On the waves of the North Atlantic, a poison spreads, sapping the life from humans and striking madness into immortals.
Patrick Murphy, the immortal leader of Dublin, has been trying to stem the tide of Elixir washing into his territory, but nothing seems to stop the vampire drug. While others in the immortal world work to cure the creeping insanity that Elixir threatens, Murphy has been invited to London to join a summit of leaders hoping to discover who is shipping the drug. If Murphy and his allies can cut off the supply, they might be able to halt the spread long enough for a treatment to be found for the humans and vampires infected.
Anne O’Dea, Murphy’s former lover, retreated from public life over one hundred years ago to help immortals in need… and to heal her own broken heart. Though powerful connections keep her insulated from the violence of vampire politics, even Anne is starting to feel the effects of Elixir on her isolated world. The human blood supply has been tainted, and with Anne’s unique needs, even those closest to her might be in danger. Not just from infection, but Anne’s escalating bloodlust.
When Anne and Murphy are both called to London, they’re forced to confront a connection as immortal as they are. As they search for a traitor among allies, they must also come to terms with their past. Behind the safe facade of politics, old hungers still burn, even as an ancient power threatens the fate of the Elemental World.
It is no secret I have been a long-time fan of Elizabeth Hunter and her Elemental World Series. I go into every single read knowing I am very likely going to simply adore what she gives. With that being said, I have struggled for several days with the most unusual sensation that I didn’t adore this read and it has taken me these past several days to pinpoint exactly what it is that kept me from absolute adoration. Go ahead, boo me now . . . .
What I Liked:
Patrick Murphy: Holy hotness, Batman do I loves me some Patrick Murphy. As the unquestioned leader of Dublin, Murphy has earned his position through ruthless control, absolute loyalty to his people, pure charisma, and shrewd business dealings. He holds his friends and allies close, trusts only a handful of vampires and people, and deals death to all who defy him or hurt those he calls his own. He is wicked sexy, funny, snarky, inquisitive, and completely consumed with two things, his mate, Anne O’Dea and protecting his people from Elixir.
Elixir: This long-term plot line is getting more and more interesting with each installment of the series. Its effects are being felt throughout the human and vampire worlds and to date, no one has any real answers about how to cure it, who’s making it, and who’s shipping it. It is still as nasty as it has ever been and there seems to be no end in sight.
The Summit: What a tricky business inviting the world’s most powerful vampires to a single location. That much power, intrigue, and distrust is just a recipe for disaster but, needs must. Elixir is a ferocious and uncaring enemy that has crossed into all territories and if it is to be contained, these immensely powerful creatures must share information and work together to achieve a common goal. With Patrick at the head of the event, and information coming in little by little, it is soon clear to all that there is more afoot than just the spread of Elixir. The summit tests each and every participant, strengthens some alliances while others are weakened, provides a great amount of drama and action, and is a wonderful way for new characters to be introduced and the long-term plot to be advanced and further developed.
What I didn’t like:
Anne O’Dea: Let the booing at me continue . . . . Anne is an older character (she helped Brigid control her fire!) whose time has come to have her story told. For the last century, Anne has hidden away from vampire society and lived a quiet life in her native Galway. She is close to her father (the extremely old and powerful Tywyll) and her sister and has earned a reputation as a caring, considerate, and ultra-private individual. Much of Anne’s seclusion has to do with her very unique ability, her extreme hunger for blood, and her heartache over the loss of her mate, Patrick Murphy. When her sister calls her into service to attend the summit in her stead, Anne is forced back into the world and into the arms of Patrick Murphy. Anne’s intelligence and ability to read the other summit attendees makes her invaluable to Patrick but that is where the goodness ends for me. Though she is a vampire and sired from a very old and powerful vampire, Anne is not strong and that makes her a constant liability to Patrick. Furthermore, though I fully appreciate Patrick was an ass in the past, Anne has really punished him for long enough. Her refusal to speak to him or be near him for fear of losing herself simply reads as selfish more than a sense of self-preservation. Finally, Anne’s relative weakness compared to the other females in the Elemental World is somewhat off-putting and makes her, in my view a poor choice of mate for a vampire as strong as Patrick Murphy.
The Bottom Line: As you can clearly see, I did generally enjoy most aspects of this read. The plot is once again strong and exciting with lots of intrigue and action, the reappearance of older characters (Brigid and Carwyn!) is always a bonus for me, the introduction of new characters not only enhanced the plot in this read but is a clear indication the series is going to continue for some time (YAY!!). Hunter’s writing style is clear and strong with no perceivable flaws. For me, the only negative in this read is a single character and now that her story has been told, she likely won’t be as large a factor in future reads. In all, The Scarlet Deep is a good book but not one of my favorites in the overall series.