Page Count: 264
Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase’s birthday, the bloodline stopped.
Exiled without the Circle’s protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle’s agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can’t do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna — a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret.
In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle’s plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other’s life depending on it.
Fellow bloggers have been raving about Merrick’s books, to the point where even though I hadn’t read any of them I started to follow his twitter and his blog. I was lucky enough to win this in one of Matt’s giveaways and I’ve been itching to read it since I received it.
This book kicks off with a powerful start that drew me in and at times kind of broke my heart. You meet Chase, a hunter, who is just trying to survive in a world where he has to help pay bills and fight off demons. You are even given brief glimpses into his past in the Circle and with his father, which was enough to make me hate the man right away. Over the course of the book a lot of things are thrown at Chase and he handles them as well as you expect him to. There are a lot of moments where he’s bravery is obvious and other times where the decision is rushed and the outcome is more than expected, but despite his need to prove himself Chase is a great guy and means the best. The demons in this are fantastic and extremely varied. There are the normal things like vampires, witches and shifters; then there are the things you kind of forget about like cyclops and trolls. The whole idea behind the demons and the Circle is fantastic, and I loved watching all of it unfold. The demon world sounds oddly beautiful and at the same time kind of rough, I thought it was a great addition to the story to show that demons have lives and don’t just thrive on tormenting humans. I’m quite fond of the goblin that he encounters, despite his anger issues. There is also the utterly awesome elemental abilities that Hunters have and I’m kind of jealous that I don’t have anything like that. It adds a kind of special quirk to the story that I haven’t really gotten from other books, at least not quite like this.
The other characters are just as great as much fun to read about as Chase is. I would have to say that Rayna is my favorite character, though I doubt that is much of a surprise to those who’ve read it. She’s witty, sarcastic and when it comes to fighting she definitely knows how to handle herself. Of course her mysterious origin also helps her allure as a character. There is also a great connection between her and Chase that I really hope develops into something more in the second book, Shift. Willy, who is a demon with color changing skin and a stutter, has found his way into my heart as well. He’s a bit of a coward but he has a huge heart and he genuinely seems to care about Chase and Rayna. He’s a sweet guy with best intentions and he proves that he can come through when his friends need him.
I read this in about 5 hours and I barely took a break while reading it. The story is addictive and fast paced, and even though I was kind of out of breath at the end I would have gladly done it all again. This is one series definitely worth checking out and I look forward to reading Shift and Release.
You can buy Exiled here on Amazon:
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