Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5:
Weird and Alec MacAidan tend to go together. From bending bullets to people suddenly turning to ash, his experience on the police force and in life haven’t necessarily been the most normal, but it’s about to get a whole lot weirder when a vampire named Cronin shows up at the station and disappears with Alec in front of a whole bunch of cops.
Alec’s full of questions, but the answers always seem to lead to more. There’s a whole other world out there Alec had no idea about, and Cronin and his coven are all part of that. Alec’s been told most of his life that he’s special, but he just never had this in mind – being fated to a vampire is one thing, but what they discover about just how special he is… well that’s a whole different ball game.
He wanted to be everything to Cronin. And he would be. Everything he needed, everything he wanted, Alec was it.
As Cronin was to him.
N.R. Walker has always been the author I go to when I need a break from reality. her books tend to provide me with easy escapes and easy reads, and Cronin’s Key is no different. When I had time to read, I flew through the pages and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
This book, which I hope is the first in at least a three book series, provides a great introduction to both Alec and Cronin. They both have distinct personalities that Walker does a great job of highlighting. Furthermore, the way that the connection between them builds, despite there being an instant love factor due to fate, is really great, especially the bits of humor that are laced into it. I had so much fun reading their banter and it kept me smiling.
The side characters were really great too. I enjoyed getting to know them as well as how they laced into the story of Alec and Cronin. They didn’t take away from it, but they added greatly to the depth. It presented a whole new dynamic that I certainly appreciated.
But my favorite part, hands down, is the alternate history and therefore the world that Walker created. Instead of just throwing vampires into society as we know it, she took events such as the Black Plague and reimagined them. I was so giddy over this and so enamored by the past that she built. I really hope that this continues in coming books, as it was such a strong element to the book that it’s something I will remember this book for.
My only complaint would be that I wasn’t immediately drawn in at the beginning, and unfortunately some of the lines were a bit cheesy, especially toward the end in battle scenes. It was just that the villain sounded like they were from a badly scripted series, but besides that, it read very well. In general, this was a fun start to a new series that I will look forward to reading more of.
The cover art by Sara York does a nice job of accenting the story, though I am not necessarily the most pleased with it aesthetically. It fits the story, but looks-wise, it’s not that great.
ebook, 265 pages
Published March 13th 2015 by Self-Published (first published March 12th 2015)
original titleCronin’s Key
seriesCronin’s Key #1