RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: Rebel by Zoe Archer


Title: Rebel
Author: Zoe Archer
Publication Info: Kensington 2010
ISBN: 9781420106817
Genre: Paranormal

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.This review for the RITA® Reader Challenge was written by a woman with more than one online moniker, so I picked my favorite: lizzle4rizzle. HA! This book finaled in the paranormal romance category. NB: I have a second review of Rebel coming later.

Book CoverPlot Summary: Nathan Lesperance is used to being different. He’s the first Native attorney in Vancouver, and welcome neither with white society nor his sometime tribe. Not to mention the powerful wildness he’s always felt inside him, too dangerous to set free. Then he met Astrid Bramfield and saw his like within her piercing eyes. Now, unless she helps him through the harsh terrain and the harsher unknowns of his true abilities, it could very well get him killed. Astrid has traveled this path before. Once she was a Blade of the Rose, protecting the world’s magic from unscrupulous men, with her husband by her side. But she’s loved and lost, and as a world-class frontierswoman, she knows all about survival. Nathan’s searing gaze and long, lean muscles mean nothing but trouble. Yet something has ignited a forgotten flame inside her; a burning need for adventure, for life – and perhaps even for love.

And now, lizzle4rizzle’s review:

It seemed silly to write this review, since I imagine the Bitchery doesn’t need me to tell you that Zoe Archer rocks. But just so we’re all on the same page: This book was awesome! And holy crap does Ms. Archer know what she’s doing.

Rebel gives you a great story, great characters, and some pretty cool magic. It has the kind of action that kept me turning the page and rooting for the heroes to beat the bad guys, and the kind of love story that made me really want them to be together forever in awesomeness.

A lot of paranormal elements these days can be really played-out, so I appreciated the fresh take on cool powers and battling with bad guys for said powers. The story framework for the whole series is pretty unique: Blades versus Heirs, fighting to either protect or take control of all of the world’s magic. There’s no cookie-cutter paranormal stuff here.

But the best part is the characters! They’re fully-developed people who have romantic feelings to deal with and foes to face, but they do it while acting like mature adults and kicking some major bad guy butt to boot. Oh, and while getting busy in the wilderness. I loved Astrid – SO cool, and no wilting flower to be rescued. She actually has to pull his metaphorical biscuits from the fire a few times, and he thinks it’s the sexiest thing about her. (It is.) Nathan is also awesome (and yummy), respects his butt-kicking lady, and kicks more and more butt himself as the book goes on.

Overall: yes, you want to read this book!

This book is available from Amazon | Kindle | | AllRomance | WORD Brooklyn | Kobo | Sony

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    misti says:

    I wish I’d liked this book as much as lizzle4dizzle did. I bought in the Kindle 4pack of Zoe Archer’s stories, and I found myself wondering when this particular story was going to be over. I felt like it really dragged on, at least compared to the 1st and second stories in the series.

    To be fair, I did really enjoy the premise of the story and the first… I don’t know 300 pages? (Kindle, I have no idea how to measure books now. There’s no real pages and the percentage you’re finished with a book doesn’t count for much when there’s 4 stories one after the other).

    I just felt like the first book in the series was the pinnacle of the world that Archer has made.

  2. 2
    Chelsea says:

    (Kindle, I have no idea how to measure books now. There’s no real pages and the percentage you’re finished with a book doesn’t count for much when there’s 4 stories one after the other).

    I had the exact same problem! The bundle seemed like a great deal, but then it bugged the hell out of me not to know where I was in each book. Silly Kindle.

  3. 3
    EC Spurlock says:

    Thank you, misti, for making me feel like not quite so much of a loner. I picked up these books because I am a major Steampunk addict and I had been hearing rave reviews of how great they were. I found them way too talky—too much narrative, in a way that slowed down even the action scenes for me and did not advance the plot at all, and too much of just staring at each other thinking how hot the other is. I have no problem with sexual tension but when it’s ALL they think about, when they are supposed to be saving the world? Bit much for me; made me feel like the end of civilization was not nearly as important to them as getting into each other’s pants.

    Stranger was even worse in that regard. The emotional improbabilities really got on my nerves in that book.

    Capcha: question43—I questioned their choices at least 43 times!

  4. 4
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    I loved this series, but for me, the first two were the best, while Rebel and Stranger fell a bit short. Not that I didn’t enjoy those two, because in comparison with a lot of other books, they are lightyears better, but as parts of the Blades of the Rose series, they had problems.

    One of the things I didn’t love about Rebel was the setting; I’ve read a lot of frontier novels, so it was more a case of burn-out for me than anything else. I loved that Astrid was such a strong, ass-kicking heroine, and Nathan was dreamy.

    I wanted Stranger to be great, because I loved Catullus in the other three books, and I was really looking forward to his story. Unfortunately, since his book was also the conclusion of the series, I felt like he got short-changed in terms of how much emotional development his relationship was given. Most of the novel was dedicated to the fight against the Heirs, and as a result, I didn’t find the HEA with Gemma to be satisfying or convincing; it was just too rushed.

  5. 5
    kkw says:

    So glad it’s not just me.  I liked these books but I didn’t love these books.  There’s clearly so much awesome creative unexpected stuff going on that I’m still not entirely certain why I don’t like them more than I do.  I was hoping that I would get more invested as the series moved on and instead I got less.

  6. 6
    FairyKat says:

    I read all four books in a row, and did keep on reading, but in the end felt like I’d been eating lollies rather than having a proper meal—sort of stuffed and empty at the same time.

    But I love steampunk, and I loved the gender politics, and I thought the world building was great.  The writing was clever, and assumed I was clever, which I love.  I also loved the humour of the first couple of books, though I didn’t laugh much in the latter two.

    This is the only series by Archer that I’ve read.  Is it worth looking up her other books, and if so which ones?

  7. 7
    cleo says:

    I liked this book a lot, although perhaps not quite as much as the reviewer.  I actually liked it better than Scoundrel (but not as much as Warrior, my fav)- I had trouble buying the romance in Scoundrel more than in Rebel.  And I just loved the frontier setting. 

    @ FairyKat – the only other Archer I’ve read is Collision Course, based on CarrieS’s review here.  I liked it – it was a fun escapist read.  It’s SF, not steampunk, but with the same quality of world building and a kick ass female lead.  Like the Blades of the Rose, I didn’t think it was a filling meal, more like a tasty indulgent snack treat.

  8. 8
    FairyKat says:

    @cleo, thanks, SF is good too, so I’ll hunt it up!

  9. 9
    Jen says:

    I also got the 4-book bundle for the Kindle, which was such a great deal, but yeah, hard to tell how long the book is going to be.  This one I liked the least of the four, it just seemed to drag on and on.

    I keep hearing that this series is steampunk, but I don’t really see that.  I get that Catullus is an inventor and some of his inventions have a steampunk flair to them, but these books seemed to have too much magic in them to be steampunk.  I guess I think of steampunk as airships and gears and quasi-Victorian inventions, and not so much with the magic elements.

    Otherwise, such a good series though.  A little formulaic, but highly recommended.

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