My Rating: 3 stars: Liked it, but I had some issues - recommend (B)
“Hmmm... What are my thoughts on this book?” That is what I wondered as I finished the 27th Breed story. I have mixed feelings, but that is probably more a reflection of the direction of the series and a combination of reading so many of these books, rather than Stygian’s Honor as a stand alone body of work. As I've said countless times before, Breeds is my guilty pleasure. But lately the books have left me a bit unsatisfied, and Stygian’s Honor is no exception. My biggest complaint is that the books feel very formulaic. Although the set up and situations are unique to each story, there are common denominators that are frankly becoming tiresome for me: the alpha breed male determined to "break" his female, the human female mate who feels mating a breed will ruin her life, Jonas being an ass (and he reaches a whole new level in this book!). In addition, the once erotic sex scenes have become a series of words and phrases repeated time and time again. And at times, the point-of-view changes from one character to another without any clear indicators, which can make the story difficult to follow.
With that said, there are some things I liked in this book. First, I really enjoyed several of the conversations between Stygian and Liza. Many were open and direct, which was a refreshing change from other pairings. She is much more knowledgable about the Breeds and their secrets than other heroines in past stories, and she was willing to let Stygian know where he stands. In addition, Stygian knows from the start that Liza is his mate and embraces this fact. He doesn't want to lie to his mate and while he doesn't, he is still careful to not reveal too much.
Second, I was very happy to see Cassie back in action. Although her role is small, it was exciting. We saw more of her special "abilities" front and center. In addition, we witnessed a few more clues as to what may be coming. I'm still trying to figure out who she will mate with one day... I have my suspicions.
Another plus is Coyote Breed, Dog. I enjoy his sarcasm and wit. His character is tough to read, and I like trying to figure him out. There is one short scene near the end of the book that has me reeling and wondering what Dog is up to.
As for the overall story arc, we last left off with Jonas et. al. searching for two human females and two Breed males that were part of the Genetic Council's testing of the Breed Mating hormone program. Jonas believes these four carry the answers to cure his young daughter from the effect of the drugs former Council member Brandenmore used on her. The team is set up on Navajo land and are bullying their way to find answers. In Stygian’s Honor we do get some of these answers, but not many. I don't feel like the Breeds are any closer to solving the mysteries of the Brandenmore drug.
I liked Liza for the most part. She is strong and fiercely independent. I also appreciate that Stygian makes a huge and successful effort to allow her to remain that way. However I felt that her character was too "wishy-washy,” with radical emotional shifts and apparent changes in beliefs when it comes to her family and the Breeds. One minute she wants out from the Breeds, the next she's happy. She goes on about how she loves and trusts her father, but then rails on him. It was inconsistent behavior that frustrated me.
Another thing I'm not happy about is that Liza is tied into a covert group known as the Navajo Underground ... This team of friends plays a large roll in her life, and we see a lot of them in the beginning of the book. However, once Liza falls under Breed protection, we hear nothing of this group again. It felt off and gave no closure.
Even though the scale seems to weigh heavy on the negative side in my review, the book was still enjoyable. There is a reason these books are addictive and I am not ready to give up the habit just yet.