Saturday, 8 September 2012

Zauran (Pravus #3), Poppet

Zauran sets the bar in this series.

- Review by Kazza K

Reading Zauran I couldn't help but think three things 1) they may be paranormals but their families are just as capable of dysfunction as humans 2) thank goodness Zaria went to Zauran and, 3) I never liked Darise - vindicated gut feeling..

Basically, in Zauran, the neuri are taking over centre stage, with a few exceptions, my bad boy Jowendrhan being one of the exceptions. There are also three women now who look very similar to one another, like sisters, and have a magnetic effect on all the supes. They are all desired, sort after, revered and, often times, put through the wringer. Why is that? It was just being ramped up in book 2, Venix, now you learn who/what they are. I don't wish to shine any more light on it. l'll leave it at that and let the reader enjoy it.

All the characters from before are back, there are twists and turns. Once again there is doubt and confusion spread amongst the main female(s) of the book; who can be trusted and who can't. Of course egos get in the way, the lack of women for the men, and the depth of sexual, emotional connection that is lacking for these paranormal males is at the root cause of pissing competitions that get heavy. A theme that is always so central to these books is here also in Zauran. In Seithe it was theological, and introducing the vampyre's/angel's backstory, in Venix, Gaia, and how the one can profoundly affect the many, in Zauran the one affecting the many is still important, with love, chakra's, colour and energy taking a leading role. War was remonstrated, as well as how badly woman have been/can be treated; yet womens' spirit and biology was strongly championed.

Alliterations abound, metaphors are in abundance, and the dichotomy of certain relationships is used powerfully in Zauran - from the chapter Bozena and Jowendrhan -

"Are you ready for a combat Zena?"
Combat, will it hurt?
He's angelic and evil. He's pleasure and pain. He's hard and oddly soft. He's danger and seduction. He's death and he's salvation. Lifting me by holding my sex in his cupped hand, his incisors score two ridges down my back, cutting through skin and burning me with the sting of a white-hot poker. My body goes into pain overdrive while he inhales ominously with my scream.
"Adrenaline turns us on, pain produces lots of it."
God, I'm violently shaking because the pain is so severe...and yet he praises me and makes it sound like I just made him so proud for being blindsided with total agony.

- against chapters of Zaria and Zauran

"You have a poet's soul, Zauran."
"No, I don't. what I am is a neuri who can't believe the woman of his dreams is standing in his kitchen wearing nothing more than pink lace shorts. I keep wondering when the demolition ball hit the house and offed me....."  "I never want to wake up if this is a dream. While you're here I want to be that man who denies you nothing."

I lean back, expecting to connect with the man who crept into my chest to stamp his lips on each chamber of my heart. I want to find him, hug, him, kiss him and hold him tight, to thank him for reminding me why life is such an exciting adventure.
"Zaria I will always catch you when you fall."

I have to admit the last line may seem kind of cheesy, but, stars above, I found it beautiful, and it summed up Zauran, and Zauran and Zaria's relationship beautifully. It's what I expect in a relationship, without saying it directly. Having broached it, this book is a love story, a lot is dedicated to Zaria going to the right male, and their discovery of one another. Zaria has been through hell losing her family during the (1990's) Balkans wars, Zauran understands, helps to make it better for her, soothes her.

There is also a lot of psychological and physical action in this book, particularly in the second half. I found myself on the edge of my seat wanting to read faster to see what was going to happen; yet I needed to slow down to absorb it all. A war seemed to be escalating, some behaviours were becoming more erractic, and new characters/beings were introduced, and one older one was thrown into play. It all climaxes in a brutal, disturbing yet also beautiful way. I had tears on my cheeks. Zauran reached into my soul and pulled at my very core.

What worked so well in Zauran was all the main players have a voice, their own, unique POV. They have their own chapters, or sub sections, so readers are in the character's heads, the narrative allowing for intense emotions. You can feel them, touch them, see them in vivid colour, understand their motivations, and breathe them in.

Zauran is the stand out book in The Pravus series, which says much, because Seithe was a trip, Venix a clever bridging book, and Zauran took the data built in Venix that resulted in an intense kaleidoscope of change, feelings, colours and energy.

I want to add at the end of this review that this really is a very good paranormal/supernatural series, and Zauran is one of the best books in the genre I have read. I cannot recommend this series and this book highly enough. Bravo Poppet.

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