Title: Caged Warrior
Author: Lindsey Piper
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Dragon Kings (Book 1)
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback, 380 Pages
ISBN-10: 1451695918 (Simon & Schuster)
ISBN-13: 978-1451695915 (Simon & Schuster)
Reviewed By: Kaitlin
Lindsey Piper’s hotly anticipated debut series, The Dragon Kings, begins with a gritty, fiercely sexy tale of romance and rebirth.
The Dragon Kings, an ancient race of demons, were once worshipped as earthly gods. Centuries later and facing extinction, they fight at the whim of human cartels for the privilege of perpetuating their bloodlines.
After marrying a human, Nynn of Clan Tigony became Audrey MacLaren, banished from a life of distinction and power. But when Nynn gives birth to the first natural-born Dragon King in a generation, she and her son are kidnapped by a sadistic cartel scientist whose life mission is studying demon procreation.
Leto of Clan Garnis is a Cage warrior, using his superhuman speed and reflexes to secure the right for his sister to conceive. Within the Cages, he has no equal.
When torture unlocks Nynn’s repressed powers, she is sent to the Cages, where Leto is charged with her training. He believes her a traitor to their people, while she sees him as no better than a slave. But for the sake of her son, Nynn must learn to survive. An undeniable connection turns antagonists to allies to impassioned lovers as they learn the high price of honor in their violent underground world.
Quick & Dirty: This novel confused me in general. It was intense but disappointing, and not my cup of tea.
Opening Sentence: Leto’s eyes glimmered, as black and shining as the accents on his armor.
Nynn is a Dragon King, one of few that make up a dying race with amazing powers. After being ostracized from the Dragon King Council and leaders, Nynn went into the human world and became Audrey, living a normal human life. Audrey had a husband, Caleb, and a son, Jack — the first naturally born Dragon King in a long time. This miracle turns bittersweet when a sadistic scientist kills Caleb, kidnaps her and Jack, and performs tests.
Soon Audrey is not needed to be tested on anymore, and she is sent to the cartels to fight other captured Dragon Kings. She begins to fall in love with Leto, her trainer of sorts, and discovers memories that were hidden and powers that were abstained.
Before I even flipped open this book, I checked out Amazon reviews, and after seeing four stars was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, this book did not fulfill my expectations.
There were a few main points that got on my nerves. One, it took forever and increasingly tested my patience as Nynn trains for her first fight in three weeks. Two, it was so confusing. I didn’t understand that Dragon Kings were a “demon” race until I looked on Amazon, and I didn’t get the whole cartel idea until halfway through. Three, some scenes were becoming more of a Fifty Shades of Grey situation and I just felt I needed to skip those. The colorful language didn’t bother me, but the chapters I just described were uncomfortable and took up a surprising section of the book.
Nynn is a strong female chatacter, I’ll give you that. The author’s best job was at character building, and Audrey’s fading into Nynn was subtle, but there all the same —- it made a powerful statement. Leto started to crave freedom more and more as the book went on. Little changes became bigger while the novel progressed, and that was good. Additionally, the writing style flowed well, but it didn’t make up for the lack of excitement that made me lose interest.
A final thing, the only thing I really loved, was how determined Nynn was to rescue her son. That emotion was raw and beautiful. It was one thing that continued to stay constant and from the start and was my favorite thing about this book.
This also bored me because it wasn’t engaging enough, and my brain kept wandering. As I daydreamed, I would miss something and have to backtrack a page or so to see what I missed. I also didn’t understand a lot. I think the author was going for one of those “figure it out as you go along,” but it didn’t work for me, and I kept referring to Goodreads or good old Google to answer my questions. The story was dark in general, not particularly compelling, and with a few plot holes. I didn’t enjoy this, and I had to force myself to read it. I wasn’t very interested after I started getting bored, so even when the excitement rises the book was already ruined for me.
Still, other readers may enjoy the romance or the plot more than I did. Obviously some, seeing as forty people on Amazon rated from three to five stars (mostly 4). Maybe they’re older, or maybe they’re more patient, but I personally missed the point.
Even in her mind, she cried. The grief was more raw there. No inhabitations. No physical limit to how loud she could scream or how deeply sobs could wrack her body. No one to hear her, look at her, punish her for what could not be contained. Dr. Asher had used a scalpel. And he handed Hellix a whip.
The Dragon Kings:
0.5 Silent Warrior
3. Hunted Warrior (June 2014)
FTC Advisory: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Caged Warrior. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections”, or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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