Reviewed: February 27, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Night Watch, Book 3
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Length: 352 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Hybrid demon and Night Watch Hunter Zane Wynter always gets his man...or woman, regardless of race, gender, or...skill set. It's his job as a part of the group of bounty hunters best suited to take down the baddest of the bad, the Others who have gone over the line and hurt and killed innocents. And he's very good at his job.
Rushing into a burning building to catch the murderous vampire he'd been tasked to hunt down, however, puts him face to face with the slight body and wide, pretty eyes of Jana Carter, the vampire's next intended victim. The building comes down around them as he saves her life, but she disappears before he realizes that Jana Carter is no one's pretty little victim. She's an Ignitor, a fire starter wanted in connection with several fires in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. And she's a killer. She's also his next target.
Catching her is the least of Zane's problems, though, when she steps out of the shadows in front of a demon den to warn him about the bloodthirsty mob inside. It was his first clue that not all is what it seems in relation to the Ignitor, but as it seems everyone and their fiendish brother are trying to kill Zane and take Jana alive as soon as he snaps the cuffs on her, it certainly isn't his last.
The FBI wants her dead, some shadowy fanatic group called Perseus wants her back, Jana wants to be left alone, and Zane...the roguish and deadly demon...just wants Jana. Burn baby, burn.
This third foray into the Night Watch series is as jam-packed with action and adventure as the biggest summer movie blockbuster. Fast, fiery, and tons of fun, Cynthia Eden has hit hard with the powerful demon hybrid Zane and the wily and tenacious Jana. I've been a Zane fan since the series started, patiently (well...as patient as I ever am) waiting for his book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Zane has always struck me as a guy with lots of still water that runs deep beneath the bad boy player image, and that certainly bore out in this book. And I can't tell you how thrilled I was with Jana's character. One of the best I've read in the genre lately, her winsome and harmless appearance and skilled acting make her appear the helpless victim. Her core of molten lava over tensile steel makes her anything but. Her character had depth, complexity, and tons of appeal. Together, Zane and Jana fit perfectly, and I appreciated that Eden actually developed their relationship as the book progressed.
The plot was non-stop, if a little chaotic at times, and there did seem to be a rather large number of megalomaniacs with sanity issues running around for one book. That being said, Eden did a great job creating action that fit well with the characters and developed the plot around who and what they were. As a result, the story felt like a natural evolution of ever-increasing tension, danger, and emotion as the characters react to each situation in which they find themselves.
There wasn't a lot of world building or exposition in this book, but that's common for Eden's style. Readers glean information as they go, instead of getting told the lay of the land with each book. I've read the first two books in this series, as well as the first two books in the Midnight Trilogy, which shares a world and all its mythos with the Night Watch series, so I'm comfortable with the background, but new readers may feel ill-prepared and a bit lost as they dive into the paranormal community here. Eden also isn't a paragon of descriptive passages, so readers who favor having a clear visual of characters and scenery as a story progresses may find it difficult to do so. I would have liked a little more definition given to the locations in the book, so the book had a little more of the southern flavor of Baton Rouge, but it wasn't a serious complaint. There was more than enough action to keep me highly entertained.
I'm a fan of Cynthia Eden's books, but some I've liked some more than others. Eternal Flame is definitely on the list of those I've favored the most. The characters were particularly appealing, the action was high octane, the plot a bit messy at times but definitely layered, and the romance was a full five alarm. Yum.
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