Publication Date: Feb. 2008
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): The Empress wants to locate the descendants of her exiled sister. No magically-bonded Pair is more ill-suited for the job than long-suffering Shield Lee Mallorough and her all-too-charming Source Shintaro Karish. Yet it's a mission they can't refuse.
My review: I've just given up on these covers. I really have. Finally they have realistic looking drawings that do more to go along with the feel of the books. The title makes sense when you read the book and look at it from a psychological, social stand point (they're sent to an island and have to adapt). HOWEVER, Taro and Lee are on a ship for about a grand total of 2 pages in the book and so WHY is the cover mainly focused on a ship? WAY wrong impression here.
Ridiculousness of the cover aside, I liked this book the best so far. Still 3 stars but it's pushing 4. The reasons I liked this one the most are Taro and Lee are pushed WAY outside of their comfort zones and need to adapt and *gasp* work with their hands to earn their keep. It's nice to see them having to adjust and learn and grow.
There are some character aspects of both Taro and Lee that are brought to light by an old wise woman and I thought 'perfect, now they are going to be able to overcome those and work together'. Yeah, didn't really happen in this book. But, Lee and Taro FINALLY get together, and I have been waiting for that for a long long time, so that was happy for me.
Publication Date: Aug. 2009
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): Shield Lee Mallorough and her Source Shintaro Karish have returned to High Scape. It?s bad enough the townspeople are robbing tombs for ashes to use in ritualistic magic. It gets worse when they start to murder the living for their remains.
My Review: Another bloody ridiculous cover. I swear! Not a fan of how Lee and Taro are portrayed, but my biggest grip is that this implies that stuff is going to happen with magic...and it does, but not to the extent that Lee and Taro actually learn about how to do it. I think that they may as the series continues...or maybe not...but it could have played a much bigger role than it did.
So, Lee and Taro got together in the third book and that was awesome. I expected a lot more from this book because of that. Didn't really happen. Lee was being particularly dense in terms of relationships and also in terms of catching on with what was going on in High Scape. I liked this series becsuse of how observant she is, but not at ALL in this book.
The plot wasn't as engaging as I wanted it to be and there wasn't even enough relationship tension to balance that out. This one is definitely on the low end of the 3 spectrum for that reason. There was so much potential!! I felt that not enough was done with it. I could understand Lee thinking that Taro is going to want to go back to the way things were before they went to the island, but with the social messages he is sending her she should have caught on. And their final talking about it, it was pretty anti-climactic.
There was potential for a quite a few characters to gain depth, and a few almost did, but it was still pretty surface stuff.
And the ending? That just frustrated me. I could guess that things were headed in that direction, but the actions of other characters were too agravating and others weren't doing enough about it.
Will I continue this series. *sigh* yeah, I guess. I want to see what happens and I'm still holding out for there to be more between Lee and Taro and for them to resolve the issues that were brought to light in the 3rd book with their character and holding things in. I'm still also holding out for other characters to gain depth. I'm already past the halfway point so might as well, but I'll be reading some other books for a while.
I also am a little frustrated that this series doesn't seem to be available in any library, so I have to buy the books. Thank goodness for second hand!