The third time I died was early on a Monday morning, a week after Labor Day.
That’s one heck of a first line.
Overall, Boundry Crossed is well written and an enjoyable read. Allison Alexandra Luther (“Lex”, not Allie) is a former US Army Sergeant, current night shift worker at a convenience store worker, and future witch–even if she doesn’t know it yet. She gets dumped head first into the supernatural when her infant niece gets kidnapped by vampires. In the process of hunting them down, she finds out about the various supernatural beasties running around, along with finding out that she’s a particularly rare breed herself: a boundary witch, specializing in death magic.
Coming off the Eric Carter series, the death based magic here seems quite a bit more bland and not nearly as interesting, but I think that’s mostly a matter of comparison. Otherwise, the world building is fairly standard urban fantasy witches, werewolves, and vampires, with the addition of nulls (anti magic fields) being the only relatively ‘new’ bit.
Characterwise, I liked Lex well enough, although she didn’t seem to react to the introduction of the supernatural world as strongly as I would have expected. Her world turns upside down, but nothing seems to really have changed. On top of that, she’s served multiple tours of duty, has died three times (see the first line of the book), and recently lost her twin sister. I expected a bit more trauma there, but we don’t really feel it.
Other than that, we have witch siblings Lily and Simon, who help train Lex once she realizes she has her powers–and despite her inclination for death magic. I really liked Lily in particular. She patches up Lex a time or two and seems pretty kick ass in her own right.
On the vampire front, we have Maven–the super old vampire who is kind of terrifying but doesn’t want the spotlight; nothing particularly new there–and Quinn, the all too friendly maybe reluctant love interest–although not in this book. Quinn more than any of the rest was hard to get a read on. He just didn’t seem to have much in the way of personality.
Plotwise, the search for the kidnapped magical macguffin is ramped up a bit in that said macguffin is a baby girl. With kids of my own, that’s a good way to ramp up the stakes, if potentially risky. It’s done well enough though. The plot for why exactly she’s being kidnapped is a little thin, but I think it works, and there are enough twists to keep going.
Overall, it’s a quick, fun read, but it’s not really in the top tier of urban fantasy I’ve ever read. Worth checking out though if you’re all out and looking for more though.
Random amusing quote of the book:
And John, whether or not he was willing to admit it, could use the distraction of a weekly evening out with someone who was able to say more than six words.