Title: The Claimed
Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing
Category: ADULT: paranormal romance
I had mixed feelings about this book, perhaps because I’d just finished reading a very different kind of romance, one with deep characterisation and a powerful underlying theme. In comparison, this lacked depth and sensitivity. However, looked at by itself and in terms of its genre, it was an entertaining enough read with some good things to recommend it.
The fantasy element was different, something I always enjoy. The love story was between two kids from different sides of the track, one a Shadow Hunter (no, not the Cassandra Clare variety) and the other a Light Hunter. These paranormals live amongst humans and feed off energy. When humans came to the Americas they brought a pox with them which infected the Hunters and split them into two groups. Those with some immunity became the Light Hunters, though most of them lost the ability to collect energy for themselves and became dependant on the strongest members of their clans to share their energy with them. Those who carried the pox became the Shadow Hunters. They discovered that feeding from humans and Light Hunters kept the pox at bay, so that’s who they hunted. The result was a long standing war between the two kinds of Hunters.
Victoria is the equivalent to a princess to the Light Hunters and Christopher,a prince of the Shadow Hunters. Christopher has discovered that returning to the old ways of collecting energy from nature keeps the pox at bay without them having to kill humans and Light Hunters. He and his few followers have left his cruel pox-ridden father’s compound and set up their own. He and Victoria meet without knowing who each other are and their connection is sensual, irresistible and, they soon discover, forbidden.
However, the Hunters are in decline, possibly dying out, and both heirs need to mate with someone strong to ensure the future of their calm. Add to that the idea of the Hunters having to mate at their equinox (happening to them now) and you have an urgency for both Christopher and Victoria that makes their connection even harder to ignore. It is just possible that if they can overcome their fear and prejudice, their union might be the very thing they need to save their race, but convincing their clans seems next to impossible and first they have to learn to trust each other. Murderous factions on both sides, motivated by hatred and jealousy, do their best to keep the two lovers apart, even if it means war –and it does.
It’s a strong plot, the characters are likable (except for the baddies) but the best thing about the book is the descriptions of the Hunter’s auras and the way they work with power. Beautiful brightly coloured auras sparkle with silver and orbs of energy form in the Hunter’s hands and become powerful weapons. The descriptions of their sexual union are too hot for teenagers, but they also speak of the union of their energies in a very powerful and evocative way.
Apparently, Caridad Piñeiro is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, which is all the more reason why this book shouldn’t have had flaws, but it did, things that should have been picked up by an editor. Some of the prose I found surprisingly clumsy, but the worst thing was repetition so unnecessary that I found myself saying, “yeah, ok, ok I got that already.” Maya, a succubus style of Hunter, and Christopher’s father’s actions got old very quickly. With Maya I found myself saying, “find a new mantra, darling.”
If you don’t want anything other than a light bit of entertainment, it’s worth a read. I give it 3 stars.