Flora Reviews… Phantom Embrace (Immortal Guardians #5.5) by Dianne Duvall
Read: 6th – 7th September 2016
Re-Read: 3rd – 4th July 2018
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So what’s this book about?
Phantom Embrace is a novella (approx 118 pages) in Ms Duvall’s popular Immortal Guardians Series. Currently 7 novels plus 2 novellas. It’s a paranormal romance tale that I think could sit happily on an urban fantasy shelf due to some of the content. The setting for the series is modern day North Carolina, USA and features a new twist on the vampire genre.
Immortals and vampires are both infected with the same virus, which lends them dramatically increased strength, speed, healing capabilities and enhanced senses. Vampires are humans who have been infected, whereas immortals are gifted ones who have been infected. Gifted ones are men and women who were born with extremely advanced DNA that lends them special gifts, such as healing, telepathy, precognition and the like. Vampires rapidly descend into madness when the virus damages their brains but Immortals don’t; their advanced DNA protects them from that aspect of the virus.
I focus my reviews on how the story was told rather than the plot itself. I’m looking at the author’s writing style, how they paced their plots and how well they constructed their characters and setting. Therefore, my reviews don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists.
Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story.
Across dimensions . . .
A gifted one, Yuri Sokolov was born with the ability to see spirits, but he knows better than to make contact with them. Yet he’s never seen one as lovely as Cat Seddon, the woman who haunts his home and his dreams. But amid their star-crossed love, a new danger may have Yuri facing a different kind of eternity.
Previously published in On the Hunt.
So, what did I like about it?
I am a fan of Ms Duvall’s writing style and find her books very easy to read; she writes intelligent, engaging stories with a collection of well written characters within an imaginative world that mixes fantasy and reality, creating a world that I can believe in. The pace of her stories is usually fast and full of action without being disorienting and I like that she combines a couple of plot lines to run alongside the main romantic story arc. Although Phantom Embrace is a novella and the plots not as numerous as her full novels, I was just as engaged.
My regular followers will know that I enjoy stories where the characters are not black or white, good or evil but a multifaceted mix of positive and negative traits and I like to see them grow through embracing or overcoming these hurdles; Cat is a ghost and Yuri is an Immortal Guardian but the fact that they have been written with personality traits that we can see in the real world around us – even though they are mythical, paranormal beings – adds believability to this fantasy tale.
I loved this novella and thought it was a great way to let us into the secret, and rather unique relationship between Yuri and Cat plus I loved the fact that we experienced some scenes and situations that we’ve already read in the previous book from a different perspective, i.e. Yuri’s or Cat’s. Phantom Embrace had tears trailing down my face a few times, the action definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, the blossoming romance made me warm and fuzzy, the banter put a smile on my face and the passion set my tummy a-tingling. *ooohyesss*
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
The story within this novella takes place during the time-frame of the 5th novel Night Unbound. The romance aspect of the tale between Yuri and Cat is concluded by the end of this book in Ms Duvall’s signature HEA style.
We meet characters from the previous books and there are references to past adventures. Ms Duvall tries to make sure any new readers aren’t lost. Weaving pertinent information into this story without slowing the pace.
However, I wonder that as with most series, would you miss the nuances of knowing the existing characters, understanding the dynamics of relationships and ongoing plot lines if you jump in cold or read the book out of order plus
As with most series, there are background story arcs that are left to continue into subsequent books.
So, basically what I’m saying is…
Phantom Embrace had everything that I look for in a great story wrapped up in a novella package. It ticked all my boxes: Intelligent writing style that’s easy to read. Main characters with depth of personality that I can believe. Plausible background story and setting. As well as a good balanced mix of scenes; relationship, romance, action and passion.
I didn’t want to stop reading this novella!
There are scenes of explicit sexual content and graphic violence in this book. Therefore, I’d only recommend it to adults who aren’t offended by scenes of this sort.
I’d recommend Phantom Embrace to die-hard romantics. Readers who like strong alpha heroes and heroines with gumption. Plus lots of action alongside beautiful romance and plenty of titillation.
Has my review of PHANTOM EMBRACE (IMMORTAL GUARDIANS #5.5) encouraged you to find out more? Click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the series and its author.
The Immortal Guardians Series
Books in the Series
If you haven’t read any of the series yet, it’s never too late to start your adventure with these gripping alpha heroes and truly awesome heroines. Follow the links to read my reviews or buy your own copy.
- Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians, #1) (2011)
- Night Reigns (Immortal Guardians, #2) (2011)
- Phantom Shadows (Immortal Guardians, #3) (2012)
- In Still Darkness (Immortal Guardians, #3.5) (2014)
- Darkness Rises (Immortal Guardians, #4) (2013)
- Night Unbound (Immortal Guardians, #5) (2014)
- Phantom Embrace (Immortal Guardians, #5.5) (2016)
- Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians, #6) (2015)
- Blade of Darkness (Immortal Guardians, #7) (2017)
- Awaken the Darkness (Immortal Guardians, #8) (2018)
- Death of Darkness (Immortal Guardians, #9) (2019)
- Broken Dawn (Immortal Guardians, #10) (2020)
Buy any of these stories in print, digital and audio formats from all the usual sources including;
Amazon UK ¦ Amazon US ¦ Audible ¦ Book Depository ¦ Foyles ¦ Waterstones
About The Author
Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Aldebarian Alliance, Immortal Guardians series and The Gifted Ones series. Reviewers have called Dianne’s books “fast-paced and humorous” (Publishers Weekly), “utterly addictive” (RT Book Reviews), “extraordinary” (Long and Short Reviews), and “wonderfully imaginative” (The Romance Reviews). Her books have twice been nominated for RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and Night Owl Reviews.
Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn’t writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she creates in her books.
Follow Dianne’s blog or on social media for the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review. Now, go and add Phantom Embrace to your wish list.
I really LOVE this series and already have Dianne Duvall on my list of amazing authors. Click HERE to see who else she’s with.