Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: Twisted

Twisted (Eternal Guardians #7)



Nick –Leader of the half-breeds and the last true hero. He’s spent his life fighting a dark pull toward the gods. A pull he now knows is linked to his father Krónos and the Titan’s plan to escape from the Underworld.
But Nick’s hidden powers are coveted by more than just his father. Imprisoned by Hades, Nick battles every form of torture imaginable as the sadistic god schemes to break him. Only one thing is keeping him sane. One woman who gives him the strength to fight the relentless darkness. She has a dangerous plan of her own, though, and as Nick’s powers grow stronger, even she might not be enough to alter his destiny.
As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, Nick’s allegiances are tested. And no one knows whether he will choose to fight for good or succumb to the sinister lure of evil. Not even him.
Themes: paranormal, mythology, deamons
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Another dark and twisted foray into the world of the Eternal Guardians, descendants of the world's greatest heroes, each with their own cursed mating to overcome and the challenges inherent in being descended of the cruelest gods to every inhabit this world. I stumbled on this series and was instantly attached, mainly because of the author’s obvious understanding of classical Greek mythology, which is a personal favorite of mine.  It was such an unexpected and intriguing twist on what I’ve always known and written so well that I knew immediately I would be a fan to the very end and I have yet to be disappointed in any way.  Elisabeth Naughton has so many different series that I have read, giving each new offering the chance to make me love them, and while I enjoy her other series, the Guardians will always hold an important place in my heart, mind, and shelves.  This newest edition was an even darker experience, with torture, emotional tragedy, and the lessons learned at the hands of one’s enemy, but in the end the power of love is the most important factor and leads to victory once again.  If you are looking for a fluffy romance, with none of the darker underbelly of a relationship, this story—really this series—is maybe not the one for you, but for a true portrayal of love overcoming all and two people finding each other in even the worst of circumstances you can’t go wrong with any Guardians story, and Nick’s especially.
Cynna has made a deal with the devil, one that is forcing her to make some choices that are seriously against her nature, but there is no way she can see to get out.  One of the worst duties she has during her service is overseeing the torture of others, but none effects her more than her interactions with the most important prisoner.  Nick, an Eternal Guardian and unawakened god,  has given up his freedom in exchange for the life of his soul mate,  who just also happens to be his twin brother's wife.  His torture has one goal, to bring his god powers to life, so they can be stolen from him, but Cynna cannot bring herself to continue the torture of such a good man.  When the danger becomes too much, Cynna plans a daring escape for herself and Nick, but the danger follows still. As they fight for their lives and find a way to fix the problems facing them all, Cynna and Nick find that the passion between them is undeniable and their feelings are becoming more intense.  But the most important lesson for anyone in love is that sacrificing for love is never really a sacrifice, and sometimes by giving the ultimate price, you can earn the ultimate reward.
Cynna and Nick were both interesting characters, with darker natures than some, but they were by no means evil in any way, even though for a little while they both lost their way. Nick has battled his inner darkness all his life, being pulled in a  thousand different directions, but never understanding the power that lives inside him won’t make him evil, it’s the way he chooses to live his life, but the god powers inside him are what make him strong. Being around Cynna brings out his strongest and darkest desires, but he knows that he has to keep himself distanced from her.  When they escape captivity and return to Argolea, they are each faced with terrifying decisions and having to deal with their pasts and densities; Nick is having a terrible time trying to handle all the decisions weighing on his mind and the people pulling him in different direction.   Cynna is the only one that is able to keep him centered and bring him any semblance of sanity.  Falling in love with Cynna was never in his plans, but when he can no longer deny his feelings, Nick will give up anything to keep her in his life.  With the ultimate battle looming on the horizon, Cynna and Nick will decide if they are able to look past their fears and have a chance for a future together. 
Cynna’s choices have led her to a place she never imagined, her quest for vengeance leading her to forfeit her life to the demon that offered her a chance for that revenge.  Sadly, she didn’t really think her decision through and is now trapped in an untenable situation.  She has watched Nick’s torture for months now and the wall around her heart has begun to crumble, forcing her to accept that she is being overcome by the evil surrounding her day to day. Seeing a chance to redeem herself she escapes, bringing Nick with her and hoping that by helping him escape she is able to redeem herself in even some small way.  She is one of those characters that you can just tell you’d love to be friends with, sassy, sarcastic, but still with a heart for the people around her. She obviously loves her people, even to the point that she will forfeit her own happiness for the good of all.  Loving Nick makes her an even better person and faced with the chance to save her world, or save herself, she makes the choice that labels her a true hero. 
Twisted is a story of embracing and overcoming the darkness in us all, finding the balance that makes life interesting and brings us all to the choices that shape our lives.  More than living up to the title, Nick and Cynna’s story of love and loss is one that is a battle of dark and light and all the actions that shape the lives of these two deep and bent but not broken characters.  Nick has always lived for his people and now has to learn to live for himself, this is the only way for him to find balance and keep his sanity as his powers awaken. Cynna learns an important lesson too, that sometimes what we know isn’t the whole truth and that the half-truths we believe can often lead to life-destroying choices.  As they each find their paths, it become apparent that those paths are interwoven and they will have a chance at a full and happy life, only if they are able to walk them together.  The passion between Nick and Cynna was extremely intense, often bordering on brutal, but the softness that sneaks through every now and then makes the shadier desires even more intense and reminds that love and passion can be expressed in many ways, but it is still love.  The overall plot of the series continues with some interesting developments, Nick’s god powers being the most crucial, and I wonder where the story will go next.  I’m not sure whose story will come next, but I know I will be reading it for sure the second it becomes available.  The Eternal Guardians have captured me and I am a more than willing prisoner of these sexy, witty, sometimes sarcastic, and always-fascinating warriors.     
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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