Supernatural misfit Ava Delaney only just survived the last book, and barely a fortnight passes before she’s once again up to her neck in even more sturm and drang. Her new employer is costing her in more ways than one, groups of strange vampires are hanging around outside her home, and to cap it all off her rent is way overdue.
With this to contend with the first half of this book, the followup to ‘Thirst’, is almost exhausting to read. You get a great sense that Ava’s life is spiraling out of control and at first she is utterly helpless against the greater supernatural forces that are playing her. She has no idea who to trust and is still finding her way, whilst remaining utterly loyal to her own principles of not hurting humans, or drinking blood despite the edge it gives her. This mindset and her trust issues were frustrating but realistic, and it makes Ava a more vulnerable, and heroic character, particularly as she never once feels heroic and is constantly questioning her own morals and abilities. Ava seems to live with an overriding sense of guilt but she is also defiant to the last.
In Taunt we learn a few things about Ava which will hopefully be further explored in Book 3. Because there’s so much going on it would be a shame to say more to spoil the surprise. Basically, Taunt is a perfect example of how to bust up your protagonist’s once sequestered little world, and then keep the reader totally on her side as she fights for survival, while the character remains almost entirely herself. Ava is a strong character even when she’s trying desperately to catch up with the threats and conspiracies surrounding her. In Taunt she’s a bit less scatty than before, but no less stubborn, and prone to insulting super-powered beings when threatened, which I enjoyed very much.
‘Taunt’ has ended on a very interesting note, just as some very cool stuff was revealed, so I’m glad I have the next in the series ready to go, and I’ll look forward to hanging out with Ava Delaney again very soon.