Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olson
Publisher’s Description: After her twin sister’s brutal murder, former US Army Sergeant Allison “Lex” Luther vowed to protect her niece, Charlie. So when two vampires try to kidnap the baby, it quickly turns into a fight to the death—Lex’s death, that is.
She wakes up to two shocking discoveries: she has miraculously survived the fight, and baby Charlie is a “null,” gifted with the ability to weaken supernatural forces…and a target for creatures who want to control that power. Determined to guarantee her niece’s safety, Lex makes a deal with the local vampires. She sets out with the mysterious—and undead—“fixer” Quinn to track down whoever’s responsible for the kidnapping, sharpening her newfound magic skills along the way. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her powers become.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).
Yeah. I recoiled strongly at that. It hurt my heart.
This series is more serious than her last one, isn’t it?
There’s a lot of death and sad things. I wasn’t expecting it.
There were a lot of sad things. And good things. Again, I was surprised, since the author’s previous series wasn’t as dark. But overall, I think it was a pretty good read.
Nervous Nellie says…
Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Allison Alexandra Luther, or “Lex,” is a tough war veteran — two tours — and she has issues. She’s also nursing grief from the death of her twin sister. She’s finding out that she is a Boundary Witch. All of that pushes the envelope to any degree of normalcy. Lex is a protector. She protects everything and everyone she loves. She has a good moral arrow and even though she’s seen a lot of death, she still feels naïve. Quinn, the vampire, is a man that lost his family and his job as a cop to vampirism. He tries to stay cold and detached. I’m glad that he fails. Simon and Lilly are brother and sister witches who try to help Lex through her changing life. They are both good characters, but maybe a smidge less dimensional that I would have liked.
Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ Maven is the grand dame of the vampire lordship of Boulder. Her second in command is a greasy, grimy vampire that is really well-described as hungry. John Wheaton, Charlie’s dad, is fairly inobtrusive for the series. He’s just really there for a background on Sam & Lex as they grew up. Charlotte “Charlie” Wheaton is Sam and John’s daughter who needs Lex’s protection because she is a “null”. A null is a magical creature that can nullify magic when magic comes within their personal space.
World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ The world that I was brought into is a normal every day world. We walk around in it every day and nothing weird goes on. Lex discovers her heritage and her power much to her surprise when saving her niece from kidnapping. The world is built fairly well and since it only wanders off to the paranormal when it comes to the creatures, it’s believable.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ The portrayal of Lex’s morality and principles is set up right away. The author makes it clear that she is a lover of life and would not do anything to hurt anyone. Lex adopts shelter animals and cares full them with total commitment. She is trying hard to assimilate to normal life after being discharged from the military. She stumbles upon a secret life that she doesn’t want, but is honor- and instinct-bound to protect. Her niece, Charlotte, is really the only true blood relative that Lex has and the only thing that remains of her sister. I shed a few tears during this story, but I am a really big softie so that may not hold true for everyone. Lex’s powers are basically death magic. All the creatures of the world have made boundary witches an enigma to fear and we all know what happens when people fear something…..they destroy it.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I really liked this story. The author creates another series that has nuances of Scarlet Bernard, but since I like that series, it’s no hardship. There wasn’t a cliffhanger and no sex. There could be a relationship brewing between Lex and Quinn, but at this point it’s just potential. As you know, I base my reviews on how the book made me feel and it made me feel the grief that Lex was going through. She felt lost and kind of homeless in her own world. The portrayal of a veteran trying to get her life back was pretty accurate, though not despairingly so. Towards the ending of the book, I felt like Lex had found herself and felt that she had started the process of accepting that she was a boundary witch working for vampires. I’ll look for the next in the series, guaranteed.
Invested Ivana says…
Main Characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I found myself invested in Lex right away, drawn in by the emotional struggle of her post-army reintegration, the loss of her twin, the rescue animals, and her over-developed sense of responsibility. Quinn, Simon, and Lily are all great characters that I cared about instantly.
Other Characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I enjoyed the portrayal of Lex’s family as close, loving, and sometimes overwhelming. Charlie, the baby, is a darling. I’m not sure how I feel about the Vampires or the Witches overall; they both have their good and bad points – which is pretty realistic about any group of people.
World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I’m happy Boundary Crossed is set in the same world as Scarlett Bernard. If you haven’t read the Bernard series, you won’t be missing any crucial details; but, the world is rich enough for many more stories. I am tempted to go reread the Bernard series just to remind myself of the world.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I’m pleasantly surprised by the story. I read and liked the Scarlett Bernard series, but found it a bit lighter, a bit “romancy-ier” than I usually prefer. Boundary Crossed is not light. It is straight-up Urban Fantasy, which I enjoyed. There aren’t many slow spots in the story at all. The reader jumps right in with the kidnap of Lex’s niece and skims over a few weeks of inactivity in a paragraph or two. The action keeps moving right to the end.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I think this is a series to watch and I’m looking forward to the next installment. I’m going to pick it up in audio and see how it sounds.
If you like this book…
Boundary Lines, the second Boundary Magic novel, will be out this coming October. Until then, there are several stories set in this same world – the three-book Scarlett Bernard series and two short stories, Sell-By-Date and Blood Sick. Information about the “Old World” and story extras can be found on Melissa Olson’s website. You might also like the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, the Hollows series by Kim Harrison, and the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.
A review copy of this novel was purchased by the reviewers from the Kindle First program.