Pros: Great story, wonderful romance, and plenty of fantastic drama
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review book (uncorrected proof) provided by the author
When someone dies fighting the otherworldly, sometimes they’re given a choice to come back, to become a guardian protecting humanity from the things that go bump in the night—a Grimm. Will made a mistake when he gave Celine that choice, and Celine made a mistake when she said yes. She thought she’d be coming back to her life and her husband; she didn’t know she’d never have either of those things again. Now she fights like she has nothing left to lose. She’s got a killer instinct, but that won’t help her if she gets herself killed just to end the pain.
Celine’s gone through a handful of trainers already; each has given up on her in turn. Finally Will gets one of his famous “feelings” and pairs her with Jacob, an outwardly cold and highly capable Grimm with a dark and painful power—the ability to force people to face their fears, their regrets, their dreams. He doesn’t want to invade Celine’s privacy in that way, particularly since he rather likes her. But if he wants her to live in the present rather than the past, he’ll need to do just that. She needs to see that the perfect life she left behind maybe wasn’t so perfect—and that perhaps, when she chose to become a Grimm, she didn’t make a mistake after all.
I love Shiloh Walker’s “Grimm” world. It’s leaner and simpler than some of the other paranormal worlds out there right now, and that’s kind of a relief between the other books. These protectors of humanity both are and aren’t human. They mostly started out as humans, and now they have a few weird powers and… well, immortality. That is after all where the “Grimm” in the title comes from—many of the older Grimm are the sources of legends and fairy tales, although usually those tales are the truth twisted almost beyond recognition. It’s fascinating watching these characters struggle with their humanity and their calling, particularly when the younger Grimm come into play around the older ones.
Celine and Jacob have a lot of character. Jacob’s background is a bit unexpected for someone of his demeanor, and I enjoyed seeing the tidbits of his older self come out. Celine’s struggle with her former life is handled beautifully—as usual for Ms. Walker, no easy solutions, no magic wand. Just genuine gradual character growth. Of course, there’s some fantastic demon-killing action, hot sex, and plenty of stormy emotions that get kicked up between Jacob and Celine. We also get a bit of a peek into some side characters that promises fascinating later material.
The Grimm’s Circle e-books tend to run a little shorter and less expensive than some of Ms. Walker’s regular novels. They still have all the same ingredients—butt-kicking action, erotic sex, tear-jerker romance, and great character drama—just in shorter form. Thankfully this is one author who adapts to various forms and formats extremely well.