Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 280 Pages
Category: Fantasy, Paranormal
At a Glance: The continuing story of Cory and Green’s Hill is full of interesting characters, intricate story arcs, and fascinating world building. I can’t wait for volume two.
Reviewed By: Cassie
Blurb: Lady Cory has carved out a life for herself not just as a wife to three husbands but also as one of the rulers of the supernatural communities of Northern California—and a college student in search of that elusive degree. When a supernatural threat comes crashing into the hard-forged peace of Green’s Hill, she and Green determine that they’re the ones in charge of stopping the abomination that created it. To protect the people they love, Cory, Bracken, and Nicky travel to Redding to confront a tight-knit family of vampires guarding a terrible secret. It also leads them to a conflict of loyalties, as Nicky’s parents threaten to tear Nicky away from the family he’s come to love more than his own life.
Cory has to work hard to hold on to her temper and her life as she tries to prove that she and Green are not only leaders who will bind people to their hearts, but also protectors who will keep danger from running rampant.
Review: I love, LOVE detailed characters. This series has them in spades. All the characters from the main stories make appearances in the related shorts; the stars of related shorts appear as secondary and tertiary characters in the main series; and overall the depth of character development throughout all the related stories for Green’s Hill make the folks that populate this book interesting, engaging, and extremely likeable. I totally dig it.
This particular book in the series is a continuing look at Cory and her life as she adjusts to her role on Green’s Hill and her place in the web of relationships that power her magic. She’s more settled than she was, and we are now getting glimpses of what her life will look like once she finishes school and spends more of her time managing the people and events on the Hill. It’s really nice to see her start to be more at home, and slowly begin coming into her own. She’s still uncomfortable, but she’s definitely getting there.
What’s also fun is that we get to see a bit more of Nicky and his roots in this story line. Justifiably, Nicky has been the husband that has been the most difficult to like. Amy Lane does an excellent job of taking the character from his nearly-a-bad-guy origin to a sympathetic, likeable young man, and as this story arc continues for him in Volume Two, I think he will also start coming into his own. I’m excited to see it.
The chapters do a good job of shifting POV, providing needed insights into characters and events through outside narrators, and also sometimes giving the reader a break from certain characters’ voices. For example, I like Cory, but the way she talks to herself and about herself is not necessarily something I want to listen to for an entire book. I have all the sympathy feels for the other characters and their ongoing frustration with her self-doubt. The shifting POV really alleviates that, so it’s not actually a pain point for the reader, or at least for this reader.
My only issues with the book have to do with the two volume thing and the publishing schedule of some of the related stories. This entire series is all being reprinted by DSPP, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I have some of the originals from their first printing, and this second go has given them a seriously lovely upgrade (I mean, how pretty are these covers?!). Ms. Lane is actually very straightforward about the decision to split books 1-4 into two volumes in the introductions/forwards of the books, and I’m even on board with it. For the other books, though, the divide felt a bit more natural. This one, I was left feeling like not quite enough action had taken place before I hit the end. I was still waiting for some type of mini-climax event to make it feel like I’d read a whole book. I will fully admit that this is also the first time I’ve had to wait for volume two after finishing the first volume, so by all means, take that criticism with a grain of salt.
As far as the release schedule goes, again, Ms. Lane addresses that in the forward of this book. The key werewolves in this book have their own spin-off set of books that include pretty important character arcs that occur before this particular book’s timeline. Their reprint hasn’t been published by DSPP yet. Ms. Lane does what she can to mitigate that by summarizing events (without spoilering). It was still a pretty obvious hole, but knowing to expect it helped. I will say that since one of the Green’s Hill books I own from the first printing is the first werewolf book, I did actually go back and read it just to fill in some of the gaps. That also helped. Mostly, you should be sure you’re reading the forwards to these books so you have all the needed info going in. Don’t skip them; they’re even more important than normal! I didn’t deduct a star for it, since I appreciate the transparency from the author that let me know to expect it, but it is something you should be prepared for.
Overall, I highly recommend this book and the series as a whole. From things Amy Lane says in the introductions to this and the other books, it’s pretty clear these stories and characters mean a lot to her. But it’s from actually reading these stories that the depth of her love for these folks and their world becomes obvious. It’s enchanting. And best of all, she’s the kind of author who can make you love her characters, too. So this series is worth your time. Just be ready, because it’s still Amy Lane. No matter how much she loves the characters, she will still totally put them (and the reader) through the wringer before letting them have a happy ending.
You can buy Rampant here: