ARC provided by Ink Monster Books and Aileen Erin via Xpresso Book Tours. All opinions are mine and freely given.
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05-15: I've been wanting to read 'Alpha Erased (Alpha Girls Book 9)' by Aileen Erin for months. Literally since the cover was unveiled, it grabbed my attention and the synopsis sounded incredibly tense.
According to the blurb, the story is about Tessa, a twenty-one year old girl who's part witch and part werewolf, but 100% the unofficial leader of a supernatural alliance known as 'The 13.'
The group basically spends their nights fighting off everything bad-- vampires, fey, demons, you name it. Initially, that's where we find them, waking up to a battle. But after the end of what seems to be more of a minor skirmish, she gets a desperate call from her brother, Axel. Then she, her mate Dastien, and a couple others go tearing off to try to save him.
Faced with an impossible choice, Tessa sacrifices herself to save those she loves. Dastien hears her urgent plea for him to save her brother and then their bond goes dark. Absolutely silent. She's gone and there's no sign of her kidnappers.
"I didn't know how or when, but I would find her. If not in this life, then I'd find her in death."
Unable to hear her or feel her along their connection, nearly half of the book focuses on the quest to locate her. Considering a lengthy amount of time passes in the story, this makes sense, but it's also a bit dull to read. Mostly pages filled with self-loathing and self-pity on her mate's part, though it's understandable, along with the process of trying to seek out answers.. it just dragged a bit.
With all the chasing around they had to do, I think it could have been really interesting. The book is definitely padded though. Erin loves to repeat herself. In some cases, I know what she was doing. She was trying to show Dastien obsessing over what he could have done differently and what might yet happen. In other cases, it was literally restating parts of phrases in reverse.
"She'd just disappeared as if she never existed.
But she did."
"The night seemed to go on forever, but it didn't."
"She looked like a stranger staring at me, but she wasn't."
It'd be easy enough to excuse once or twice, but it's a frequently occuring problem for me throughout the book. I found myself gritting my teeth with each additional occurence.
That's not to say the book is bad, it really isn't. Her structure is fine and from a conceptual aspect it's quite interesting.
When Dastien is finally reunited with Tessa, there's no recognition of him in her eyes. He can't feel her magic or her wolf beneath the surface either. It's as if everything about her has been removed or locked away.
Once these two meet up again, near the halfway mark in the novel.. that's where the story begins to evolve. Watching him struggle with how to help her, how to keep her safe.. that kept my focus. The magic involved to change Tessa like that was unique. I enjoyed the creativity Erin showed in making that work.
There were some good quotes too. Some funny moments and supporting characters with lots of potential. Van, one of the fey helping them, and Samantha.. a magic user, were both integral in helping me connect to the story.
"Right. So, maybe don't growl at me. Or at least don't bite me, okay? I've got enough problems to worry about without being all furry and s***."
Admittedly, for a USA Bestselling author on the ninth book in a series, it wasn't exactly what I'd hoped for. I'd like to see her expand on her descriptive writing and get outside her character's heads a bit, but it still moved me. Dastien's suffering was hard to watch at times, but I'm glad I was there to bear witness.
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05-14: I'm struggling a bit because it's taking a really long time to get to what seemed to be the plot of the book, I'm still not there.. and the writing is just not as strong as I'd expected. Gonna be rough trying to finish it in time and I've had 3 days. lol.
05-13: Hm, this isn't quite what I was expecting. But we'll see.
05-12: Starting this tomorrow, for the blog tour on Friday. I've been wanting to read it since the cover reveal months ago.. and I'm hoping it will be wonderful!