Review: Death’s Sweet Embrace by Tracey O’Hara {Blog Tour}

Title: Death’s Sweet Embrace (Dark Brethren #2}

Author: Tracey O’Hara

Published: HarperCollins Australia April 2011

Sypnosis: Teenaged shapeshifters are being slaughtered by a sadistic serial killer who rips their still-beating hearts from their paralyzed bodies. A task force forms to halt the madness, including the vampiric Aeternus Antoinette Petrescu, as well as Kitt Jordan and Raven Matokwe, members of enemy Animalian tribes . . . and forbidden lovers. A centuries-old blood feud has divided their shapeshifting peoples, and if their passion is discovered it will doom them both. But past hostilities must be put aside, for the killer they seek is but the first sign of the all-consuming nightmare of The Dark Brethren.

Status: Read from March 28 to 29, 2011 — I own a copy

My Thoughts:
I’m supporting Aussie Author Month during April and so I am pleased to host Tracey O’Hara on her blog tour for the Australian release of Death’s Sweet Embrace.
Death’s Sweet Embrace is the second installment in O’Hara’s Dark Brethren series, Night’s Cold Kiss introduced the series that walks a line between dark urban fantasy and paranormal romance. merging humanity with vampires and shifters. The first book introduces Antoinette and Christian whose relationship develops as they hunt a psychotic serial killer and a corrupt politician.
Death’s Sweet Embrace introduces Kit, a Snow Leopard shifter who has joined the Academy as an instructor on parahuman forensic pathology. Her motivation is the enrollment of her twin daughters whom from she has been estranged since their birth after being banished by her Pride. For Kit, things are further complicated by the return of Raven – a wolf shifter, and the father of her twins, and her families antagonism. In addition, Oberon, the head of security and Kit’s late brother’s partner, hopes to recruit Kit into his elite team of investigators to deal with a ritualistic serial killer on campus and an escalating threat from a society once thought mythical.
Death’s Sweet Embrace maintains story threads that are complex, yet not complicated. O’Hara is still developing story precedents and introducing characters to establish the series in this second book. The foreshadowing, along with the story arcs, compete with both the main and minor plots so it can seem crowded. There are one or two aspects of the plot that don’t quite coalesce and I feel that the editing process may have been a little brutal in places resulting in details being left out that can be disconcerting but ultimately has little impact on the main plot resolution. There is plenty of action and violence, the details of the murders can be graphic but it supports the gritty tone of the series. Kit allows O’Hara to develop the Animalian aspect of her world. The Animalian society conforms to the shifter trope (patriarchal societies that are concerned with territory and property as power), though she has created some interesting mythology and I thought the idea of the suits they wear is clever. I thought O’Hara managed to sustain the suspense well, the identity of the killer is a shocking twist in that it is not as cut and dried as you might guess. The pace is varied but well balanced.
I thought Kit was likeable, she comes off as quite weak both physically and emotionally initially (and I still don’t understand the back story that led to her separation from her daughters) but reveals hidden depths as the story progresses. Raven is the expected Alpha, his background is interesting but I would have liked to have seen him as a more active participant in the story. The romance between Kit and Raven is anchored in their past so the development of their relationship is believable. While Kit is the protagonist of Death’s Sweet Embrace, there is a large supporting cast and the point of view shifts on occasion to illustrate different perspectives. These are smoothly handled and allow insight into the minor plots. Several of the characters from Night’s Cold Kiss reappear, Oberon, Antoinette and Christian briefly to name a few. Most of the newly introduced characters are tied directly to Kit’s story though I would expect one or two may appear in future installments. More of the mystery of the Dark Brethren is revealed but they are still quite a nebulous group that doesn’t have a particularly solid presence at yet.
Death’s Sweet Embrace is a gritty yet entertaining read that offers an uncommon blend of mystery, action, horror and romance. O’Hara’s Dark Brethren series is unique in the paranormal/fantasy fiction genre and I will be looking forward to the next installment.

@ Goodreads



Author Bio

I was born in Australia – Launceston, Tasmania to be precise, but actually grew up in North and Far North Queensland. My family is very supportive of my writing. They encourage me to keep writing and pursuing my dream.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Round-up of Aussie Author Month – Week 1 – Book Thingo
  2. Rosie Courtney
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 19:51:39

    Great review! I love Tracey’s writing and believe that she is definitely a rising star!



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