As an author I have certain expectations when reading a book. I like background history - some idea where the characters have come from, and why they are who they are portrayed to be at present. I like action - lots of it and in a descriptive format that puts me right in the thick of it. I like a bit of romance, or at the very least a hint of it without out the cheesiness and sometimes fast-paced and unrealistic joining of characters I've read in other novels. And, I especially like a fast paced ending with a cliffhanger that makes me want to read the next book in the series (If there is one).
Exiled ticked all the boxes for me.
The novel follows the story of Chase Williams, an excommunicated member of The Circle, a powerful group of elemental users that focus on the protection of the human race from the entry of demons and half bloods into the earth plane. At least until nefarious agenda's unfold ...
Chase has been abandoned by The Circle and his father, Riley, for his lack of elemental powers. He lives with his mother in the slums, etching out a living where possible all the while fighting off any demons and vampires on the prowl to kill the son of the great Riley Williams.
Chase's world is turned upside down and his ideals disturbed when he meets a half demon named Willy, and later, the intoxicating Rayna. These two demons are set apart from the black and white image Chase has in his mind of good and evil. He has long upheld The Circle's ideals, but soon comes to realise that not all demons are cut from the same cloth, and that perhaps The Circle may not be as righteous as first thought.
Introducing Marcus, another elemental and ousted member of The Circle. He fights for justice alongside Rayna, judgement based only on the deeds and actions others perform, not on the dark blood that may run within. Chase finds he is slowly drawn into their world, his eyes opened for the very first time, his mind awakened to the possibilities of righteousness over arrogance and defiance. Mixing with the otherworldly creatures soon opens a lot of doors, particularly into the past which Chase must overcome in order to accept his present and future.
I found Exiled particularly easy to read, and funnily enough, in the same style of writing as my own which I'm embarrassed to say made it all the more enjoyable. The author's graphic depictions were easily translatable and vivid in detail. Characterisation was relatetable and fluid, and the overall imagery and plot were original and fast-paced.
The last few chapters were the most inviting - graphic scenes of magical depiction and violence made for a pulse racing session of reading. The exchange between characters was not overdrawn or exaggerated and the final closing scenes leave you wanting more.
Overall, I have to rate this book four out of five stars. I really liked it and I'm looking forward to reading more in the series. The only negative? The story-line didn't leave much to chance and a lot of the unfolding plot was expected. There were no twisty-turny moments where I doubted what I was reading and what possibly might follow, but otherwise - an enjoyable read.
Synopsis: Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped.
Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna - a sexy with with an attitude and a secret.
In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.