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Stalking the Others - Jess Haines That's it! I can not in good conscious go on reading these books without stating that Shiarra is To Stupid To Live (AKA TSTL). From the first book I knew Shia was short a few brain cells, but I kept holding out. She had a lot of crazy stuff going on, and each book was a struggle. However, after having the leader of the White Hats, Royce (the vampire king of New York City), and so many other people say how clever, brave, and amazing she is I can't stand it any more. Over the course of these books, she's gone from dumb to . . . ugh, just plain annoying.

This book was hard to swallow because for the majority of it I kept going why the hell is she killing people on a whim. She has NO solid proof that the Sunstriker pack did all the evil things she thinks. Sure one of them scratched her, but she goes from never wanting to kill, to gleefully doing it. Not only that but one of the characters that I've been absolutely obsessed with turned out to be a dud. Much like this book. It felt like stepping off the cliff of this series’ development. She's basically being brainwashed, and the time when she's not being brainwashed she barely second guesses herself. For the majority of the book she doesn't even worry about poor Sarah, her best friend!

Royce is still amazing, however I can not honestly see what he sees in Shiarra. In fact, here's a little what he has to say about her:

"True, you are neither terribly wise nor clever--but your valor is what sets you apart."

For me that valor is the one good thing about her. Also, there still isn't enough here for me to believe that a guy like Royce would fall for someone like Shiarra. He basically idolizes Shiarra since she did not take advantage of him in the first book, turning him into a mindless slave. She showed him mercy, when for others he never did. Now that felt real. The immortal creature of power finding himself with the simple act of mercy.

Even after Shiarra gives into Royce, she continually doubts him. She switches her mind too much. "No Royce I need you, but I feel so ashamed." They had this amazing moment together, and she's still convinced that Royce is going to own her. That she'll be a mindless bonded blood slave. At this point I was practically throwing the book on the ground—if it hadn't been an eBook—over the fact that Royce has proved himself many times over. (And if the preview of the next book is any indication Shiarra's going to be hot and cold.) Her prejudices and fears are justified, but a lead who's strong enough to get over them should be strong enough to stick with her guns and not feel ashamed every other word.

This book is the turning point for me, no longer can I ignore those glaring character nesciences that Shiarra has been stirring in me. The next book is either going to save face, or it's over. (Or at least I hope I'll have the power to turn away.) This series has been a confusing addiction. There's many things that I don't like about it, and Shiarra being one of them is just not good. At this point I think my main reason for going on is Royce. Haines is a good enough author to take a character I never truly liked and make him the reason this series captivates me. If that isn't talent I don't know what is.

Sexual Content: Some sexual humor, there is a sex scene!

2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out

Orginally reviewed at Book Whispers.