Book Review: “Forsaken By The Others”, by Jess Haines
The latest offering in the H & W Investigations series by Jess Haines, Forsaken By The Others, brings us back to the detective team of Shiarra Waynest and Sara Halloway as they take on a case more dangerous than any they had ever taken before.
When we left Shiarra in Stalking the Others she had become contracted to the most powerful vampire in New York City, Alec Royce. Prior to that Shia had been bitten by a werewolf but found that at the first full moon she did not transition. In ‘Forsaken’ however, Shia is having some pretty awful side effects where she’s oozing black fluid from her eyes, nose and mouth. So she’s not quite Other yet but we don’t know what she is or will become.
Meanwhile, weres, vampires, police and White Hats (an anti-Other organization) are looking to kill her so Royce ships her and Sara out to California to live under the protection of Clyde Seabreeze, the vampire powerhouse of L.A. While there Clyde hires Shia and Sara to track down a necromancer causing trouble in his city. What they find is a plot to totally take over the city, but the real surprise is when Shia finds out who is ultimately behind this plot. Oh, and they find zombies.
Now I have never been, nor will I ever be a zombie fan. So when Jess mentioned that zombies were going to involved in her 5th novel in the series I balked. I didn’t want zombies to be part of Shia’s world. But Jess Haines found a way to weave her zombies into this story in a way that totally works. I still don’t like zombies but they added a twist to Forsaken By The Others that moved it along to its cliffhanging climax.
The new characters Haines introduces in ‘Forsaken’ are colorful, entertaining, terrifying and some of them are completely loveable. The cliffhanger I mentioned will shock your socks off and you will, I guarantee, raise your fists in the air, screaming “Damn you Jess Haines!” I should be used to cliffhangers such as these both from Jess and Charlaine Harris but they never fail to take me by surprise. I actually thought about emailing Jess to complain that the last pages were missing and could she please overnight them to me ASAP.
If you’ve followed my reviews of Jess Haines’ first four H & W Investigations novels you’ll know how much I enjoy this series. I love Shia’s snark and her genuine fear of all the things that we should be afraid of. The stories are all told from the first person point of view so we feel every creepy, icky thing Shia does. We also feel her fear and hurt and longing when she has to be separated from Royce. It took four whole books to finally see Shia finally admit her feelings for Royce and for them to become a couple, then Haines tears them apart so cruelly. Seriously, Jess Haines can pull you into her stories and you’ll care about her characters and the world they live in as though it were all real. She’s a very talented author and I can’t recommend her enough.
Again, Forsaken By The Others is the 5th book in the H & W Investigations series and it hit bookshelves today. You can read my reviews of the first four books (also to be read in this order) at these links:
To learn more about Jess Haines and for a complete list of all her other books, check out her website, jesshaines.com, and her blog, The Blog of Jess Haines. Jess will be hard at work soon (if not now!) on the sixth H & W book and you can follow her progress on Facebook and Twitter, @Jess_Haines.
Update 7/3/13: We’re going to start a group read of all five books beginning of course with Hunted By The Others, in celebration of the new book release. We’re beginning today so feel free to join us and comment below! We’re allowing two weeks per book although many will likely have finished one book within a couple of days.