Immortals: The Calling
Jennifer Ashley
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Buy *Immortals: The Calling* by Jennifer Ashley online

Immortals: The Calling
Jennifer Ashley
Love Spell
357 pages
May 2007
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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This is the first entry in the Immortals series featuring five half-brothers. In this story, we follow brother Adrian, son of Isis. He has been searching for his brother Tain for 700 years, and when he gets the first whiff of a clue he follows it - from Los Angeles to Seattle, where he discovers a demon attacking a young witch named Amber. He saves the witch's life (although the demon gets away), and the two of them band together to try to discover what's happened to Tain, why the witch's sister, Susan, was murdered by the demon a month ago, and why there is a significant increase in evil powers.

Of course, throwing hero and heroine together right at the beginning of the novel leaves you pretty sure what's going to happen. Equally, this is no story of people who initially dislike each other coming to change their minds (à la Pride & Prejudice) - it is the sort of story where hero and heroine fall instantly in lust, and the question in the reader's mind isn't 'will they get together?' but 'when will they get the sex over with so we can get on with the plot?'. There's little character change or growth; it's more a story of a quest to overcome evil, with the sexual attraction between hero and heroine as a major element.

The world Jennifer Ashley has created for this series includes an awful lot of different creatures. In fact, she seems to throw in pretty much anything that's ever been included in another paranormal fantasy book - vampires, werewolves, Unseelie, demons, witches, dragons, gods, goddesses… and, of course, Immortals. The Immortals have lived for thousands of years, but their role has changed over that time and they don't do a great deal in the modern world, apart from helping out when they find a need. They've rather lost their way; all the really strong evil Old Ones were disposed of some time ago, so there's nothing really significant for them to battle.

It soon becomes apparent to Adrian and Amber that things are getting rather complicated, and they end up working together with a dragon and a master vampire to try to get to the bottom of the demon magic that killed Susan - and find Tain.

Initially I found this book a bit slow-going, but it perks up midway through as Adrian and Amber became more aware of the challenges they faced in rescuing Tain and disposing of the evil demon. The other characters working with them add an element of fun and variety to the story, and the pace keeps going after the midpoint. The ending is anti-climactic, but it sets the scene for the next stories in the series. There are still some loose ends, particularly regarding the long-term nature of the protagonists’ relationship.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Helen Hancox, 2007

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