Review: Running Scared by Shannon K. Butcher

Running Scared: The Sentinel Wars
by Shannon K. Butcher
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Onyx
Available: May 4, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book received from: Penguin

They are the Sentinels. Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes: the Synestryn. Now one Sentinel’s survival determines the fate of them all.

Lexi Johns has one purpose: to free her best friend from the hands of the Sentinels. And Zach, the Sentinel she has been running from for months, has one goal: to convince her that their destinies are entwined. For the magic that Zach has absorbed could destroy him if he doesn’t find the woman who can channel it for him. And he knows Lexi is the one.

From an early age, Lexi has been taught to fear the Sentinels. And now she is an agent of a group out to destroy them. So when Zach finds her, it is Lexi’s chance to strike at the heart of the Sentinels. But, as Lexi sees Zach’s courage, selflessness, and honor, she begins to doubt her beliefs—and is faced with an unbearable choice.

I signed up to review Running Scared by Shannon K. Butcher not knowing at the time that it was the third book in her series The Sentinel Wars. I felt in order to give a truly honest review of the book, that it was only fair I read the other two books first. I am so glad I did – and I did it fast, because I couldn’t really put them down! Three books in five days. Now having read the series I believe it is really important to read the first two books before starting this book. Butcher builds an intricate and complex paranormal fantasy world filled with a whole slew of characters that can show up at any time. A world that Butcher fills with warriors, monsters, vampires, a super old adult that looks like an eight year old, and who knows what else will be thrown at us as the series progresses. To sum up this complex world – basically the Sentinel Warriors are trying to protect humans from evil monsters. The warriors also need a female to bond to keep their soul in tact.

In Running Scared we finally get the story of Zach, a Sentinel Warrior, and Lexi, a waitress. Zach and Lexi had a brief encounter in the beginning of Burning Alive (book 1). Zach has since spent his time on the hunt to find her after she slips away from him, because he believes she is the savior of his soul. Lexi has been on the run most of her life. She is terrified of Zach and the Sentinels as she was taught from her mother at a very early age to fear them. But Lexi believes her friend Helen (again from book 1) is being held captive by the Sentinels and finally decides to give in to Zach’s pursuit in an attempt to free her friend.

As Zach and Lexi finally come together, both with their personal agendas, we are taken through the typical super yummy man wants strong-willed woman saga, but woman is resisting the man. I don’t mean for this to sound like a bad thing. The male warriors are very appealing. I find myself always rooting for them to find their female match, especially since their soul depends on it. However, the formula of the lead characters remains consistent as with Butcher’s first two books in The Sentinel Wars series. I was a little disappointed with this. In this third book of the series it is the secondary cast of characters that really shine and kept me on the couch reading this book in one sitting. The story of cold and hardened Sentinel Warrior Madoc and the frail and possibly crazy Nika had me wanting to turn the pages so fast to read more that I could barely stand it. We also get some big secrets revealed in this book, and more new characters and side stories are introduced.

I can’t deny the heat between Zach and Lexi is steamy, and I definitely rooted for them to work out their differences. It’s just this book leaves me wanting to know so much more about all the other characters. With some authors the introduction of so many characters can be confusing to the reader, but I think Butcher does a fair job of weaving everything together. I enjoyed this book more than the first two, but again, it was because of Madoc and Nika and not because of our lead hero and heroine. For that reason I can’t give it a full 4 hearts. I walk away from Running Scared with one constant thought – I don’t think I can make it until November when Butcher’s fourth book in this series, titled Living Nightmare, is released. I need to know what happens between many of the characters right now!

Favorite Quote:

At this rate she would be kissing his ass by dawn. Which didn’t sound like an entirely bad thing. If his ass was as nice under his jeans as it looked, she could really enjoy herself.

Purchase a copy of Running Scared: The Sentinel Wars

Other books in the series:

  • Burning Alive (Sentinel Wars, #1)
  • Finding the Lost (Sentinel Wars, #2)
  • Living Nightmare (Sentinel Wars, #4) (November, 2010)

Running Scared: The Sentinel Wars on GoodReads

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  1. says

    That happens to me now and then. (being more into the secondaries) I'm always disappointed when I have to wait a long time for the book that focuses on them LOL. Very nice review Samantha. Thank you!!

  2. says

    I was so excited for Lexi's and Zack's story but I felt it was a bit…flat? I wanted less relationship fighting and more I'm going to kick your ass, demon fighting. I thought the first one was more interesting plot wise than this one.

    Now I can't wait to get my hand's on Murdock's (is that his name?) book.

  3. says

    Butcher is definately one of the authors that I am going to gorge myself on when I get my Paranormal mojo back…

    I have heard so much good things about her world building and her protags…

    Thanks for your thoughts..


  4. says

    I enjoyed this series – I really need to catch up before it gets too far ahead of me. And I'm really interested in Zach and Lexi's storyline – I thought they sizzled (or had the potential to sizzle) in their brief encounter in book 1.