Living Nightmare (Sentinel Wars #4)

Maybe when it came to Madoc, Nika was crazy.

Living Nightmare
Shannon K Butcher
Sentinel Wars, book four
ebook, 368 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Signet Book
ISBN 9781101445068

For nine years, the Sentinel Nika has had one goal-to save her younger sister from the Synestryn who hold her captive. Now, the psychic bond Nika forged with her sibling on that terrible night is fading, and time is running out. But the one man who can unlock the power inside her may be the greatest danger to her.

Oh, Madoc. How I love to hate you.

Madoc and Nika's story started a while ago. Nika, a victim of a Synestryn attack nine years ago, has spent every day since haunted by what their taking of her blood has done. Fearing being fed blood and human flesh, she's refused to eat and has been locked in a psychiatric hospital since childhood. When Paul came for Nika's sister, Andra, in book two, Nika was also rescued and came to meet Madoc, a bastard as rough as they come but so very capable of gentility too. Which he solely bestows upon Nika.

Despite Madoc's addiction to killing and fucking, the first of which being Synestrian and the latter being prostitutes, I couldn't help but fall for his way with Nika. The guy slammed her with the tough love angle while everyone else coddled the hell out of the broken woman. But despite the draw the two had toward each other, Madoc's ring never swirled with the colors indicating he'd found a potential mate. Convinced she wasn't for him, and too damn scared to be near her let alone touch her without hurting her, Madoc hit the road and stayed away. For seven months.

Seven long months in which Nika yearned for him.


Sadly enough, this is my least favorite of the series thus far. Nika is whiny and clingy and, like, Madoc with his 'I'm too dangerous for you' mantra, running her mouth like a broken record. But what really let me down the most was the total lack of oomph when Madoc finally realized that Nika had been right all along--that she was his match. It was completely opposite his reaction as he realized she was physically healthier than he'd last seen her. At that moment, he'd stared in awe. I expected the same with his ring.Granted, his was soulless at the time but, like most things in life, the excuse excuses nothing.

The back stories make great progress in the meantime. Gilda finally comes clean in her part of the Theronai sterility (at least to her husband) and the story of how the twins came to be twins and were sworn to never grow up came to light.

And then, there was Torr and Grace. With Gilda's help, Grace obtained the means to cure Torr of the poisoning that has left him paralyzed and very much near death. The cost, however, is taking the poison into herself. A bittersweet turn that won't get its conclusion until freaking book eight!

Two new females do finally make it home. The first: Andra and Nika's stolen baby sister, Tori, who has spent the last nine years as a prisoner of the Synestryn, raped and impregnated with a child she loses in the end. The second, is Jackie, the long lost sister of both Helen and Lexi. A sister they hadn't always known they had. Much less, that they were even related.  Also a hostage of the Synestryn, Jackie has the opposite problem Nika had, Whereas Nika was only found compatible with Madoc, it appears Jackie has a growing list of possible mates to choose from. Iain, Nicholas, and Morgan to start with.

And finally, Angus and Gilda's story concludes as they free their daughter, Maura, from her path of evil, and die. A justly deserved death in Gilda's respect.

3 out of 5 stars.

Previously in the series:

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