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REVIEW

"Brilliant Debut Novel!"

Having read Day of Fire by Kathleen Nance and The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant, I immediately pre-ordered Shadow Chasers by Liz Maverick, Grant's finale to Dorchester's 2176 series, The Scarlet Empress, and the fifth in the series,The Power of Two by Patti O'Shea. While I ordered, I noticed I had somehow missed O'Shea's debut book Ravyn's Flight, so I had to have it. If this is a preview of her style of writing, I cannot wait to get to her book in the 2176 series. This novel is amazing. There is such great talent in the Futuristic Romance genre, Robin D. Owen, C.J. Barry, Susan Grant, but these new voices such as Robin T. Popp and Patti O'Shea are sounding like they are a force that is here to stay. I just finished Popp's Too Close To The Sun and she blew me away. After reading such a great book as that, it's harder to come on the heels and impress me as much. Yet from page one that is precisely what O'Shea's book did! It's a strong story with such great female characters, but the males are just as vividly created, formed with such insight and emotion.

The main story centers on Ravyn Vedier. She is the communication expert on a team of 20 CAT specials - they go in and investigate if a planet is inhabitable. They were sent to Jarved Nine, which is strangely like Earth in terrain, air etc. The only thing keeping this planet from being labeled a prime target for human habitation is the Old City. A town for about 20,000 to 50,000 people, perfect in every way, but no people. When Ravyn visited the Old City, she found it in pristine condition, just as if the people walked off. The intriguing riddle soon takes second place in her mind as she faces mind-bending horror. She is down in the subbasement of the CAT facility no more than 45 minutes, and returns to find her 19 CAT mates slaughter in a gruesome fashion and grotesquely arrange in the pattern of a flower.

Damon Brody and his team of six Special Ops force are on the other side of the Jarved Nine when the distress call comes from the CAT team. They arrive, discovers the slaughter and fear all are dead. Damon finds a terrified Ravyn covered in blood and hiding under her bed. He sets his men to secure to building while he tries to get answers out of Ravyn. Damon makes her a cup of tea and finally gets a few shaky replies from her, immediately going on alert when Ravyn insists she did not set off the emergency distress beacon. They rush to find his men, and come upon what Damon fears. His team slaughtered in the same fashion as the other 19, this time arranged like a lightning bolt. Grabbing what they can carry to survive, they are left on their own to survive for three weeks until a military rescue mission is launched to find them. The only place left for protection is the Old City. They have to get there before the killer stalking them runs them to ground. It's their growing to trust of the other, which makes the grueling pace bearable.

Colonel Alex Sullivan is Ravyn's stepbrother. He raised her after their parents were killed. He knows something is bad wrong on Jarved Nine and he is determined to lead a team into rescue his sister...if she is still alive. He is satisfied with the members of his team, except the communications expert. Stacey is a CAT member, like his sister; in fact, she is Ravyn's best friend. Alex sees Stacey as a liability to his team. She is non-military. His gut tells him something terrible has occurred on this distant planet and Stacey's not trained to follow orders, not trained to defend herself, so he is going to push her during the weeks long voyage to Jarved Nine, trying to see she stays alive. Stacey has been in love with Alex since she met him at Ravyn's and her graduation years before, so working under the harsh taskmaster is disturbing in more ways that one.

The secondary story of Alex and Stacey could make a novel on its own, but under the skillful talent of O'Shea, she weaves both tales into a breathtaking pace. The world of Jarved Nine is vividly created, the characters achingly real. You will care for Damon and Ravyn, and the secondary Alex and Stacey. She starts with the first couple running for their lives and the second desperately rushing to their rescue, in a breakneck pace for the reader that never lags, never fails to mesmerize.

Be warned, this is a book once you pick you won't be able to put down. I was looking forward to the Power of Two before I read Ravyn's Flight, now I desperately looking forward to it!

Posted July 6, 2004

Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 3, 2007

SUMMARY

Ravyn Verdier is on a mission to test the habitability of Jarved Nine. Damon Brody is sent to rescue her when the rest of her team is mysteriously killed. Trapped on a planet that harbors an unimaginable evil, they have only each other.

An abandoned city holds the key to their survival, but what they find behind its ancient walls defies all their preconceived notions and tests the limits of the bond that has formed between them. To succeed, they will have to cast aside their doubts and listen to their hearts. For only when they are linked body and soul—when they realize love is their greatest weapon—will they be able to defeat the force bent on destroying all life.

RAVYN'S FLIGHT will be reissued in August 2006, concurrent to the spin-off ETERNAL NIGHTS.

 

Ravyn's Flight
(Jarved 9: Book 1)
by Patti O'Shea

Love Spell
November 1, 2002
Available: November 2, 2006
ISBN #050552516X
EAN #9780505525161
320 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Patti O'Shea

In The Darkest Night
Edge of Dawn
In Twilight's Shadow
In the Midnight Hour
Shards of Crimson
Eternal Nights
Through a Crimson Veil
The Power of Two


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