Collector Series Books 1-4
City in Embers, The Barrier Between, Across the Divide, and From Burning Ashes
by Stacey Marie Brown
The collector series features a heroine named Zoey, who “collects” Fae for research for an organisation called the DMG. They supposedly use the Fae and their genetic materials to help Humans in their plight against, diseases that have no cure. She encounters a Viking-like Fae named Ryker who she gets entangled with and his powers accidentally get transferred to her.
The first book, City in Embers, takes place in Seattle. Ryker takes zoey hostage until he can get his powers back. Ryker and Zoey have a battle of wills through the entire series and it is this conflict that captivates. They hate each other with a passion. Ryker hates Zoey because she is a human and collector. Zoey hates Ryker because he is Fae. Romantic suspense starts in the middle and to really take hold towards the end.
The second book takes place in Lima. This is the point where there Romance really takes hold, but there is still oodles of suspense all the way through. Zoey starts to see the error of her ways and the DMG as evil. Cryogen the “pirate” was introduced as well as Amara. There is of course a love triangle going on at this point. Croygen is in all the rest of the series, but not too much time is spent on him. I hope he gets something of his own, perhaps a full backstory or one going forward.
I have mixed feelings about the third book. I hate gas-lighting or any psychiatric themed stories, especially being held against your will in a facility that, to me reads like a clinic. I’m not sure why. A prison…okay. Psycho ward. No. Brainwashing in general I find freaky. This story mostly takes place back inside the DMG and Zoey is a prisoner. About half way through we get to hear Ryker’s point of view. This kept my interest up, because if I had to listen to Zoey anymore I was going to put the book down. The story gets a whole lot interesting as parentage is revealed and twists come to light.
The fourth book is the all mighty show down with Dr. Rapava, the head of the DMG and everyone else that have been chasing Zoey and Ryker. While I enjoyed the overall story, the romance between Ryker and Zoey is now a little old to me. It was tiresome having Zoey “respond” to Ryker’s twinkle in his eye. I was looking for a little more time with Vadik the Demon or the Fae king Lars, but perhaps this was just an introduction for the later.
In general, the Character development in all four books is great. Ryker, Sprig, Zoey, Croygen, and even Amara. I loved them all. There is “the stone” as well, that just seemed to be the catalyst of the story and only one hint at its true nature. The only problem I had was with some of the repetitiveness of Zoey. She seemed to drone on about the same things over and over again. I tend to only like her when she is bouncing off Ryker or one of the side characters. My favorite in this series was book one and two, but I still like the whole series.