Kresley Cole – “No Rest For The Wicked”

18 Jul

GENRE: Romance / Paranormal
PUBLISHED: Pocket Star Books, 2006

WHY THIS NOVEL: I enjoyed Dark Needs at Night’s Edge very much so I wanted to read the whole series.

The back blurb:
“A vampire soldier weary of life …
Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire – a nightmare in his mind – against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.
A valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him …
When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow – accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings – particularly lust – emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.
Competitors in a legendary hunt …
The course will take them through ancient tombs and catacombs, seeking relics around the world, and the prize for victory is powerful enough for Kaderin to change history and prevent her sisters’ deaths. Sebastian competes as well, and begins winning –
her. But when forced to choose between Sebastian and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?”

Different from when I ordered Dark Needs, the story line in No Rest for the Wicked didn’t really appeal to me. It sounded to action-oriented for my tastes. I was pleasantly surprised and I’m happy to say, I enjoyed No Rest very much. Cole managed to keep a balance between action (the hunt) and emotion (the romance) that worked for me.

I really liked Sebastian. And I don’t mean it just in the “he’s-a-well-written-character” way. His willingness to do what it takes to win Kaderin got to me. He starts to take care of himself because with Kaderin, he has a reason to live. He wants to look worthy so Kaderin considers him as a husband and he wants her to know that he can look after her. Then later, during the hunt, when he … well, he made me go “aaawh” pretty often. He’s ashamed that Kaderin knows he lived alone in a castle for centuries when what he wanted above all in his life was a family. He just doesn’t want to appear lacking to Kaderin. What makes this even more poignant is that he’s very insecure about his attractiveness to women. He didn’t have much luck (and less opportunity) with them when he was a human and as a vampire, he hates himself and thinks of himself as a monster (a view he discovers he shares with the rest of the Lore). But his need to be with Kaderin overcomes all that. Yummy.

Kaderin is an interesting character, too. After the loss of her sisters, she dedicated her life to the slaying of vampires. There’s no doubt she’s strong in the physical sense. As for emotional, I see it as a debatable question because for over 1000 years she didn’t feel anything. She had no trouble being ruthless when needed, but she had no trouble being ruthless when not needed, too. Others call her “vicious.” Sebastian brings back her emotions and makes her feel again and I liked her consternation at her reactions to Sebastian. There are some fun parts like when she thinks of herself as “ogling the prey” while looking at Sebastian.

The main conflict of the romance and in the story is Sebastian being a vampire.

  • Sebastian hates being a vampire. He needs to accept himself.
  • Kaderin slays vampires. And now she has feelings for one of them.

So when they both realize that Kaderin is Sebastian’s Bride, Sebastian has his work cut out for him. Both Sebastian and Kaderin have to learn to accept the other and that’s not easy. Sebastian is often baffled that Kaderin doesn’t appear to appreciate his protectiveness. Kaderin has to learn that not all things are neatly divided into black and white, especially with the return of her emotions. At one point in the story there’s this – paraphrased – sentence: “Sebastian is brought back physically by Kaderin; Kaderin is brought back emotionally by Sebastian.” I liked this aspect in their relationship very much, a lot of mirroring and completing is going on in their relationship. For me, there’s a strong theme of identity running through the story. At the beginning, Sebastian and Kaderin are not “whole” as persons, Sebastian even more so than Kaderin because he can’t really accept the basic premise of his nature. But they learn, and it was a lot of fun to watch them adjust to each other with an end that made their respective processes come full circle.

The pace and structure of the romance is set by the external story line about the hunt. Kaderin wants to win like she did so often before. The prize would enable her to go back in time and save her sisters from death. Sebastian enters too, mostly to be there for Kaderin and help and protect her because that is what vampires do for their Brides. And if he should win, all the better because then he would have something to give to her that she wants very much. The hunt gives Sebastian a lot of opportunities to prove himself to Kaderin and in turn enables her to start to trust him, a vampire. As I said above, I also thought there was a good balance between romance and action, something I was a bit wary of.

I like the world Cole has created with this series. It appears complete and is populated by all kinds of Lore beings. There are likes and dislikes among the different kinds and at the end of the story, there is no magical “all is good” for their conflicts. Yep, I like that. Also, I thought this a funny novel. Probably not the laugh-out-loud kind of funny, but pretty humorous nonetheless, especially at the beginning. For example, when Kaderin gets to Antarctica … well, it worked for me.

There were some parts I thought a bit slow or dragging but not much so. Like I did with the other two novels I read in this series, I thought the ending a bit rushed; and then in parts curiously slow. Go figure.

Last thought:

  • I’m glad I already have the next one.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Yes.

Grade: 4 / 5


8 Responses to “Kresley Cole – “No Rest For The Wicked””

  1. Tracy Friday, July 18, 2008 at 6:50 pm #

    I just absolutely love this series. I read the short The Warlord Wants Forever and loved it. When I started A Hunger Like No Other I wasn’t quite as in love but continued with the series. I’ve loved them all. I think they just keep getting better and better. No Rest is one of my favs of the series.

    Great review.

  2. Taja Friday, July 18, 2008 at 7:13 pm #

    Tracy, I would like to read Nikolai’s and Myst’s story, I hear such good things about it. But it’s part of an anthology, and I’m not interested in the other two, and even if I would be, the price is higher than I’m usually willing to pay for a book, so I’m really torn about it. Why does it have to be a trade paperback? 😉

  3. Carolyn Jean Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 2:47 am #

    I just read the first three of these and I totally agree with a lot of your points. Great review!

    Interestingly, when you boil down the plot in those bullet points, it becomes clear that this is like the reverse of the first book, where the girl is the vampire and the lore man can’t stand vampires.

  4. Taja Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Carolyn Jean! I just left a comment on your A Hunger post. 🙂

    I like that in this series, the vampires are universally abhorred by the Lore. It puts a nice twist on the usual hero-worshipping of vampires in paranormal romance, IMO. Of course, it doesn’t keep them from turning up as heroes and heroines in this series which in some ways makes it like other vampire romances. 😉 But still, nice.

  5. Christine Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 4:04 am #

    What a fantastic and thorough review of this novel! I simply adore this series. I love the humor and honest banter between characters and the struggles they face. And like you said, I appreciate that there is no “magical happily ever after” resolution to conflicts. I want the characters to struggle… and then for the resolution to perhaps not be perfect, but still acceptable.

  6. Taja Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Hi Christine. After reading A Hunger I wouldn’t have thought I would say this, but: I adore this series too. 🙂 It’s clever and it’s fun. I’m really glad I took a chance on Dark Needs when it was published and then got the others.

    What I would have missed!

  7. Christine Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 4:50 pm #

    I think you hit the mark when you say this series is clever and fun. Yet Cole still addresses serious issues with her characters, but the severity of them don’t bog down the story.

    I still have to read the two more recent novels…. so little time to read I all want to. 😦

  8. Taja Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    Well, the two more recent ones are good, too, so I would say “read them” and that I look forward to reading your comments. 🙂 But I understand the time thing. So I just say I hope you find the time to read something at all.

    And yes, thankfully there are also serious issues addressed. Only fun seldom works for me and Cole manages to keep the balance between fun and serious issues rather well, IMO.

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