Series: Servants of Fate #1
Published by 47North on 2015-01-01
Length: 332 pages
Reviewing Kindle from Amazon
Reading Challenges: COYER Winter 2014-2015
In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.
Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?
First off I’d like to preface my review by saying that I adore Sarah Fine and fell in love with her Guards of the Shadowlands series (so expect some fangirling). While this new series is very similar, it is also very different. For starters it is New Adult all the way. Guards was a 16+ or young adult crowd, not so with Servants. There are steamy scenes and lots of innuendos along with some foul language. So if you don’t like that kinda thing, I’d suggest you skip this one. That being said onto my review 😉
I devoured this book in a little over 24 hours and do not regret one minute of it! Marked centers around two main characters and alternates between their points of view. Cacia, aka Cacy, Ferry is the youngest daughter of the Charon, the leader of the Ferry family and overseer, and I like her. She is outspoken, does her job as both a Ferry and an emergency worker, but holds back from relationships outside of her family. Why? Because her last boyfriend painfully reminded her that he was human by dying (because yes, as a Ferry she is immortal until she decides to retire) and she had to escort him to his final resting place, lucky for her it was Heaven. Since then Cacy has closed herself to the possibility of having an intimate relationship with anyone. She thought she was okay with this path until she meets her new partner.
Eli Margolis, Cacy’s new partner, has a dark and haunting past. His parents are dead and it is just him and his older sister who happens to be a genius and is the reason they now live in the swamplands of Boston, instead of the desert lands of Philadelphia (I’ll get to the AMAZING world-building in just a sec). Eli, like Cacy, shies away from relationships because he doesn’t feel worthy of them and he has his sister to take care of. I really like Eli, however (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) I felt like I was reading about Malachi (see Guards) all over again! The characters are extremely similar other than the fact that Eli is alive and well at the beginning of our story. Besides that, I loved him, but I kept picturing Malachi and was watching for Mazikin to appear at any moment.
While there are no Mazikin in this story, there are some pretty fantastic creatures called the Kere who work for the Fates and are destined to mark those whose time it is to die. Then after death the Ferrys escort them. Very, very cool tie in to Greek/Roman mythology with the Sisters of Fate and the ferryman! But back to the Kere. These creatures appear as human in the real world and can interact as such. But in the Veil (the in-between death and life, shades of grey, type of place), they take their true form which is something straight from nightmares! Some are good and some are twisted. They receive the names of the soon-to-die on their forearms and then it is up to them to mark them for death (not only mark them but also choose how they will die).
There is no love lost between the Kere and the Ferrys. The Ferrys see the Ker as vicious and greedy, killing and marking only for the money they receive for delivering the souls. The Ker see the Ferrys in the same light, but for think they are hoarding the money or cheating the Ker out of their cut. It’s a very tense relationship that only gets worse when Cacy’s father the Charon is murdered (I promise I didn’t spoil anything as this occurs in the first 10% of the book!).
This murder is the main plot of the story along with the budding romance between Cacy and Eli. Cacy is determined to find her father’s killer as she believes he was marked before the Fates deemed it time. And Eli just wants to be there for his new partner, if she’ll let him. The relationship between Cacy and Eli was hard for me to swallow. I enjoyed the story, but it was too insta-love for me. But then again this is a book about the Fates and if they have a hand in it, insta-love makes sense 😀
Now what really sold this book for me was the world-building! It was astounding. Fine does a superb job of mixing urban fantasy with a post-apocalyptic world. The reader gets to experience the Veil and the swamplands of Boston all in one chapter! My only complaint, I would love to know more about why Boston is a swamp and Philadelphia is a desert. There is no backstory, but Fine does build the dystopian world with the characters and how society and culture are influenced during the characters’ time period. It’s all quite fascinating!
Overall, I loved the book! I’m so, SO glad that the next installment comes out in March so I don’t have to wait too long for more. If you have ever read a Sarah Fine novel, you know she’s a queen of cliffhangers. Not so with this book 🙂 While there is a mild cliffhanger, the book itself can be read as a standalone. Cacy and Eli’s story is complete, though I’m sure they will show up as supporting characters in the books to come. If you enjoy urban fantasy, new adult/contemporary romance, or you loved Guards of the Shadowlands, I highly recommend you check out the book.