The last thing she needs is to be taken captive by a man who hates the fae as much as she does-and thinks she’s one of them.
Sephti learns her captor is Koda, an ancient Native American guardian determined to save his people from annihilation by the fae. Though he seems to loathe everything about Sephti, she can’t help but notice his incredible strength and powerful sensual allure.
As their distrust turns to desire, Sephti and Koda become allies. Their love will have to withstand their enemies’ supernatural onslaught-and Sephti’s planned suicide mission against the fae…
The uniqueness of Killing Time is its incredibly diverse cast of supernatural creatures and in particular, the nature of the two main characters. Sephti comes from an engineered race of barbaric, rather animalistic creatures where fighting prowess gains you the greatest respect, winning is the top priority and submission in all things is the fate of the looser. She’s a tough cookie, but unlike the rest of her kind, has developed enough awareness to understand her situation and get out. Koda, the Native American guardian is the quintessential gentle giant – not actually gigantic, just a big bloke, but you get the idea. At first, he assumes that she’s as worthy of his hatred as the rest of her kind, but he soon discovers how different she is, and as the book progresses and love blossoms, she develops even more into a being with a heart and soul.
The path to a happy ending isn’t straightforward however. As well as having to avoid the fae master that wants to kill her, she has to fight prejudice from Koda’s people, and her own sense of worthlessness. He fights his own preconceptions about her and later in the story, his grief and the draw of his ancestors, and both end up the target of misguided supernatural slayers. Their love grows naturally in the course of their trials and eventually, Sephti discovers that she is indeed capable of love, something the fae know nothing about. Part of this process is Sephti proving, almost to the point of her death, to the Native American chief (and hence to herself) that she is capable of curbing her animal instincts and showing qualities more noble than those usually attributed to her people.
With so many factions and unclear allegiances between various supernatural creatures and humans, the plot was never predictable. I loved that the situation where a vampire declared himself on TV and slaughtered a television crew to prove it, resulted in the government turning to the Native American elders for help in handling all the unmasked supernaturals. The resulting chaos that ensued in the human world was as scary as it was believable.
Killing Time is as gritty as the genre expects with fierce battles and cruel masters, but the love is real and the characters shine. It’s a good long read and one you won’t want to put down. I give it 5 stars and recommend it to all lovers of Urban Fantasy, especially if you want something a bit different.