Several years back, don’t ask me when, maybe around 2007, I discovered a heroine with a really cool name. Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson Guardian series was smart, sexy and, for me, something new and different. I gobbled up each book as soon as it was released.
Now Ms. Arthur has a new heroine. Her name is not nearly as cool, but Tiger is a wonderful protagonist/champion. After reading City of Light, I had to catch my breath. The action in this first book of a new series is pretty much non-stop. Do not expect quiet contemplation from Tiger. Expect results!
The world of the Outcast series is populated with humans, shifters, vampires and the Others. The vampires are the beastly variety. With no higher-functioning brains, survival is all they care about. The Others are the late arrivals on the scene. A century ago, the war between humans and shifters tore openings in the veil between this world and another, allowing entry of the Others. Vampires and the Others are the predators. Humans and shifters are the prey. Bitter enemies, they allied to fight the Others. Now a truce exists, tenuous at best, antagonist much of the time.
But wait, there is one more type of being. The dechet are super-powered beings created by humans to battle the shifters. All but wiped out by the war, Tiger is a lone dechet, living with the ghosts of more of her kind. Her talents are many. Her friends are non-existant. Except for ghosts, mostly children, that live with her in the bunker that once housed the dechet nursery. And therein lies Tiger’s motivation.
When children start disappearing, Tiger springs into action. All she has to do is think about what happened to Cat and Bear and the other children and she is chomping at the bit to do something. She teams up with a group of shifters, if you can call a lone wolf a team player. Shifters and dechet hate each other so she allows the group to think she is a half-breed shifter. I liked this constant distrust between allies. It makes thing difficult and, therefore, interesting.
I was expecting something in the area of romance, but it really is not there. That is not a bad thing. For Tiger, inviting others into her life is not going to be something that happens quickly. Plus, no romance means no detractions from the main plot. There are two men in the story she is attracted to. One is the shifter Jason who is also attracted to her. But neither trusts the other and Jason hates dechet. The other is a an old friend, Sal. While she will resist one, she will use the other to help her accomplish her task. I see a slowly brewing romance taking shape, it is not going to happen immediately. Maybe in book 3 or 4….
City of Light refers to a city area called Central. At night, to repel vampires and the Others, Central is lit up with giant UV lights, to keep daylight going when the sun is not out. There is another city-like area called Chaos. Full of shadows, Chaos does not welcome strangers. Tiger travels between the two inhabited areas, so you are treated to the full color spectrum of city life in this post-war world.
There are a lot of great secondary characters. First of all, there are the child ghosts Cat and Bear. Charming and vulnerable, they are the heartwarmers. Then there is the contingent of shifters working with Tiger. Mean, untrusting, and powerful they add tension and interest to the scene and relevance to the shifter/dechet enmity. I look forward to seeing this working relationship develop.
I think I can safely say that if you are a Keri Arthur fan, City of Light will NOT disappoint you. I’m not sure I should make comparisons, because City of Light is truly a new unique series, but I am going to point out a few things. Tiger is a Riley-Jensen-like heroine. That is, she is not really a soldier, but can hold her own. She is a heroine with supernatural abilities who is always charging into situations that are sure to be extremely dangerous, despite her talents. Just like Riley Jenson. Since it was always impossible to predict how Tiger or Riley were going to get out of the predicament, you just have to keep reading. Until the end.
City of Light ends with a great speech from Tiger. I was waiting for her to sound off through most of the book, and she did in small, ways. But whew! That last go-to-hell speech was a doozy! The story also ends with some resolution, but with a lot of unanswered questions. It just barely escapes my dreaded cliff hanger down-grading. But I am hooked for at least the next book now. I hope I don’t have to wait long!
ARC provided by NetGalley.
5 Stars – I loved it!