Review: The Wanderer’s Children by L.G. O’Connor + Giveaway

wanderers children by lg oconnorFormat read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genre: urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Series: Angelorum Twelve Chronicles #2
Length: 506 pages
Publisher: Collins-Young Publishing
Date Released: December 16, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

The Wanderer’s mission three decades ago: secretly sire children to hide his bloodline, and protect them until their destinies can unite in the final battle between good and evil. That time has come…

Cara Collins, the First of the Holy Twelve, longs for one last peaceful weekend with her bridesmaids as she plans her wedding to Simon Young, her former Trinity Guardian, before duty calls with the Angelorum to gather the Twelve and prepare them for battle. Life, as she knew it, has changed; weird is Cara’s new normal. Her newly acquired Nephilim DNA is wreaking havoc on her and those closest to her as her body transforms into Amazonian proportions and an overabundance of pheromones threatens to land her in hot water with Simon—not to mention a sudden suspicious outbreak of “insta-love” among her friends.

Michael Swift, Cara’s Trinity Messenger, has spent months running from his attraction to Cara’s brazen best friend Sienna, the only woman who has ever skirted his considerable defenses. But if he wants a future with her, he must confront his tormented past head on, or risk losing her and destroying the future of the Angelorum.

As dark forces and outside threats gather, Cara has more to worry about than fitting into her wedding dress and playing Cupid to her friends. A second encounter with rocker Brett King shows Cara once again that there are no coincidences. One of the Wanderer’s children, Brett and his secret siblings are the key to gathering the rest of the Twelve.

When the newly forming team finally comes together, an unexpected revelation shakes them to their core. They must all look deeper into their souls as new secrets come to light to discover what’s really at stake in the final battle between good and evil…if betrayal and Lucifer don’t rip them apart first.

My Review:

trinity stones by lg o'connorI picked The Wanderer’s Children because I read (and reviewed) the first book in this series, Trinity Stones, earlier this year. It is such a complex story that I had to see what happened next.

It is still a complex and convoluted story. In my possibly not so humble opinion, it is also still one single story. It’s not just that the action from The Wanderer’s Children follows directly from the end of Trinity Stones, but the complexity of the worldbuilding and the interrelationships among the characters is getting more intense. Reading The Wanderer’s Children definitely requires reading Trinity Stones first. The story is piling on layers within layers, and it only makes sense if you know how everyone got to the point (or fix) they are currently in.

I think we’ve even met all the characters, or certainly all the important ones, in Trinity Stones. It’s just that in The Wanderer’s Children, some of the focus is shifted from Cara and Simon to other people involved in the upcoming battle between good and evil, especially their friends Michael and newly met Brett King, as well as all of Cara Collins’ best friends.

I did have a momentary fear that we were going to head into romantic triangle territory, but thankfully that didn’t happen. Instead, we have Cara throwing off so many pheromones that everyone in her vicinity pairs up as soon as they meet.

In spite of the insistence on free will on the part of the angels (yes, I said angels) and angelic sympathizers working on keeping evil at bay, we do stray rather close to “fated mate” territory with some of the newly introduced couples. The free will part seems to come into play in the way that the couple may not get their acts together as a result of secrets or baggage that they are carrying.

So there are a bunch of things going on in The Wanderer’s Children. One of the major plot threads is the continuing growth of Cara’s powers. She nearly died at the end of Trinity Stones, and the cure that she was injected with continues to play havoc with her body and mind. Mostly in a good way, but there are definitely some downsides.

The romance in this story is between one member of her angel/guardian trinity and one of her best friends from college. (See, I said you needed to read the first book first)

The course of true love does not run smooth, or it wouldn’t be worth fighting for. Michael has some serious baggage from his childhood, and he doesn’t realize that Sienna has her fair share of demons (not literally) to fight. His reluctance to bring his trauma out into the light contrasts nicely with Sienna’s mostly out there personality. She hides with bravado, he hides by running away. Their mutual exploration and explosion is lovely to see straighten out.

But the more interesting issues revolve around Brett King, the rock star Cara met in Trinity Stones, and her other college best friend Jessa. It’s pretty clear that their romance will come in the next book, but they have a long way to go first. It’s not just that Brett has discovered the world of the angels and his place in it, but also that Jessa has one scary, possessive, evil stepfather.

And then there’s Cara’s other friend, Irene. She has scary bosses in the NSA who send her to spy on her best friend for reasons yet to be revealed.

And Irene has totally misinterpreted everything that has happened with her friend Cara and her fiance Simon (and Michael and Brett and everyone else). Irene has let herself fall into one serious misunderstandammit that might just tip the balance of power the wrong way.

If Jessa’s stepfather doesn’t scare her into tipping it first.

Escape Rating B: The action in this story is incredibly absorbing. Every single person has a big part to play in the battle between heaven and hell, and most of them have no idea that there even IS a battle coming. One of the neat things in this story is the way that Cara takes Brett under her wing to help him adjust to this strange new world that he is suddenly part of.

Michael and Sienna’s relationship is the core romance, and their journey towards each other (after a lot of running away on Michael’s part) is sweet as well as hot. They both have a lot of healing to do, and it needed to take them time to do it.

I will say again that this world has a lot of “moving parts” and there is still considerable ongoing worldbuilding. Reading Trinity Stones is required to make things make sense, and I’m really glad there was a list of “dramatis personae” at the beginning to get me back up to speed.

While the story is careening madly down the hill toward the epic confrontation at some point in the future, I had some issues with Irene’s storyline, and to a lesser extent, Jessa’s. Irene is clearly being misled by her NSA handlers, and it is not clear which side they are on. It is very clear that they are not on Irene’s side. But Irene increases her own heartache by keeping huge (and slightly unbelievable) secrets from her friend Cara, and letting herself be led down a complete path of misdirection, mostly self-inflicted. Irene feels either too smart to fall for this stuff or too stupid to carry out her clandestine mission. YMMV.

Jessa’s freaky-jealous stepfather seemed a bit over-the-top when added to all the issues that Irene brings to the table. And there are two huge cliffhangers that the reader gets dropped off of at the very end that made me want to scream in frustration. As much as Irene and Jessa drove me batty, I want to see what trouble they get Cara into next very, very badly.


L.G. and TLC Book Tours are giving away a copy of The Wanderer’s Children to one lucky U.S. or Canadian winner:

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This post is part of a TLC book tour. Click on the logo for more reviews.
***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Review: Trinity Stones by L.G. O’Connor

trinity stones by lg o'connorFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Angelorum Twelve Chronicles #1
Length: 366 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press
Date Released: April 22, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Anxiety-ridden New York investment banker, Cara Collins, has little to smile about on her twenty-seventh birthday between a hostile work environment and her impossible romantic situation with her longtime friend and first love, Dr. Kai Solomon. But before the day ends, she learns she has inherited $50 million—a windfall that must remain secret or risk the lives of those close to her.

As Cara unravels the truth surrounding her inheritance, she makes a startling discovery: angels walk among the living, and they’re getting ready to engage in a battle that will determine the future of the human race. In the midst of these revelations, she meets mysterious and sophisticated Simon Young, who offers her the promise of romance for the first time since Kai—but when Kai and his daughter are kidnapped by dark forces, Cara must choose: accept her place in a 2,000-year-old prophecy foretold in the Trinity Stones as the First of the Twelve who will lead the final battle between good and evil . . . or risk losing everything she holds dear.

My Review:

Trinity Stones is the first book in what could be a twelve book series. It has a LOT of weight to carry to set up this slightly alternate version of our world where angels walk among us, waiting for the proverbial Last Battle between angels and demons.

Of course, they aren’t just waiting around, sitting on their feathered wings while humanity marches on oblivious. Although most of humanity is oblivious.

Mixed in with the prophecy of that last battle are signs and portents. The story of Trinity Stones is what happens when the first of those portents finds herself part of something that she was never prepared for.

Cara Collins is an investment banker who hates her boss and is in love with a man she can never have. Life sucks, right up until the point where she inherits $50 million and a whole lot of otherworldly trouble.

$50 mil certainly solves the “hate the boss” problem, but doesn’t do a thing for the loving someone she can’t have bit. Although it certainly provides one hell of a distraction–including visits from demons who really do reside in hell.

It’s not just that Cara finds out that her belief in a supreme deity has to expand to encompass more classes of angels than she thought imaginable, but also that she is going to be a front-line fighter in the war between heaven and hell–if she can manage to get out of her own way.

Her new life leads to danger, but also to fantastic new friends and a purpose bigger than she ever dreamed of. She even finds someone she can love, a man who makes her forget all about the one that got away.

Until she finds out that Simon Young is even more forbidden to her than her first love. Simon is assigne to be her Guardian as she fights the demons, and they aren’t permitted to let love get in the way of definding mankind against evil.

Escape Rating B: There were a lot of things to like about this story, and a few that drove me a bit crazy. YMMV.

There are, and there need to be, a lot of explanations for how this world is set up. Cara is supposed to be the first of the “Final Twelve” that portend the upcoming battle between good and evil. Which means there has to be tons of setup for the angels who help in the fight, and the people who are “assigned” to Cara as backup.

The portrayals of the growing friendship between Cara and the people assigned to help her, particularly Cara’s platonic friendship with Michael, are beautifully done. It is terrific to see a friendship between a straight man and woman that is clearly never going to tease at a possible romance. You don’t see that often, and it’s refreshing. Also Michael is just plain a great guy.

But there is a lot of necessary worldbuilding, to explain the angels, the soul-seekers like Cara, and the support network that they need. Occasionally there is quite a bit of info-dumping, and I still didn’t get the relationship between Cara’s “trinity” and the cornerstone, which is a person she needs to save from evil.

The angels are almost a military organization. That Cara wasn’t allowed to be involved with her guardian felt a lot like the military anti-frat regs. They can be involved with anyone but each other, so of course they fall for each other. And there was a bit of fated-mate in the relationship that pushed things along faster than would have happened otherwise.

Trinity Stones is a fascinating start to a series. I’ll be very curious to see what directions it goes in. On the one hand, I liked the fact that any belief system could lead to heaven, as long as the person lived a good, moral life. On that other hand, the story does presuppose acceptance of a lot of other traditional Judeo-Christian concepts, and I want the story to always be of primary importance. So far, so good.

This post is part of a TLC book tour. Click on the logo for more reviews.
***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.