Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review and Giveaway: The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone (Rainshadow - Book 3) by Jayne Castle

Publication Date: 08/26/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Jove Books
Genre: Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
ISBN-10: 0515154725
ISBN-13: 978-0515154726

(Received for an honest review from Jove Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Jayne Castle (aka. Jayne Ann Krentz) on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series


1. The Lost Night
2. Deception Cove
3. The Hot Zone

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, The Hot Zone, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


The world of Harmony has its wonders, one of them being Rainshadow Island.
Just beneath its surface, a maze of catacombs hides a dangerous secret…

Halloween—with its tricks and treats—is a dust bunny’s dream come true. Just ask Lyle, Sedona Snow’s faithful sidekick. But for Sedona, it’s a nightmare. Though her new job managing a small hotel and tavern on Rainshadow is helping her move on from her tragic past, a bizarre disaster down in the catacombs has brought a pack of rowdy ghost hunters to her inn.

And now, Sedona’s ex has arrived on the island, claiming he wants to get back together, just as a newcomer appears to have a strong interest in her. Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss in town. He has his own agenda when it comes to Sedona, but even the best-laid plans are no match for the passion that springs up on Rainshadow…


Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Castle takes readers to the island of misfits, Rainshadow. In her third Rainshadow book, The Hot Zone, readers meet Sedona Snow and if they are familiar with Krentz's Arcane society they will be reacquainted with Cyrus Jones. This is a book that balances sci-fi futuristic elements with suspense and romance. Castle is a master at blending all of her plot elements together to keep the reader engaged and flipping those pages. A good addition to this interesting series.

What I liked:

Jayne Castle (aka. Jayne Ann Krentz) is probably one of my favorite romantic suspense authors. I had read several of her books from the Arcane Society but I had not read any of her Harmony or Rainshadow books when I got this one for review. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect since this one is set in a futuristic world. I should not have worried because even though the setting is different the author uses the same style of writing and symmetry that I have come to expect from her. 

I enjoyed both Sedona and Cyrus and felt like they made a great couple for this book. Sedona is what I would consider a misfit. She just doesn't fit into the normal range of people in Harmony and she ends up on Rainshadow Island running an inn and keeping her talent as a gatekeeper on the down low. Because she was previously captured and experimented on, she has developed a secondary talent with fire, which can be unstable. That's where Cyrus comes in. An ancestor of his created a formula that might be responsible for Sedona's new ability, but it comes with a catch. It can cause madness. Cyrus has to find out if Sedona is a danger to herself and others. I liked the whole story between them. Sedona's issues and Cyrus being the typical hero. I think Krentz could have made Cyrus a little more distinct. In the Arcane books he has more personality and depth. I missed that here and felt he was more of a cookie cutter hero, interchangeable with anyone else who might step into the role. 

The world building was pretty amazing. I liked the idea behind Harmony and Rainshadow island. The underground catacombs, the mysterious creatures. I even enjoyed the ghost hunters and thrill seekers that were staying at the inn. I liked the idea that the book was set during Halloween when some weirdness is expected, but the weirdness here is even more immense. I felt like there was a lot of potential with this kind of futuristic world and that Krentz did a great job of explaining the talents and how multi-talented people could be dangerous. That part was interesting.

The romance was a little tame, but I did feel like the main couple were good for each other. They played well against each other. Cyrus was actually quite nuturing where Sedona was concerned and in turn that gave her the space she needed to figure some things out about herself. I thought Castle did a great job of bringing them together. There was quite a bit of romance and it balanced well with all the other elements of the story.

What I didn't like:

I recommend that readers who are unfamiliar with the world of Harmony, read some of the books of that series or at least the first book in the Rainshadow series before they tackle The Hot Zone. It was definitely a good book but I felt a little out of the loop on things that I believe were probably easier to understand if I had, had the necessary background. If you are a Krentz fan and have read the Arcane Society novels you will also have a much better perspective of Cyrus Jones and what he is trying to accomplish as Guild boss and the dangerous formula created by his ancestor that plays a part in this book. 

Bottom Line:

This book had some good points. I loved the idea of Harmony and Rainshadow and how the world was so interesting. There was a lot of potential here, but I didn't feel like the story really lived up to it. I was expecting strong characters, but thought the characters I got lacked a little bit. I wanted more personality, more depth and I just didn't get it. I love this author and I think I might have liked this a lot better had I read the other books about Harmony first. 

The Hot Zone is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Jayne Castle, the author of Deception CoveThe Lost Night, Canyons of NightMidnight CrystalObsidian Prey, Dark Light, Silver MasterGhost HunterAfter Glow, and After Dark, is a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers. She writes contemporary romantic suspense novels under the Krentz name, as well as historical novels under the pseudonym Amanda Quick. She lives in Seattle.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, September 16th.

1. Please leave a comment about you think of books that futuristic worlds.

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justpeachy36 said...

I went through a stage where just about everything I read was Sci-Fi and I don't read enough of it now. So when I get a romance with sci-fi or futuristic elements that really hits the stop for me. I loved that part of this one.

Charlotte said...

I am not sure what I think about this at this time.

traveler said...

I read Sci-Fi when I was younger but drifted away. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Martha Lawson said...

Miss Castle's books are the only futuristics I read!!! Love them..

bn100 said...

they can be okay to read

Texas Book Lover said...

I have only read a few so far and I have really enjoyed those. So bring'm on!

Anita Yancey said...

I enjoy reading books about futuristic worlds if they are well written. I am just starting to get into sci-fi novels. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Bonnie said...

I love to read futuristic romances and suspense stories. I love to see how the author world builds and what they do with the characters. I love to be taken away from reality when I read.

jmcgaugh said...

I grew up reading science fiction, so I have a tendency to like reading about futuristic worlds.

Laura S Reading said...

It does take a special talent to create futuristic worlds and characters that readers find believeable.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I enjoy them. It's always interesting to see someone imagination at work. :D

cb (at) carolbee (dot) com

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I think that they can be very interesting if done right.