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Devil's Gate by Thea Harrison

Devil's Gate

by Thea Harrison

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The blurb itself tell much about the story and since its a short novella I can hardly comment more without spoiling the story . Devil’s Gate is the Elder Races novella that narrates the story of Seremela, the medusa medical examiner that had helped the previous Elder Races characters with cases and sometimes research on something. Now she’s newly relocated to Miami where she can continue working with Carling and Rune, her days became stunted when her sister called up with a news that her unruly niece had trouble in Devil’s Gate, a town where the bad and wild prowled. Duncan Turner, Carling’s Vampyre lawyer who had helped Rune when Carling’s dying, came to helped Seremela when Carling called up about Seremela’s family issues.

For me, Elder Races series are not just any ordinary PNR book series. What’s intriguing about the urban fantasy series is that most of the books are either comedy mythology, mystery and politics which masquerades as paranormal romance. If you judge the books by the cover (full of hunks by the way) you’re likely to miss out a lot from these action adverture books. The short novella actually have a lot of romance elements that the novels itself almost lacks. With the coming book about Drogos and Pia again, the novella tried it best to tie up some of its side characters stories by giving what some readers crave since the novels are more serious that it let on.

The novella bring newer conflict that may be apparent in future storylines; an ancient item resurfaces, the dark fey politics strife and fragile wyr demesne. With the fifth novel coming up in five more month, the novella does manage to make me stay intrigued with the storylines and refreshed some of the books’s side character without rereading the entire series. A skill which most YA writers absolutely lacks. ( )
  aoibhealfae | Sep 23, 2013 |
I'm really loving these in-between novels. They're just enough to tide me over between full-length release.

I enjoyed these two very much. I especially loved how their perception of each other changed over the course of the story.

As with the other shorts Harrison has written, I wish the romance spanned more than a few days. While I believe a Happy-for-Now would work, I'm not sure I bought the I-Love-You's after so short a period of time. ( )
  cranberrytarts | Sep 22, 2013 |
This one didn't really do it for me. Maybe it was the Medusa-thing, maybe the vampyre/lawyer thing. Or the teenager runs wild and needs to be rescued theme. All in all, it was a bit boring (astonishing for such a short story) and the big show down ended with a few words about the "good connections" the vampyre/lawyer has and everything is fine.
Also the love story didn't really develop: the story starts at a point where both MCs already know each other for some time and it is more about the "now we should schedule a first date" phase. Not really exciting, but ok. ( )
  Tam2603 | Apr 18, 2013 |
I'm not sure how to review this story, as a romance and as an adventure it worked very well. The problem is that those two halves felt entirely separate from each other.

The messy danger of Devil's Gate blew in and out too fast, I wanted more out of that tent city than a blur of troll parking, pharmacy, casino. Still, the places Harrison does describe are striking and distinct, and Devil's Gate shimmers with the squalor and lawlessness of an Old West town. There is a lot of story for this short little novella, and the situation Harrison created could easily have filled a much longer format.

With so much plot rushing by, I'm glad Harrison kept the romance separate, but this contributes to the almost split personality of DEVIL'S GATE. I could wish that the genre didn't demand a happily-ever-after, I would have been happy if Duncan and Selema were just setting the stage for a later book, and some of that "even better if" longing did detract from my over all enjoyment. Harrison, once again, does a great job writing how the "otherness" of her paranormal creatures impacts their everyday life. Selema's headsnakes are a riot in the opening scene, jockeying to look through the peephole of her door like excited kids (PD - Those headsnakes don't just disappear, and though Duncan and I both found them charming, anyone with a morbid fear of snakes may not be able accept them).

The exotic danger of Devil's Gate and the shy attraction of this romance are both memorable, if not particularly tied to each other. Whether in a longer novella or a full length book, DEVIL'S GATE is a story that feels like it needed more room to grow. ( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A fun story about a medusa and a vampyre going to rescue a girl in a lawless town and eventually finding love that’s set within the world of the Elder Races series.

Opening Sentence: Seremela Telemar leaned against the frame of the open balcony doors in her high-rise apartment and looked out at the ocean view.

The Review:

Seremela Telemar is a medusa working for Carling and Rune (their story is in Serpents Kiss). She must leave her job for a family emergency involving her missing niece and while this is not uncommon thing for Seremela to do, her companion is: Sexy vampyre lawyer, Duncan Turner. While she may entertain naughty thoughts about Duncan, she is more worried about her niece’s location within the famed lawless tent town of Devil’s Gate. Can Seremela and Duncan get Vetta out with all of them alive and unscathed? Is this the perfect opportunity for these two beings to explore the sexual chemistry between them?

Seremela and Duncan have been side characters that make bit appearances in most of the recent books of The Elder Races series. Seremela’s character seems extremely intelligent, yet shy and reserved. Duncan, on the other hand, comes across as more confident and aloof. In this novella, we see that there is so much more to the both of them. Out of all the novella’s to date, I have to say that this is my favorite. It is like watching two of your old acquaintances find love in one another. Seremela and Duncan not only work well together, they complement each other. I find myself more attached to these two than the other background characters and I look forward to seeing their relationship progress in future books.

Devil’s Gate is a very interesting place. It brings to mind the old West settlements, only with supernatural creatures. There is gambling, shake downs, and no laws but their own. I found the entire place to be a wonderful addition to the Elder Races universe and its strict laws and regulations. It was extremely satisfying to see Seremela “let down her hair” and allow her inner strength to shine through in such adversity.

While this novella ties into Natural Evil, it is a wonderful read in itself. I’m glad that my Elder Races fix is supplemented by such witty and heartwarming tales.

Notable Scene:

“After we park, we’re going to need reliable information. Where?”

“Down Main Street, north side,” said the troll. “Look for the pharmacist. Name’s Wendell. He’d sell pics of his mother’s tits to the highest bidder. But they’d really be of his mother’s tits.” As Seremela stared, the troll lifted his rocky shoulders. “What can I say, guy’s got a code. Sort of.”

Duncan bit back a smile. “He your boss?”

“Yeah.” The troll patted the roof of the SUV, straightened and lumbered back a step. “Now git outta here.”

Duncan drove the SUV gently over the rough, pitted ground toward the end of one row of vehicles where a ghoul in an orange reflective vest stood, flashing them with a flashlight.

“I brought cash too,” Seremela said. “I’ll pay you back.”

“Let’s not worry about that right now,” Duncan said. “It’s unimportant. Let’s just focus on getting your niece.”

“Okay.” She stayed silent for a moment as he parked the SUV. Then she said, “Wendell.”

“The pornographic pharmacist,” Duncan said, deadpan.

“It’s not funny.”

“Of course it’s not,” he said.

A soft, odd noise escaped her. It sounded a lot like hot air hissing out of a tea kettle. He looked at her suffused face, found her looking back at him, and them they both burst out laughing again.

He pulled the emergency brake and killed the engine. “Let’s go see what Wendell has to say for himself.”

“Okay,” Seremela said, eyes dancing, “but if he tries to sell me a picture of his mother’s tits, I’m so out of there.”

FTC Advisory: Samhain Publishing graciously provided me with a copy of Devil’s Gate. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Nov 15, 2012 |
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A Novella of the Elder Races. As a coroner, medusa Seremela Telemar has always felt more comfortable chatting over a dead body than over drinks. But when her wild niece, Vetta, runs off to Devil's Gate, a lawless town that has sprung up overnight in a modern-day gold rush, she knows she has to extricate her before the rebellious girl gets into real trouble. Though she's confident in her head snakes' ability to defend her against attackers, Seremela is still a bit nervous about braving this modern-day Wild West by herself. Vampyre Duncan Turner is not about to let his new co-worker go into that chaos alone. His Vampyric power and lawyer smarts make him the perfect ally, and the fact that he already had his eye on Seremela for more...personal reasons, doesn't hurt matters. Any romantic thoughts pull up short, however, when they arrive at Devil's Gate and learn Vetta is set to hang by morning. In order to save Vetta and themselves, Seremela and Duncan are going to have to fight fire with force and magic with fangs. And pray they make it out of Devil's Gate alive.… (more)

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