I first read about this series on Ann Aguirre's blog. She recommended it so highly and, given how much I enjoyed Grimspace, I immediately picked up a copy of the first book--Resenting the Hero. By the time I cracked it open, I'd been sufficiently warned not to be deterred by the ridiculous cover and anemic title. It's difficult to get past the outside, they said, but persevere you must. The cover is truly cringe-worthy. But the contents are not. The story has its laughable parts. But they're meant to be funny. So that's all right.
Lee (short for Dunleavy) Mallorough has trained her entire life to be a Shield. Shields work together with their Source counterparts. Sources have an uncanny ability to detect natural disasters and avert them. Unfortunately, channeling that much power is guaranteed to kill a Source, unless he or she is bonded to a Shield, whose job it is to protect the Source's mind for the duration of the channeling. A few times a year, unbound Sources and Shields are brought together for The Choosing. Tradition has it that the first time a proper pair sets eyes on each other, the bonding occurs and they both just know. And to make The Choosing even more nerve wracking, the pairing is a lifelong bond. When one dies, so does the other. So, yeah. No pressure.
Suffice it to say Lee is less than thrilled when she looks up into the eyes of Taro (short for Shintaro) Karish, the infamous golden boy of the Source-and-Shield world, and just knows. The unlikely and, on Lee's part, completely unwilling pair are immediately assigned duty in High Scape--the most hazardous city in their world. Shortly after they arrive, a series of inexplicably powerful disasters strike the city, cutting down all but the newest Pair. Lee and Taro are left alone to protect the city and discover the force at the root of the disasters. Moira J. Moore has set up a rather unique fantasy world and two interesting, complex characters whose strengths and insecurities drive the story. I liked Lee and Taro and the fact that things didn't feel rushed. This is the first in a series and there is plenty of room for development and exploration, inside and out.
Ann Aguirre Review
Janicu's Book Blog Review