Between the Bleeding Willowsby D.A. Roach
Series: Demon Hunter #1
Published on February 26, 2016 by Limitless Publishing
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
At eighteen years old, Cassidy has suffered more loss than most…
At the end of her senior year, her boyfriend, Jace Peters, was killed in a car accident, and her grandmother died only weeks later of a heart attack. Emotionally lost, Cassidy desperately searches for an heirloom her boyfriend was wearing in the crash—her mother’s gold ring. But during her search, Cassidy discovers more than her ring.
She finds a gate to the Demon Realm….
A battle is brewing, and Killian—head of the Demon hunters—preps his Clan for the approaching conflict. They’ve been working to secure the gate between his realm and the mortal world. But it’s been nearly impossible since Rya—a voracious demon on a quest to expand her power—devoured the soul of his Clan’s necromancer. Now Rya is possessed with the necromancer’s powers and she may break through the gate at any moment.
Apparently Rya isn’t the only one Killian has to worry about…
When Cassidy accidentally crosses into the Demon Realm, Killian can’t understand how a human girl survived the transition. Now he has to find a way to return her to her own world, or risk her being caught in the crossfire, which is a complication he definitely doesn’t need.
Once back in the Human Realm, Cassidy readies herself for battle. She signs up for Krav Maga classes, where she meets Tyler Romaitis—a handsome, tenacious, humble guy. He seems almost perfect, but nothing is ever that easy.
And as the balance between good and evil shifts, Cassidy finds herself—and her ring—at the heart of the conflict for the survival of mankind.
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Between the Bleeding Willows was one of those books that had the potential to be great but consistently fell short.
We start with strong emotions as Cassidy grieves the loss of two loved ones before being thrown into the crossfire of a conflict with all sorts of otherworldly beings. Although it wasn’t really why I wanted to read the story (I was all about that paranormal bit), the opening chapters were so strong emotionally that I couldn’t help but keep reading. Sure, it moved the story along slowly but I expected that. It’s when the book shifted toward the action and supernatural that it all went downhill.
I think the missing piece here was a connection with the reader. The author offered little ways to become invested in any character other than Cassidy. Which meant that any attempts at a romance subplot fell flat. That all the random character deaths had no impact beyond “oh, that happened, whatever.”
I nearly DNFed Between the Bleeding Willows at around the 25-30% mark. But I had hope that it would pick up the pace and something would just click. It didn’t, but I ended up finishing the book.
So it comes down to whether or not I really enjoyed that experience and I’d say not really. Points for potential and a solid opening but this paranormal simply doesn’t stand out from the multitude of others I’ve read over the years. I don’t plan to read others in the series but may try future books by the author.