The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.
I had such high hopes for this book. I had really enjoyed the previous two books in this series and nearly feel over with excitement when I found out there would be more books coming. So needless to say I was dying to get my hands on The Defender when it was announced. I was so happy to get approved to receive a copy to review. Unfortunately though all that excitement dwindled once I started to read the book.
From past experience I know that the author likes to focus on other things and allow the romance to play more in the background, slowly building up to culminate near the end, so I wasn’t expecting instant romance. But even the main focus of the story, which for a large portion of the book was on the raptors and Katie’s search/reunion with her long lost mother seemed far too slow in my opinion. Now I did enjoy the parts about the raptors and how it spoke of the importance of people who do falconry for a living and the importance of saving predatory birds but even that didn’t help move the story along enough for me.
As far as characters go Katie was a mixed bag. One minute she would be a mature woman reflecting her age and experiences well and then next she would be like a dreamy eyed kid who saw the world in rainbows and unicorns. It was these major shifts in her behavior that annoyed me. Over all she was just kind of annoying Joe wasn’t too bad of a character, he was elusive for a while but that was likely tied into trying to remain undercover but he never really grew on me, except for maybe at the very end when he saves Katie.
Janet made a terrible “bad guy” character, though that may be because I was comparing her to Curt Downing who played the role of bad guy in the previous two novels and did a damned good job of it as well. There were mentions of him in this book and I had high hopes he would actually be in it, but sadly he wasn’t. Which is a shame because he definitely could have shown Janet how the real bad guys work. Janet did redeem herself a bit in the end, but even that didn’t really make me like her character over all.
I think one reason I couldn’t get into this book as much as the other, besides the weak characters and lackluster flow of the story, is because all of those character I learned to like in the previous novels weren’t there. Oh a few of these made small appearances in the book but it just didn’t have that appeal to it without all those characters.
In the end I’m glad I read this book because this series had interested me greatly since picking up The Last Cowboy, but it certainly did not shine like the previous two novels. Though not my favorite among the books in the series so far I am looking forward to the next book, since I hear there is another coming out, and hope that that one will be better.