Jess Haines’ “Taken by the Others” Steps Up the Danger

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Several months ago we introduced you to the wonderful world of Jess Haines and Private Investigator, Shiarra Waynest, in “Hunted by the Others”. In the second book in the series, Taken by the Others, things become more dangerous for our heroine with the arrival of a new vampire in town. His name is Max Carlyle and he’s after Shia.

“Taken by the Others” takes place a couple of months after the end of “Hunted”. Shiarra is fully recovered from her near-death experience and eager to just put the past to rest and get on with her ‘normal’ investigating. The scene opens with the leader of the White Hats organization, Jack, once again pointing a gun at Shia. The White Hats are a vigilante group of Others-haters, bent on totally eradicating anything non-human off the face of the earth. Jack has been trying to get Shia to join them but his methods are off-putting and Shia refuses his ‘invitations’.

This time, however, Jack tells Shia that someone named Max Carlyle is on his way into town, and refers to him as “a new player in the game”. Apparently, Jack is gearing up for a big showdown between Carlyle, Alec Royce and the werewolves, and he intends to be on the winning side. He believes that Shia can aid him to this end. I love how Jess Haines sets up the whole story in the first few paragraphs of the book. You know exactly what kind of ride you’re on from the beginning and the journey with Shia is everything.

Since Shia has never heard of this ‘Max Carlyle’, she figures there’s one person who would know, and she calls Alec Royce. Royce is the oldest, wealthiest and most powerful vampire in the city, and in fact owns the city. And he’s the hottest thing on two legs with fangs. Shia is bound to him by contract which offers both security and terror. If you’ve read “Hunted” you know what I mean.

Royce shows up at Shia’s apartment and she learns that Max Carlyle is a very dangerous vampire with a grudge against Royce and Shia is the pawn Max will use to hurt him. As the story unfolds and bad things happen to Shia, we are given Alec Royce’s history. We learn about his connection with Max and we get the story of how and who made them vampires.

As “Taken” moves us toward the inevitable battle between Alec and Max, Shia furthers her relationships with the White Hats and the werewolves, gaining their aid in the battle to come. She’s also made some new enemies. I love Shia’s battle gear. She’s so bad-ass when she dresses in her sweater made to protect her from bites, a necklace which shields her from a vampire’s glamour, perfume that when worn, hides the fact that she’s food for Others and a magical belt which holds three stakes and room for more weapons – and the spirit of a long-dead warrior who is always itching to hunt and kill vampires. Once Shia puts the belt on it stays there until daylight when the spirit lies dormant and the belt can be taken off. It makes her stronger, faster and harder to kill. All of which will be tested in “Taken by the Others”.

Shia had to make some very tough choices in this book. The results did not make her popular with her boyfriend, Chaz, who is the leader of one of the local werewolf packs. Their relationship is changed but Shia is determined to work things out with him. Personally, I don’t trust Chaz and I am not impressed with his whiny professed love for Shia. Give me the big, bad vampire with the cool, confident demeanor any day.

In “Taken by the Others”,  Haines once again expertly takes you on this dark and dangerous journey with Shia that frightens you and keeps you in suspense, never being sure of what’s going to happen next. Warning: once you start reading this book, you won’t be able to put it down until it’s finished.

Next I’ll be bringing you my review of  “Deceived by the Others”, the third novel in this series, and you won’t want to miss it. Come back here Monday morning, Oct. 10th, Royce commands it. I wouldn’t cross him if I were you.

Catch up with Jess Haines on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to check out her website at

Over-night fan (almost literally) of the Sookie Stackhouse series since early 2008. Co-owner of Anxiously anticipating season 6.