If you couldn't already tell, I really enjoy this series. Windsor's style of writing is fast and engaging, and I love her use of mythology; she pulls from popular folklore like Greco-Roman myths and voodoo practices, but she also brings out lesser-known entities from around the world. Her books satisfy both my itches for action and romance: tastefully violent and fabulously sexy. I absolutely recommend Anna Windsor's books to fans of Gena Showalter -- they're quite similar in style and overall vibe.
Now that I've raved about the series as a whole, let's talk about Captive Spirit in particular...
Captive Spirit takes place a couple of years after Bound by Light The Sibyls and their OCU allies are recovering from the longstanding war against the Legion. Bela Argos, a temperamental earth sibyl, has the unenviable task of choosing replacements for her fallen comrades. Against all advice, she recruits other Sibyls who are as devastated by their losses as Bela is, but she's determined to bring them all together for the sake of the mission. And the sooner she can pull it off, the better, because there's a new battle on the front.
Then there's Duncan Sharp, a warrior and protector to the core. After his years in the military, fighting in the deserts of Afghanistan, he's taken up the badge as one of New York City's finest. He's tough enough to take on anything -- except maybe the otherworldly threat behind a string of violent murders. Caught up in the conflict between Sibyls and demons, Duncan finds himself sharing his body with another man's soul and a demonic infection. Both threaten to taken him over, and only the Sibyls can help him now.
I feel like Windsor has amped up her writing since the last book, Bound by Light. It was always good, but now it seems much more memorable. Some of the scenes here, especially the opening sequence with Duncan vs. the bad guys, are fabulously written. Incredible imagery and creative wording really bring a lot of moments to full, vivid glory. It's the kind of skilled writing that I, quite honestly, don't ever expect from a romance novel of any sort. Moreover, I appreciate the balance between comic book-worthy action, angsty drama, sizzling romance, and silly fun. There's entertainment to be found, cover to cover.
As for the not-so-fun stuff, Bela as a main protagonist didn't really work for me. I couldn't connect with her, not like I do several of the other characters. I don't think that's really through any fault of the character or the writing -- she's a decent character, depicted well. And there was plenty of buildup for her story in the first three books. I don't know... she just didn't do it for me. Even though I enjoyed reading this book, I was in a constant state of distraction. Instead of focusing on the primary story that was centered on Bela and Duncan, I was more interested in the secondary characters and what was developing with them. Happily, the next two books are slated for release in the near future.
You can read an excerpt from Anna Windsor's blog, or an interview with Anna over at Romance Reader at Heart.
Captive Soul ~ Comes out December 28, 2010. This book is about fire Sibyl Camille and the very unusual John Cole.
Captive Heart ~ Comes out January 25, 2011. At last, we'll get a book about Andy Myles, everyone's favorite water Sibyl.