Review: Living Nightmare by Shannon K. Butcher

Living Nightmare
by Shannon K. Butcher
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Signet
Available: November 2nd 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Publisher

For nine years, Nika has had one goal: to save her younger sister from the Synestryn who hold her captive. Now the psychic bond Nika forged with her sibling is fading, and time is running out. But the one man who can unlock the power inside her left and never returned, leaving Nika alone to rescue a sister everyone else believes is dead.

Madoc swore to himself he would never enter Dabyr again. For his soul is nearly dead, and he fears what he might do to those he’s sworn to protect — especially Nika. If he accompanies her into the Synestryn realm, his forbidden desire for her may unleash the savage monster within him. But Nika’s need to rescue her sister soon becomes intertwined with her passion for Madoc, while the a key to victory in the war may be within her reach…

In this fourth book in The Sentinel Wars series by Shannon K. Butcher, readers are finally treated to the story of Madoc and Nika. Madoc is a fierce (maybe crazy?) and brutal warrior quickly in danger of losing his soul if he doesn’t find his mate. Madoc has always been drawn to the young and formerly frail Nika who for years was considered crazy. Nika was taken from her family 9 years ago and her sister Tori is believed to be dead, but Nika has always had a bond with Tori and Nika believes Tori is still alive somewhere. When Nika breaks free to go find her sister, Madoc is called upon to bring her home. Madoc struggles with his attraction to Nika for fear he will hurt her and knowing that when they touch each other, Nika is not the woman destined to save his soul. Or is she?

I was so excited about the release of this book because at the end of Running Scared (book 3) I was dying to see how the story between Madoc and Nika was going to unfold. It was so obvious their attraction to each other meant they would be soul mates. I also eagerly awaited more on the side story between paralyzed warrior Torr and his “care giver” Grace. And while I enjoyed watching how Madoc and Nika develop their relationship – as those two are like oil and water – I found myself getting distracted by all the various characters and other plot lines going on in the book. I had read all 3 books in the series prior to Living Nightmare and I realized I was having a hard time placing characters. It’s like the male warriors don’t having any distinguishing characteristics that makes me immediately think of scenes with them from the previous books and I found this sort of troubling. Then to see something major happen between Torr and Grace (no spoilers here!) only to find the preview of the next book is focused on two other characters had me scratching my head. How long is Butcher going to drag this thing out? There is just so much going on that perhaps there should could be fewer story lines in each book allowing more time to be spent with the characters to allow us to get to know them better.

But in the end Madoc and Nika are both very strong characters who carry the book. Madoc’s sheer fierceness (and sometimes seemingly psychotic behavior) blends well with Nika’s determination which is often laced with naivety, and I found I was rewarded with a story I felt I waited so long for. And these two particular characters have always had traits that make is impossible to forget them throughout the series. This series is one where you definitely need to read the other books or you will probably be lost if you pick up Living Nightmare as your first read in the series. But if you have been a fan of the series, then I think you will like this book.

Favorite Quote:

“If that’s really such a big problem for you, then I’ll go find one of the teenage boys downstairs, take care of the problem, and be back in ten minutes. I understand from gossip they don’t take long to finish.”

Series list:

  • Burning Alive (Sentinel Wars, #1)
  • Finding the Lost (Sentinel Wars, #2)
  • Running Scared (Sentinel Wars, #3)
  • Living Nightmare (Sentinel Wars, #4)

GoodReads Reviews

Author’s Website

Purchase Links: Amazon || Book Depository

Comments

  1. says

    I've always been intrigued by this series but I'm getting the message here it's a bit chaotic to read with the many characters, storylines and sub plots at work :S

    Best I start with book one then to make sense of it all rather then book 3, which I have on the shelves :)

  2. says

    Great review.

    I've just finished reading this as well and I'm like OHMYGOD Torr and Grace! WTF! If they don't get a HEA I will really be displeased.

    This one felt a lot more complicated then the previous books with all the sub-plots and couples.

    Though I liked it I was left feeling cold at the endding it wasn't the best.

    Love the quote you chose too! :)

  3. says

    *sigh* another series I want to start but just haven't had the time to. Ooohh I hate when something major happens between two people but then their story is told 3 books later. Drives me nuts but of course I keep reading just so I can get a glimpse of the. Ok, I'm going off topic. Nice review Samantha!

    Stephanie G
    Paranormal Haven

  4. says

    *sigh* another series I want to start but just haven't had the time to. Ooohh I hate when something major happens between two people but then their story is told 3 books later. Drives me nuts but of course I keep reading just so I can get a glimpse of the. Ok, I'm going off topic. Nice review Samantha!

    Stephanie G
    Paranormal Haven

  5. says

    My favorite part of this review is "Madoc is a fierce (maybe crazy?) " LOL
    I haven't started this series and I am dying to! I can handle a 3 Heart-er if the overall series is a good one!

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