Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Series: Nora Jacobs, Book 1
Genres: Paranormal, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Polyamorous, Reverse Harem
After living your whole life as a loner, afraid to make connections with others for for of their reaction to you, must be hard. Yet that’s exactly what Nora has to deal with every day of her life. Not only did she have to shy away from touching others because of her powers, but Nora believes she’s been cursed – it’s the only way she can explain the draw others feel towards her.
While it took me a while to get into the story, I really started to enjoy the characters and the underworld of Detroit that May created. Nora is a snarky young adult – and that’s something that I can relate to (being one myself) – and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Of course, she has difficulties interacting with others in a nice way since she’s had to spend her whole life fending off others. I have to admit, that sounds like it would suck.
Overall, I didn’t feel as if the world was explored too much in a story that’s dealing with an investigation. Instead, I almost felt as if Nora’s powers and happenstance circumstances were used to move the story along at a pace faster than I would have liked. While the character development in this novel was pretty good, the world building was lacking (in my opinion). I’m hoping that the world is explained further in the rest of the series as I see a lot of promise in this story.
While I could easily see Detroit in my mind’s eye, having family in Windsor and visiting multiple times a year, I don’t think that it’d be easy for the average reader to be able to picture the Ambassador Bridge or Terrance’s car disappearing from sight under it. Of course, this is one of the best describes scenes of the world and can actually be placed in Detroit proper. Other than this, I didn’t have any strong mental images of the world which May has created.
If you’re looking for a fun read about a girl discovering the truths about the underworld, and fending off the attentions of the males around her, you might enjoy this read. I can admit that the read was an enjoyable one and I look forward to continuing on with the series in order to see how the characters continue to interact and the relationships develop.
My favourite part of this read was probably the mystery surrounding Nora’s powers. I love how little Nora knows about them, how being a human with powers makes her think that she’s been cursed. I also enjoy how the friends she’s made in the underworld also aren’t sure what she is or why she’s a human with abilities of her own. I look forward to Nora slowly figuring out more about her powers – especially that über strong sirens-type power that she was able to unleash in order to save her life.
It was also cool that Nora was hoping she was at least part succubus – if only so Cecile could be her tutor and show her how to control her powers. It must suck knowing that you draw others to you without being able to tone it down when you don’t actually want the attention. Especially since you’ve mostly only had negative male attention throughout your life. (Though Parker is certainly trying to change that.)
Speaking of vampires, Henry is real piece of work! Not only did he try to claim Nora as his mate without first talking to her about her own opinion on the matter, not only did he try to forcefully change her so that she wouldn’t have the will to turn him away any longer (though thankfully Nora was able to stab Henry with a makeshift stake to get him off her), he’s the idiot who compelled her to the point where her life was at risk. Boy does Henry suck.
Having a vamp like Henry in her life isn’t going to make Nora change her opinion on the creatures. Vampires being the reason that her mother is dead was already a strike against them and Henry is just making things worse. Nora’s fear of her blood being sucked by one of them is totally valid and having that vision of Henry with his lover couldn’t have made it easier on her. Especially not when she realized that Henry wanted to do that very same thing with her.
Thankfully, not every man that she met was as awful as Henry.
Of course we’ve got Terrance who claims Nora as clan and goes all Papa Bear on her. I’m not going to lie, this is my favourite trope of a found family. You could say I have a soft spot for the troll because of it. It helps that Terrance was willing to literally rip people limb from limb in order to protect Nora. Heck, he was even willing to fight Henry when he attacked her – and Henry’s the most powerful vamp in the city so there would be a lot of backlash to this, even if Terrance was being driven by instinct alone.
Then, of course, we have Parker. The one vampire that Nora seems to have positive emotions towards. Even before I glanced at the synopsis for the second book in the series, Don’t Cheat Me, I knew that he’d show back up as the main love interest in the series. Because I know he’ll be a huge part of the rest of the series, there’s not much I’m going to say about him here other than the fact that he seems like a decent guy. He has to be, being able to stop himself from sucking Nora dry when she forces him to get his strength back by drinking from her even knowing that her blood has addictive properties.
And then we have Oliver. The sorcerer who’s extremely strong and is scared of what he can do. Instead of training himself, he decides to not use his powers – except, of course, when he’s rescuing Nora like he did so many years ago. I fully understand why he didn’t want to use his powers after the original incident and I’m glad that he was willing to use them when he thought it was safe to do so in order to save Nora from the psychotic cult.
I have to admit, when Oliver was on the bus at the start of the story I assumed he was the online friend that Nora had made and relied on for underworld information. However, I didn’t expect that to come to light so early on in the series. Eventually I understood why the reader was told this so early on, as it was a crucial plot point in the second half of the story, but I still feel like this reveal could have been done in a more compelling way. Sure it’s something that was easy to see coming, but even predictable things can be impactful when done the right way.
I’m looking forward to picking up Don’t Cheat Me and continuing on with the series. While what I’ve said here might seem as if I didn’t always have a good time with this story, I can assure you I really did. It’s just that in comparison to the other novels I’ve read recently, this one falls a little short.
I’d love to hear what your take on this book was and, if you’ve read further into the series, whether you’ve enjoyed it as a whole. I can see why so many people have enjoyed this story more than I did – at least according to the community reviews on Goodreads – I just can’t say that I felt that strongly about the book. Here’s hoping that Don’t Cheat Me ramps up everything I enjoyed about Don’t Rush Me.
Other reviews from this series: