Rex – Rita Stradling

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A book I requested on Netgalley as it looked interesting; the second in the series (I really should have looked into this) and I can honestly say that I enjoyed the book and didn’t feel lost in the events taking place.

Rex doesn’t actually follow the Rex believe it or not (I’ll come back to who he is soon), it follows Dakota, the Rex’s betrothed – I think that’s the best way to describe them. Dakota is a seventeen year old who works as a tax collector in her family’s business. Oh, and did I forget to mention they are all of supernatural origins? Oops. Had I read the first one I’m sure I would have understood the different species more but, the book gives a new reader enough information to understand the reality and how it functions. The confidence in which Stradling writes about her world also helped me to feel at ease in this very new concept (at least it was to me).

Dakota finds herself caught in a web of deceit with her dearest paying the price. As she struggles to solve this she is joined by her betrothed and his best friend who just so happens to be a vampire from a sort-of rival house. The three of them fight back against those who wish to see Dakota dead and the book ends with questions being raised into the higher authority that authorised her death.

The book was fun to read. For a novel that has a serious blurb I loved the back and forth between Dakota and the Rex and how they each have their own very clear ideas of the boundaries for their “relationship.” From the very beginning of the novel it is clear to see where they both stand with one another and, considering that I haven’t read the first book yet, understand how their “relationship” stands. The fun side to the novel helps relieve some of the serious scenes within the novel and help keep it light at times. Stradling has managed to create a great balance between the two.

The expository detail that I briefly mentioned before is woven into the novel subtly and helped me gain a basic understanding of previous events while still keeping me present within this novel. Had I read the first book I’m sure remembering some family members would have been easier (there are a lot of them) and I think it would have helped me to understand the exact species that were involved. However, my enjoyment of the novel did not lessen because of this; it’s just made me want to read the first book.

The book works well as a stand a-lone and I look forward to reading the first and the next book in the series. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something new in the fantasy/supernatural area of fiction as it certainly delivers on both fronts.

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