Review and Giveaway Contest: Winter Halo by Keri Arthur


ABOUT THE BOOK:
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Souls of Fire novels comes the second in the futuristic fantasy series that will make you want to keep the lights on...

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between worlds, they allowed entry to the Others. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay....

The humanoid supersoldiers known as the d├ęchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way.

The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force. 

Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Keri Arthur is the New York Times bestselling author of the Outcast series, including City of Light, as well as the Souls of Fire, Dark Angels, and Riley Jenson Guardian series. She has written more than thirty books and has been nominated in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and has won a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy.

Winter Halo marks the sequel to the excellent paranormal/urban fantasy series starter, City of Lights by Keri Arthur that I really enjoyed last year. The series introduced us to Tiger, a super-soldier created through genetic experiments during the savage war that destroyed earth hundreds of years before. Tiger is a dechet, known for their skills to ‘lure’ targets, seek information and kill. City of Lights lays the foundations for this dystopian world of the Outcasts where darkness brings vampires and wraiths and other unnamed dangers out in the open – and the two species, humans and shifters live huddled away in fear and confusion, deep within the brightly lit multi-tiered city called the Central; an uneasy peace brokered between the two that ended the war, but only on paper. The seething hatred for the devastation caused by the war continues to rage among the minds of these survivors and this forms a crucial foil to everything that unfolds in this series.

Tiger, the only dechet who survived the genocide perpetrated on her kinds during the war, is thus wary of company or friends. Trust doesn’t come easy. The first book was excellent because, as a reader, I was so emotionally strung and connected to the lows and highs of what Tiger, the first person narrator, goes through. And by Rhea, does she go through a lot!

Book two, picks up right where city of lights ended. Tiger – and her uneasy alliance with Nuri, the powerful earth witch and Jonas, a ranger who is also a shifter of the cat family, still continues on. The main narrative here follows Tiger and gang hot on the trail of the missing children from book one. The book starts off on a pulsating high, a high-octane action chase sequence with the vampires and slowly settles down to a fast paced rhythm as we follow the trail of the kidnapped children to a mysterious pharma company called Winter Halo, deep within the Central city. Tiger infiltrates the security of the company and realizes that the shady dealings extend much beyond, within the walls. Female security guards go missing and she suspects a much deeper ploy here, something that might have earth-shattering consequences if the experiments come true.

This book, just as the first one, is full of thrilling action set pieces as Tiger and Jonas, finally set aside their mutual distrust and hatred and work towards a common goal. However, the sparks of attraction that we felt right from book one, still hasn’t caught on to become that inferno you would expect. It’s more of a slow burn – and sometimes, for me as a reader, a bit frustrating. Tiger gets thrown together with Jonas quite a lot in this book and their teaser interactions never really heats over, the knowing smiles, the innuendos and the squabbles never get over and gets repetitive. But the good thing is, hey – Jonas and Tiger may finally have gone to first base.

There are several secondary plots that emerge in this book and I for one, am definitely excited about the final reveals and how the tapestry gets woven together. Tiger remains a charming, selfless heroine – who in spite of being this hot, super spy who uses her sexual charms to get information, remains an endearing character with a lot of heart. Chiefly because of her interactions with the child-ghosts Bear and Cat, who have been her chief companions for long now and who get to play a lot more important role in this book than the first.  Jonas reveals a lot more of his own background in this book and has almost grown to be a protagonist at par with Tiger, whom the reader wants to get behind of. There are several questions laid open now – with the plot developments like what happened to Penny, the girl who was first rescued by Tiger in the book one beginning or how would the alliance between Tiger and Nuri play out – and of course, who is the mystery perpetrator of all these genetic experiments that could have disastrous consequences in the world.

An excellent sequel that builds up on the fascinating world-building done with book one, Winter Halo has all the ingredients that endeared us to Tiger and this brutal world of deadly vampires, shape-shifters and mind-bending magic. If you haven't yet read the Outcast, then you should head straight away into this dangerous and bizarre futuristic world teetering on the edge of a disaster, rest assured you will love it.

GIVEAWAY:

Courtesy the lovely folks at Berkley, I have one copy of both, Winter Halo and City of Lights to be given away ! All you need to do, is drop me a mail at sachin.dev@gmail.com and let me know you need it! This one's open only to residents of US/CAN only. 

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