About the Author
Devri Walls is a US and International bestselling author. Having released 5 novels to date, she specialises in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best know for her uncanny world building skills and her intricate storylines, and her ability to present them in an easy to digest voice. Now gearing up for her first national release, Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organises for her readers. Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge watching whatever show catches her fancy.
Six years ago, Grey Malteer was attacked by creatures he thought couldn’t possibly exist. They repeated a word, calling him a name he’d never heard before…Venator. Since then, his life has been a hellhole of secrecy—hiding old pain alongside strange new abilities.
Rune Jenkins has an itch, as she calls it, but it’s more than that. It’s an anger that builds up like the inside of a boiler whenever she’s around anything remotely supernatural. The pressure is growing steadily worse and she can’t understand why. All she knows is—her control is slipping.
By order of an unknown council Grey and Rune are pulled through a portal in the St. Louis arch, landing them in an alternate dimension where creatures of myth and legend exist. A realm that calls them, Venators.
Made up of centuries old fae, vampires, werewolves, elves and succubi the council’s corrupt nature becomes obvious as they seek to wield the newly returned Venators as weapons. Wedged in an impossible position, Grey and Rune must decide their fate—do they go against the council’s wishes and help the innocents of this unforgiving land, or face the possibility of execution by the council.
Rune Jenkins is starting to freak out, her life isn’t going the way she expected and she keeps experiencing an unexplainable anger whenever she reads/see’s something remotely related to the paranormal or monsters. Grey Malteer is obsessed with monsters ever since he was attacked by indescribable creatures one night six years ago. Rune and Grey have known each other for years and have a tenuous friendship, mainly tested by Runes twin brother Ryker, but what they don’t know is just how linked they are. When a stranger appears and tells them they are Venators, an ancient race of monster hunters and drags them through a portal to a world where vampires, werewolves, the fae and much more exist, they will have to rely on each other and their untested powers if they are going to make it out alive.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book was reading from both a female and male perspective. Rune and Grey are similar in so many ways and then completely different in others. I loved how the author managed to make them both vulnerable but in an almost role reversal way; Grey gets paranoid about wearing skin tight clothing and Rune is annoyed that her relative fitness in our world is not enough to cut it here. Because of this I found the characters quite fresh and though they don’t have a whole lot of growth I enjoyed reading from their perspectives. My one problem was that I almost liked the side characters more. Beltran, a character that comes into the book late on made more of an impression on me in one scene than Rune did for a big chunk of the book, and while she and Grey grew on me I didn’t bond with them in the way I do with a lot of protagonists.
I found the premise for this book really intriguing, that there is a world parallel to ours but filled with all the monsters we read about and watch TV shows/ Movies about. At one point portals between the two worlds occurred regularly and so people could travel accross which is where we get a lot of our myths; Dracula, Van Helsing etc. But the monsters started to fear the Venators, humans with enhanced abilities, which led to an attempt to close the portals for good. Unfortunately they were unable to close them indefinitely but now random portals appear, leaving days, months and sometimes years in between appearances. I hadn’t really read any portal fantasy before this and so I had little expectations going in but I found this bit of the book the most gripping. I enjoyed learning about the parallel world, their council and the evil forces which forced them to allow Venators back through the portal.
The author brings us a whole host of creatures vampires, werewolves, fae, elves, succubus, shapeshifters, wizards and created a hierarchy within the races. The Council is compromised of one of each of the ‘higher’ creatures and beings not in this list are seen as lesser. It was a great way to show the divide between cultures and classes of people in the world she created. Her descriptive writing was expertly done and I found it easy to imagine myself travelling along on Rune and Grey’s journey and easily immersed in the battle scenes. One thing I will say is the book ends pretty abruptly, not even on a cliffhanger it just ends, which thew me a little, and I had to make sure I hadn’t missed a chapter, though it definitely leaves you eager to read book two.
It took me a bit to get into the swing of this book and a while for me to decide that I liked the main characters but I’m glad I stuck with it. There is so much promise for future books in the series and I will definitely be carrying it on.