Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone (Rainshadow, #3; Harmony, #11)Author: Jayne Castle
Series: Rainshadow, #3
             Harmony, #11
Published: August 26th 2014
Publisher: Piatkus
Lenght: 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
The world of Harmony has its wonders, one of them being Rainshadow Island. Just beneath its surface, a maze of catacombs hides a dangerous secret...…
Halloween—with its tricks and treats—is a dust bunny’s dream come true. Just ask Lyle, Sedona Snow’s faithful sidekick. But for Sedona, it’s a nightmare. Though her new job managing a small hotel and tavern on Rainshadow is helping her move on from her tragic past, a bizarre disaster down in the catacombs has brought a pack of rowdy ghost hunters to her inn.
And now, Sedona’s ex has arrived on the island, claiming he wants to get back together, just as a newcomer appears to have a strong interest in her. Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss in town. He has his own agenda when it comes to Sedona, but even the best-laid plans are no match for the passion that springs up on Rainshadow….

I went into this book blindly, with no prior knowledge of this author, series, or the world she created. It’s not something I normally do, especially not this late in a series, but the synopsis was too alluring to pass up and I fervently hoped it could function as a standalone. As it turns out it can, or at least the main storyline can since it focuses on two previously unknown point of view characters.

It was a bit different with the world, since it’s very elaborate and well-built. It’s no wonder, considering the length of the series. I had a slightly harder time understanding the rules and the setting, but Castle made it transparent enough even for a newbie like me. Admittedly, it took me a while to realize that Harmony isn’t even on Earth, but none of it stopped me from enjoying the hell out of this story from start to finish.

Instant Jayne Castle fan, that’s me, and with good reason. I don’t much care for paranormal romance, but The Hot Zone doesn’t really read as one. For one, while the romance is strong and well-done, it’s not the only thing that matters and the moments of extreme closeness between Sedona and Cyrus (Ha! I’m the queen of euphemisms!) are few and far between. The main conflict is more than just a solid background for the romance – it’s actually pretty important and very engaging.

I quite liked both Sedona and Cyrus. They’re both strong in their own right, but they work extremely well together. They fell in love kind of quickly, but it was believable and it didn’t bother me one bit. Aside from them, Sedona’s sidekick – a dust bunny named Lyle – made this book so much more shiny and interesting. Just imagine an adorable little dust bunny with two pairs of eyes and a penchant for collecting gemstones. What’s not to love?

I will not only continue this series, but I’ll go back to read the books I’ve missed. Characters from previous installments were briefly present in The Hot Zone and I liked them enough to want to know their full stories. This series is long-running and there’s a reason for it. If you do decide to pick it up, let me know. I'll enjoy discussing the details of this world.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions in this review.


  1. I didn't completely get the synopsis but I guess that's because this is the third book in the series. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Maja, even though you hadn't read the previous books and didn't know anything about this one. I'm always thrilled when I go into a book blindly (which is rare) and end up loving it because it doesn't happen often.

    P.S. That dust bunny sounds so cute!

  2. She has so many names and books that I can't keep track ;)

  3. I used to read series out of order before too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm glad this one worked as a stand-alone for you and it made you want to read what you missed and continue on with the series. I will be borrowing "extreme closeness" as a euphemism someday. Haha. Fab review, Maja! (:

  4. That's great that you found a new paranormal romance to fangirl over, Maja. I also have the habit of reading books out of order and have found some wonderful series that way. This one sounds really interesting. I love the sound of the relationship between Sedona and Cyrus.
    Lovely review, Maja!

  5. I think it says a lot that you came into this one completely unfamiliar with everything and still was able to grasp enough to truly enjoy the story and characters. Wonderful review Maja!

  6. I've only read book under her Krentz name but I'm curious to try her last one under the Castle one. I keep hearing amazing things about them.

  7. The characters sound wonderfully crafted and glad you found a series you like and are going to get all of them in

  8. Ha! I''m not the only one who reads a series book in the middle in hopes it can be read as a standalone! :D Often PNR can be read like that. I have been wanting to read her and I think I will add all the books in the series to my wishlist.

  9. Wow look at you reading out of order! I am going to have to check this out because I need more UF just started the last book of The Hollows last night and because I want to meet the dustbunny character.

  10. Kimba has talked about this author before and got me curious. She did say you can read her books individually which is nice. I'm glad you enjoyed!

  11. Ooh, I haven't heard of this before but it sounds really interesting. Plus, I looove a novel with strong world-building so I'll be checking this out for sure. Wonderful review, Maja--obviously, onto the TBR this goes! ;)

  12. This author has written SO MUCH! So many series!! It's been a while since I've read anything by her Jayne Castle pseudonym but it sounds like I need to pick her up again.

  13. You have certainly piqued by interest enough by the fact you dived so far into the series to start, and I am pleased to hear you've enjoyed it so much! I am tempted to take a look at the author and this series even if it is so long! Great review.

  14. *dances and spins while fist pumping* Wahoo! Yes, I love this author. I have read every single book from Arcane Society to Harmony and love them. I am so glad you will read more. ps. I want a dust bunny.


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