By: Sarah Fine
Release Date: August 2nd 2016
This is an adult book so there are scenes with sexual content and violence.
Mattie Carver has relinquished the world of magic, with all its dark temptations. In six weeks, she’ll marry Ben Ward and claim the safe, small-town life she craves. But Mattie’s talents as a reliquary—someone able to smuggle magic within her body—make her a valuable commodity, even to those she trusts the most. Forced out of retirement by a painful betrayal, she must seek the help of the man she’s tried desperately to stay away from: Ben’s estranged brother, Asa.
Asa, a sensor and magic dealer, may have saved Ben months ago, but he’s complicated Mattie’s life beyond imagining. Trailed by lethal mobsters through Chicago’s seamy magical underbelly and an eerie traveling carnival, Mattie struggles to endure the priceless magic she’s holding and her feelings for Asa. Once, she thought she’d chosen her path. Now the only option may be to succumb to the destiny that’s choosing her, and hope she’s strong enough to survive.
After I read Reliquary I had to know what would happen next with Mattie and Asa so immediately ordered Splinter. This book was just as addicting as the first book. The pacing was so fast and there were so many great action sequences this book was easy to devour in one sitting.
I’ll admit, I mostly love these books because of my obsession with Asa and Mattie. I love their chemistry together. These two work so well together I am sad any time they aren’t sharing a scene. And Ben. My goodness Ben. I’m not sure I’ve ever hated a character so much. I found it nearly impossible to understand why Mattie was even speaking to him let alone giving him the benefit of the doubt. I had to consider how long she’d been with him and all the wedding prep but grrrr. He drove me mad.
Mattie’s character development continues to be addressed. Splinter picks up months after the end of Reliquary (I believe 8-9 months) and Mattie’s life is in shambles. She has tried to rebuild after the events of the last book but she has not succeeded and it’s very obvious to everyone around her. I found Mattie’s situation so sad and I wanted nothing more than for her to escape. The story really picks up once she is thrown back into the magical underground and Asa shows up.
Seriously, I am so in love with his character. We are only shown bits and pieces of his back story and the more we learn the more my heart breaks for him. I find him to be such a strong and sympathetic character-he is the complete foil to Ben’s character and personality. Also, I’ve got to say, his relationship with Gracie, his dog, is a real high point for me too.
The secondary cast was awesome as always with the people Mattie ran into on her adventure being incredibly interesting in their own right. None have all that much page time but the bits we see make them seem human to me.
I really love how Fine has described the magic system in this world. The different types of magic and how they impact those around them and the entire magical system with sensors, reliquaries, etc has really well done. I love that it all takes place in our world.
These books have been such a fun reading experience for me. I’m ramping up for my kiddo to get back into school and these have been the perfect way to get my mind off of all the stress and relax for the hours I’m absorbed. They type-cast some groups of people (mob types mostly) which could be problematic for some and there is a love triangle (between brothers no less) but even with any errors these are just far too fun to read. The adventure, steamy bits and chemistry between the characters have me completely absorbed and eager for the last (I think) book in the series.
Reliquary and Splinter are perfect for a binge read over the weekend. Both books are extremely fast paced and incredibly fun. I am always a fan of Sarah Fine’s writing and these are no different. Go into these books expecting lots of action, steamy scenes and an overall fun reading experience. Be prepared thought to be fully addicted.