Burning Alive

Shannon K. Butcher
Burning Alive
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Release Date
May 2009
Book 1 of The Sentinel Wars
Paranormal Romance

First in an all-new paranormal romance series

Caution : readers may feel the heat coming off the pages.

They are the Sentinels...

Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes-the Synestryn. Now, one warrior must fight his own desire if he is to discover the power that lies within his one true love...

Helen Day is haunted by visions of herself surrounded by flames, as a dark-haired man watches her burn. So when she sees the man of her nightmares staring at her from across a diner, she attempts to flee-but instead ends up in the man's arms. There, she awakens a force more powerful and enticing than she could ever imagine. For the man is actually Theronai warrior Drake, whose own pain is driven away by Helen's presence.

Together, they may become more than lovers-they may become a weapon of light that could tip the balance of the war and save Drake's people...

Book Review by Silver (reviewer)
Jan 17, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
270 people found the following review helpful
Shannon K. Butcher is an amazingly talented author and absolutely unparalleled, judging by the world she built in The Sentinel Wars series. Her characters are nuanced with shades of gray, making them intriguing and fascinating and very, very human.

Helen Day was terrified when she saw Vision Man in the diner where she was having dinner with her friend, for he's the man she saw often in the visions where she burned to death. She attempted to flee from him--right into his arms.

For Drake, her very touch took away the pain he'd been carrying all these years, and he meant to keep her. But more than his salvation, she may be the very hope his people--the Theronai--needed to keep going and the weapon they needed to win the war.

I first knew of this series through Belinda's review of LIVING NIGHTMARE here at TRR, and I was intrigued enough to pick up this book, as I wanted to start the series from the beginning to get the full picture, especially as Ms Butcher said she had an overall series arc going. I'm glad I did, because this book is simply amazing and I have much hope for the next books!

Helen is a great character, so very human and relatable. Soon after meeting Drake and his friends, she was thrust into a world of monsters, fighting, pain and death, and though she was afraid, somehow, she found the courage to do what needed to be done. And that's what I like about her. Throughout the book, you'll see her afraid of a lot of things, but somehow, she always pulled through.

And Drake... *sigh* I don't much like tattoos in my heroes, but I made an exception for the ones in this series, because Drake is just really so sexy and sweet. How could you help but melt when you meet a man who's warm and caring and would give his life for yours? Not to mention that for all the physical flaws you see in yourself, he not only didn't see them, but he thought you're a goddess? Yes, definitely a keeper.

Drake's chemistry with Helen was off the charts, and it was so obvious that the two are meant to be together.

What's commendable is also the rich world that Ms Butcher has built. There are three Sentinel races--the Theronai, the Sanguinar and the Slayers--and in this book, the Theronai and the Sanguinar had formed an uneasy alliance against a common enemy, the Synestryn demons, who are trying to overtake the world. We haven't seen much of the Slayers yet, but I'm sure we will in the next books. Though only a little bit of the Sentinel world and the war they are fighting was revealed here, there were hints and the potential for more.

Tied into this is the cast of three-dimensional secondary characters. Logan, the Sanguinar, helped the Theronai by healing them. But he wasn't that trusted by the Theronai, and we have a glimpse of the reason as he revealed hints of having his own agenda, which might be contrary to the goals of the Theronai. There's Gilda, the only female Theronai left, but there was something she'd been keeping from her husband, something that she'd done to her own people. (So intriguing! I'm dying of curiosity here.) Sibyl, the kid who spouts prophecies, and who seemed more adult than kid.

There's also Helen. What manner of weapon would she be in this war?

The plot moved at a fast yet measured pace, and there was totally no idle or boring moment. With so many things going on, it was hard to believe that only 3 days had passed in the book.

Though this book is standalone with a resolution to Drake's and Helen's story, Ms Butcher revealed hints and questions that made me intrigued enough to keep on reading, hoping the answers would come in future books. I'm already reading book 2, FINDING THE LOST, and I'm finding it as awesome as this book. A must read for all paranormal romance fans!
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