Review and Tears! Blood Broken by Lindsay J. Pryor
May 20, 2019
Review - Haven by Lindsay J. Pryor
November 2, 2017
The day has arrived!!!! Can I have a morning squee??? Yep, today is the much longed for release day of Haven: A Lowtown Novel by the best selling British author, Lindsay J. Pryor. I'm so, so excited to share this book with you!
HAVEN – A Lowtown Novel
A spin-off from the bestselling Blackthorn series by Lindsay J. Pryor, set in Lowtown, the neighbouring district to Blackthorn. The product of a brutal class system, the dark, gritty world of Lowtown will grip you and never let you go.
Every few days the handsome stranger comes into the café in Lowtown for an hour a time. Most of the time he keeps himself to himself - one drink and he leaves. Sometimes people meet with him but about what remains elusive, the edge of mystery and danger adding to his allure.
Not that Ember is allowed to think about him. She's finally on the cusp of gaining her citizenship and escaping Lowtown for good, so she can't be seen to be involved with a vampire - evidence of one single bite would be the end of her prospects. But when those prospects are rocked by her links to the district's dark underbelly, the stranger she must avoid could be her absolution - and she could be his . . .
When I received my longed for copy of Haven, I had feelings of elation and also a little trepidation. I make no secret of being a huge fan of Lindsay J. Pryor and her stunning Blackthorn series. The Blackthorn series is my favourite PNR series ever, so I actually felt nervous about my reaction, like I was cheating on the series by reading Haven. And it's so amazing, so how can it be topped? But hey, apparently I am a cheater! Haven is different in many ways in that it’s a spin-off from Blackthorn, it’s a standalone and it’s a Lowtown novel. Different district, new characters and a plot that has an end. Blackthorn, in comparison, has an overarching plot that continues throughout the series of eight books. You can absolutely read Haven without having read the Blackthorn series, however, as I found, if you have read the Blackthorn series you do get some extra pleasure hits at the mention of a few familiar names and there are some snippets of information that to Blackthorn fans will stand out as a revelation.
Lowtown is seemingly a ‘safer’ place than Blackthorn. The Blackthorn streets are seeped with danger and depravity. There, with the looming prophecy and the control of the third species reaching the point of all out war, there is an urgency to survive. In Lowtown, there is still that fight to survive, but it’s more subtle. More about conformity as a way of life. And the implications of what happens when you refuse to do so.
So this is where my comparison ends. And rightly so. Because, now I’ve read Haven, it justifiably deserves to be considered in its own right. It HAS to be considered in its own right.
Haven is definitely urban fantasy, with paranormal and romantic elements. Haven is more about the darkness and cruelty of humans rather than the callous nature of the paranormal species. In Lowtown, to survive you comply. Life is hard in a district rife with corruption and control. Ember has worked hard to avoid becoming another statistic, another victim of kidnap that ends in a life as a feeder for the vampires, or possibly worse. She keeps her head down and her nose clean as a way of earning her way out of Lowtown. A few more days and she’ll finally succeed. Though doing so will still be bittersweet as she’ll be leaving behind her job and the friends she cares so much about. And no more handsome stranger. The stranger who comes into the café where she works and makes her pulse leap. Though it won’t be long until he’s a stranger no more.
Nate, a vampire and a collector, forms no relationships and works alone. For months he’s been conducting his business from a café, close to his home in Lowtown. Everyone in Lowtown tries to stay off the radar for risk of becoming embroiled in the control war between rival clans the Voys and the Hordas clans. Except, that becomes impossible for Nate when the café suddenly becomes a point of interest for the Hordas clan – as does Ember.
Now living in the same building and having needed to save each other’s lives, Nate is a no longer a stranger. But was he ever that? When Ember seeks out Nate for vengeance and to secure the safety of those she’ll be leaving behind, it seems their meeting could be less than a coincidence. It also seems that their link to each other puts their very lives on a knife edge. Being together could be their ultimate downfall. Which makes their relationship so beautiful and compelling.
I adored both characters. Ember is strong, brave and righteous, despite her desire to meet her own needs, and Nate, ah Nate. Though, admittedly, he’s true to his dangerous vamp nature (and incredibly hot!) there is also a beautiful vulnerability to him. One that tugs at your heart. And one that makes you question if he and Ember should get together, even though, at the same time, you desperately want them to be together!
This book grips you right from the beginning. The goal, the motivation of the main protagonists seem clear from the start and you invest in them instantly. But then, as you get deeper, so do the goals, so does the motivation, getting more desperate, more urgent. And that’s without the conflict! My goodness does the author put them through an emotional wringer! The plot is amazingly good, simply wonderful, something that is the only thing that doesn’t surprise me about the authors writing. I've never been able to figure out one of her plots and Haven is no exception. Lindsay J. Pryor's world building is perfection. The plot is skilled and engrossing. Each chapter has some snatches-your-breath revelation. The conflict builds and builds, as does the tension. The final word is perfect and deeply satisfying. Everything about this book is satisfying. Dark, gritty, urban fantasy at its absolute best. Ah, Haven. You came, I read, I cried and fell in love. I found my haven in Haven!
Pure fantasy. Pure Genius.
5 Butterfly Rating!
About Lindsay J. Pryor
Lindsay J. Pryor is the author of the Amazon bestselling BLACKTHORN series, her dark, complex and gritty urban paranormal romances having achieved numerous Gothic and PNR number ones in both the UK and the US. LOWTOWN, a spin-off from the Blackthorn world, is her upcoming urban fantasy series of standalone books.
Quickly deciding that fantasy was more interesting than reality, Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old. She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology and Communication and is a qualified Psychology lecturer and English teacher. She taught for eighteen years before becoming a full-time author.
Lindsay was born and grew up in Wales and now lives in South West England with her husband, their rescue bunny and a plethora of wild woodland creatures.
BLACKTHORN is published by Bookouture. Her LOWTOWN novels are being published by Piatkus (Little, Brown Book Group).
To find out more about Lindsay and her books, please visit her website: lindsayjpryor.com