Title: Chained Hearts (Sentries 3)
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon Buy link
Genre: Science Fiction, BDSM, Fantasy
Length: Novel (200 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Larissa
Review Summary: A gripping story that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
Book three of Sentries
After barely escaping with their lives, implicated in the assassination of Chancellor Shaffer, Todd and Nick Ruger flee from New Colorado Protectorate to its northern neighbor, Yellowknife. With Nick wanted as an escaped slave, they travel into more remote areas, living off the land.
Todd becoming gravely ill turns into a blessing in disguise when a doctor gives them refuge. Refuge turns into a new home, a town far enough away from the war to settle down and restart their lives. Tragedy strikes without warning when Nick is kidnapped, returned to the new Vice Chancellor Raleigh, and forced to serve him, threatening to tear away everything they’ve worked to build.
Chained Hearts, the third in the Sentries series (Marked Yours and Together Bound are reviewed here http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/2012/07/01/sentries-1-marked-yours/ and here http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/2012/07/12/together-bound/) was possibly the best in the series but also the hardest to read. It’s a continuation of the second book and it would be prudent to read the previous books to understand what’s going on.
Chained Hearts picks up right after Together Bound with Nick and Todd on the run and trying to avoid detection. They are out there in the harsh wilderness. It isn’t long before they are forced to settle down in a small town due to illness and weather conditions. While it starts of promising, it isn’t long before thing go down the hill fast and Nick and Todd are betrayed and Nick is taken back to Vie Chancellor Raleigh and things deteriorate from there, because nothing in this series is ever as it seems and elements from the previous books return in this third installment.
I won’t go too deep into the plot, otherwise it would give much away, but take it from me that the story will keep you on the edge of your seat, growling at some scenes and pulling hair at others.
The world-building is the same as in the previous books; we catch glimpses of the world through Nick and Todd. There’s an extension of that when Nick is kidnapped and we see another part.
The characters continue to grow in this story. In my previous review, I expressed concerns as what would happen to Nick if he ‘served’ under a previous master and how he would hold up. We get to see that in Chained Hearts. Admittedly, Nick fairs better than I expected. He’s got backbone and he’s strong. At the same time we get to see how dependent he’s become on Todd.
Some of the scenes while Nick is held captive are hard to read. You get to understand Nick’s despair very well as well as his fears.
Todd has become, if possible, even more stubborn in this installment. He will stop at nothing to get Nick back. He actually gets a bit scary. Still, his character is very likable. You can see how much he cares for Nick even if he’s his master. Their bond transcends that.
There are some new characters introduced in Chained Hearts as well as the return of some familiar ones. All of them are well written and developed.
The only thing I wondered about was the creature. This is the second time a creature manages to ‘infiltrate’ or ‘ingrate’ itself in or near the post-apocalyptic government. You’d thing with the knowledge of these creates there would be measures taken to prevent such a thing.
I also wondered at the lack of training of some of the soldiers or guards. Some of them seem to rather fit the story then be part of it. There were some that were just too new.
Fans of the Sentry series will most definitely like this latest installment and the end of the story, fitting as it was, hinted at more adventures to come. Even if there aren’t going to be more, the reader is not left with an open ending.
To conclude, while not an easy book to read because of the separation and kidnapping, Chained Hearts is a thrilling and exciting book that will prevent you from putting it down until you’ve reached the end.