The Kai Gracen Series: Book Two
Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.
Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, and Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.
Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder’s—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.
The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder.
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It's super easy to get wrapped up in the mythology of Kai's world. Everything takes place in a dystopian version of Earth. There are elves, dragons and different types of monsters. Kai is a stalker. It's his job to hunt and find objects and creatures in this new world. He's an elfin hybrid who identifies more with humans but doesn't quite fit in with any group. This book is full of fighting and activity. It starts by jumping right in. The excitement is broken up with funny dialogue between Kai and others. Often the other is Ryder who has become a working and possible romantic connection. They don't agree regularly. Kai is the grump everyone loves. He bristles easily and protects fiercely. Kai, Ryder and company are on a mission to procure something important to the lives of elves. Near the end the suspense gets thick. The horrors of Kai's past and his natural instincts to do good pull my heartstrings. I really liked the previous book, but I loved this one. It has everything: action, adventure, humor, suspense, romance and more. I very much recommend to science fiction and fantasy readers.
Rhys Ford starts this second book in Kai's world with a bang. Well, it's more like Kai running from a dragon because he just stole her egg, but in the urban fantasy world the author has created, along with her inimitable writing, it's a definite BANG. The description is so vivid I almost felt like I was watching this unfold on a movie screen. It packs a punch let me tell you. Plus, I was very glad to be back in this world and seeing what trouble could be stirred up. I strongly recommend that you read the first book in this series before this one, however, or you will be very lost. It's reassuring to know that Ryder and Kai will always disagree on a number of things and the arguments are always entertaining. Since Kai is the liaison between Ryder's Dawn Court and the SoCalGov, or as Kai says "his leash", Kai is who Ryder comes to when a professor discovers a place where the elfin used to perform magic rites for fertility. For you see, the elfin are dying and she, along with several colleagues, are determined to not let that happen. Of course it's up to Kai to lead Ryder to this very dangerous place within a Merge-tangled zone, and gather the information. What Marshall unloaded was insane, and the damned thorn in my side wanted to pay me to go look for what was going to turn out to be a crazy woman’s rainbow dodo. I believe the author has outdone herself with this crazy trip that Kai and Ryder find themselves on, along with the professor's insanely inept assistant who claims he was a Stalker. *rolls eyes* I am not going to go into mass detail regarding the trip as so much is going on and it would be very spoiler-y. There is a lot of politics going on between the sidhe and unsidhe, and between Ryder and his grandmother. Now that the sidhe are aware that Kai is a chimera created by his unsidhe father, there are even more individuals who want him dead or returned to his father. I can't believe I'm saying this, but 'Mad Lizard Mambo' is even more action-packed than its predecessor. That's saying a lot, believe me. There are so many things that I loved about this book. All the travails they run into along the way, the beasts that came from Underhill during the Merge and now stalk the countryside, just added to the excitement. But, being a romantic at heart, watching Ryder and Kai growing closer despite Kai's efforts to never let that happen, is one of the best parts of this book for me. Don't misunderstand me, this is not a romance, it is pure urban fantasy of the a**-kicking type… but the friendship/potential relationship between Kai and Ryder is growing. The way Rhys ended this installment has me salivating for the next. No joke. NOTE: This book was provided by DSP Publications for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews