Runes (Book 1) by Ednah Walters
Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father*s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.
Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.
Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.
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Runes is the first book in a fantastic new young adult (YA) series that features an amazing cast of characters, lots of mystery and suspense involving supernatural beings, and the beginnings of a fragile, but sizzling romance.
Lorraine Cooper or Raine as she’s called by her friends is the heroine of the story. She’s a teenager on the cusp of turning seventeen, and the plot of the story is revealed through only Raine’s point of view. By limiting the point of view, Walters allows readers to connect with Raine and really get to know how strong and honorable she tries to be as she gradually discovers that she and her fellow swim team members are the target of a group of supernatural beings who are here on a mission. It is engaging to follow along as Raine slowly starts to piece together the mystery behind runes magic.
Raine seems like a typical teenager who enjoys hanging out with her two best friends, Cora and Eirik. However, early in the story, readers learn that Raine is putting up a courageous front as she deals with the uncertainty of her father’s fate. Three months ago, her father disappeared when his plane crashed over the Pacific Ocean, and Raine and her mother have no idea whether he survived, since his body was never recovered. Her mother refuses to give up hope, but Raine is not as certain. She chooses to keep her concerns and worries to herself, refusing to burden her friends and family.
Little does Raine know that her life is about to dramatically change when her new next door neighbor Torin St. James knocks on her door, looking for Eirik.
Raine is in awe when she first sees him:
“I took a step back, my pulse leaping. In one sweeping glance, I took in the stranger’s shaggy black hair, piercing Pacific blue eyes under arched eyebrows, black leather jacket, and hip-hugging jeans. Either fate had conjured the poster boy of all my fantasies and deposited him on my doorstep or I was dreaming.”
Although Raine is immediately attracted to Torin, she refuses to admit it to herself. One main reason is that she has already set her sights on Eirik, her friend from childhood and she’s just waiting for him to take the initiative to elevate their friendship status to a committed dating relationship.
Furthermore, Raine finds Torin to be arrogant, annoying, and rude to the point that she tries to avoid him. The conversations between the two are witty, engaging, and show how much Torin enjoys bringing out Raine’s snarky attitude. It is easy to see there is a mutual attraction but both do their best to ignore the electricity that seems to spark when they’re together.
Raine’s intuition tells her something is unusual about Torin and the three new exchange students, Andris, Maliina, and Ingrid, she meets when the swim team members gather for a game of Ultimate Frisbee at the park.
Andris is a charismatic character who reminds me of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
This becomes evident when he openly flirts with Raine, making his significant other, Maliina jealous. She retaliates by assaulting Raine during the game.
A major turning point in the story occurs when Torin steps in and magically heals Raine. She knows her injuries are severe, but, after Torin holds her for a minute, she miraculously is able to stand up and walk away.
She confronts Torin to find out who or what he is and how he saved her.
Torin denies her claims until she reveals that she has seen tattooed markings on Andris. In his shock, he confirms some of her suspicions:
.“…They’re not tattoos. They’re runes, and Mortals aren’t supposed to see them.”
Raine soon realizes that she is surrounded by some type of supernatural beings who seem to have a vested interest in what happens to the members of her school’s swim team.
The action continues with a series of disastrous events that involve Raine and the rest of the swim team, motivating her to discover the origins of Torin and his counterparts, the significance of the magical runes, and the supernaturals’ sinister purpose for targeting this particular group of athletes. Fortunately for Raine, Torin is always there to protect her. Because Torin cares so much to Raine, he does admit that he is an immortal but rules prevent him from revealing anything more about what he is and his job.
Even though Raine is seeing Eirik, and Torin isn’t supposed to get involved with mortals, they can’t fight their desire for each other:
“You feel it, don’t you? “ he said. “This thing between us.”
“Thing didn’t begin to describe how I felt about him. He was an obsession, a craving. I had Eirik whom I’d loved since we were children and that wasn’t about to change. But Torin affected me in ways I couldn’t begin to describe. I was miserable without him, yet when with him my emotions were all over the place. He made me mad one minute and euphoric the next.”
One kiss is all it takes for them to realize they have found true love.
Unfortunately, they aren’t getting that happily ever because each is willing to make sacrifices to ensure the safety and happiness of the other. As more secrets are revealed, the rising action of the story leads to an intense, but unresolved, climatic ending.
Walters weaves together an intriguing story of mystery involving magic, mythology, and romance that consumed me until the last page. The shocking cliffhanger has me anxiously awaiting the second book in the series, entitled Immortals.
I received a copy of this book from Firetrail Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
About Ednah Walters
EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she*s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.
Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN.
Ednah also writes New Adult paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. She is presently working on book 2, IMMORTALS.
Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She’s presently working on book six. You can visit her online at www.ednahwalters.com or www.ebwalters.com.
Music to Complement the book
ELO “Strange Magic”
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