The One and Only Crystal Druid (The Guild Codex: Unveiled #1)
by Annette Marie
My Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
I’m not your average girl.
My best friend is my switchblade. My favorite hobby is using it on the cruel, the abusive, and anyone who gets on my bad side. I’m a convicted murderer with a chip on my shoulder and a dangerous lack of restraint.
And then there’s Zak.
His rap sheet makes mine look tame. The bounty on his head is worth more money than I’ll ever make, and the deadly fae that shadow his every step wield more power than I’ll ever know.
He’s the Crystal Druid, and his first mistake was setting foot on my turf.
His second was saving my life.
And his final mistake will be failing to realize that however dark, however ruthless, however broken he is…
From the author of the best-selling Guild Codex books comes a new series that delves into the dark, dangerous world of druids and fae alongside two ravaged souls who may be exactly what the other needs…if they don’t destroy each other first.
Unveiled can be read as a standalone series or in conjunction with other Guild Codex series. For the full reading order, visit Annette Marie’s website.
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
I’ve really enjoyed all the series so far set in The Guild Codex world and was excited to start this new series. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this series focusing on Zak, the mysterious Druid and would have him finding his love interest, but I was all for seeing more of druids and fae as the other series don’t touch as heavily on those topics. Unfortunately this book turned to be a bit of a mixed experience for me. I just felt like this wasn’t fully my type of book, even though I really like this world.
I had some trouble getting into this series. The start felt a bit slow and then there was getting to know a new main character, as well as flashbacks from earlier in her life, and a new setting with new side characters as well. The further I got the more I got into the book, although I never got as hooked as with some of the other series in this world. I felt the plot was a bit less intricate, but it was still interesting enough to keep me reading. And I feel that this book is setting the stage for events in future books. I liked when the pieces come together in the end and then the wrap up was great to. There is a big reveal on like the last page which makes me curious what will happen next.
The main reason I didn’t fully enjoy this book is the main character. I am in awe how the author can rite such different main characters, each of her main characters feels very different and unique and has a different voice, which I think is impressive. Unfortunately I didn’t like Saber Rose. She’s stabby, has anger issues, has a temper and is violent. She takes revenge on people who hurt animals and exacts her own type of vigilante justice. The scene at the start where she catches up to someone who abused his horse almost made me DNF the whole book. The way she handled it made me feel uncomfortable even though I agreed with her that what he man did was totally wrong with the way he abused an animal’s trust like that. The urge to find out what happens and how this series ties in with the rest of the world kept me reading.
Saber tries to hide her true self and present a nice Saber face to her work colleagues. Her coven sees right through her facade and is wary of her. And only the couple who she lives with and her familiar seems to be people she cares for. She feels broken and cold. I just didn’t like her, had trouble caring what happened with her and didn’t find her interesting either. On the other hand I did feel like it made sense the way she is, especially when the full truth of her past comes to light. She has been through a lot and I feel like that explains a lot of her personality. And no one should have to gone through what she has been through. I got how that shaped her character.
What I did like about Saber is her love and caring for animals and nature. We haven’t seen as much about witches and druids before, so it was great seeing from the point of view of a witch. I also thought it was interesting that she isn’t a particular strong witch, in fact she’s kinda bad at being a witch. I also like her bond with her familiar. I like how her familiar is always shifting shapes. He also seemed a good fit for her. He likes her for who she is and never wants her to change and he always has her back.
Saber’s relationship with Zak, if you can call it that, was interesting to see. They’re the type of characters who but heads and would just as likely stab the other as kiss them and both instances actually happen, multiple times. I did think they’re a good match for one another. Although it’s not really the type of romance I enjoy reading about. I feel like Zak’s capable and mysterious feel was a bit less in this book. he feels a bit more vulnerable and human, which is kinda weird to see somehow.
My favorite part of this book was when Kit showed up, I really like his character, and it was so fun to see him from Saber’s point of view. She isn’t quite sure what to make of the unusual MPD agent. The scene and big reveal/ twist at the end of the book was awesome. There also is an explanation we still don’t get in this book and I am eager to know what happened back then and why. Learning more about the fae and seeing a bit more of witches and druids was great too and I am curious to see what more we will learn in the rest of the series.
To summarize: Sadly I struggled a bit with this book. I liked returning to this world and getting to see another piece of it, this series seems to focus more on the fae, witches and druids and I liked seeing more of those. The story was interesting enough, although it didn’t pull me in as much as some of the other books. I liked finding out who was behind the murders and seeing how everything got wrapped up. The plot seems a bit less intricate, but there are some great twists and reveals toward the end and I feel like it sets the stage for the rest of the series. I struggled with the main character as I didn’t really like or care about her and didn’t find her as interesting to read about. I didn’t like the stabby, violent personality she had. Once the truth about her past comes to light it did make sense to me why she was the way she is. She felt broken and damaged and her violence almost a shield to those who might hurt her. She seemed like a good match for Zak, although I don’t really care for the stab you, kiss you dynamic they had going on. I liked how Kit made an appearance toward the end and the ending has me curious about the next book.
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