After her twin sister's brutal death, former US Army Sergeant Allison "Lex" Luther vowed to protect her niece, Charlie, from every possible danger. Then when two vampires attempted to kidnap the child, it quickly turned into a fight to the death - Lex's death, that is.
Lex wakes up to two shocking discoveries: she has somehow survived the fight; and baby Charlie is a "null," gifted with the ability to weaken supernatural forces...and a target for evil creatures who want to control that power. Determined to guarantee a safe future for Charlie, Lex makes a deal with the local coven. She sets out with the dashing - and undead - Detective Quinn to track down who's responsible for the kidnapping, sharpening her magic skills along the way. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her powers become, threatening to destroy everything - including herself.
Boundary Crossed is a dark, thrilling glimpse into a magical world that will leave readers spellbound.
©2015 Melissa F. Olson (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
a dedicated dilettante
Melissa F. Olson is a deceptively good story teller. Boundary Crossed comes across as a fun, light, “beach” read, and it is. More often than not, when we categorize a book this way we also mean there’s no real meat, little in the way of character and that it certainly doesn’t address is compelling issues. Nicely enough, Ms. Olson brings all of that to her “fun” read. So, it’s good story telling without being a difficult story to follow. There’s reflection without much angst (hey, every story needs a little angst), plot without a bunch of artificial plot mechanisms and embedded values without it being a “Message” book. In other words, it’s pretty near the epitome of what a light, summer read ought to be and when we settle for light reads that do less, we’re, well, settling. The book’s the story and setting seem so natural as to have been effortless creations. That’s a little like saying Fred Astaire’s dancing appears effortless and, perhaps not gravity-free, “gravity–lite.” It takes well-honed craft to leave that impression.
Let me step back a bit; the book’s protagonist is Allison “Lex” Luther (OK a little cheesy wink to Superman). She is working at a convenience store when a couple come in for diapers. However, the baby for whom they’re shopping turns out to be Lex’s niece Charlie (daughter of her dead sister Sam). Oh, and they’re vampires. As you can imagine, chaos and danger ensues. It appears that she is stabbed to death but survives and with that survival discovers the world’s not as she once thought. Along with vampires, there are werewolves and witches, of which she’s one.
So here’s a girl who has powers of which she was unaware, living in a world with creatures she recently considered merely mythic and thrust into a world of danger and intrigue. Sound familiar? Maybe, but the devil is in the details and the execution. Ms. Olson’s protagonist is in her early thirties, not a teen. While her reaction to this newly discovered world is initial shock, she doesn’t panic or step into super-mode. he deals with it as a former Army Sargent who has been deployed in Iraq, shocked but functional. In fact, one of the many qualities about this book I love is the plausible way events unfold and the characters interact with them. These characters and this world are believable from the initial introduction to the world to the way it works. Lex spends much of the book recovering from constantly feeling behind-the-eight-ball yet coping. Wouldn’t you? The interaction of the characters with Lex and each other seem to fit. There are few cookie-cutter characters or relationships. It’s all very down to earth, which, if you come to think about it, is a weird thing to say about paranormal world but one of the best compliments you could give.
While I went back and forth between the Kindle and the Audible versions of the story (using that delightful bit of magic, Whispersync for Voice), I mostly listened to it. I did this because Kate Rudd is the narrator. In fact, I was drawn to the book because Kate Rudd was the narrator rather than my usual find-the-book-and-hope-the-narrator-is-good mode. (For some other great books she narrates see, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, The Fault in Our Stars, Timebound and Time’s Edge). I hadn’t read anything by Ms. Olson previously or knew much about her. I’ve read and like paranormal/urban fantasy, but it’s not a genre that naturally draws me in. So, while I’m a pretty big fan of Ms. Rudd’s narration, I think it was a particularly wonderful bit of serendipity that has her reading this book. Her voice is grounding. It lends itself towards projecting genuine characters and a rooted normalcy even in the least normal settings. So the genuine nature of Ms. Olson’s world and characters was only enhanced by Ms. Rudd’s performance of her book. If you like audiobooks, I highly recommend buying that version for this book.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-18R
I legitimately love urban fantasy novels, but for the past ten years the genre has been plagued with bad book after another.
Boundary Crossed is shockingly one of the few books that break up the pattern.
The characters in the novel are fantastic and what makes a standard urban fantasy plot of a hidden world of magic stand out. Each character has his or her voice, the character interactions well written, and by the end of the book, you got a general idea how the main cast will react to certain things.
Lex is fantastic main character. She has a healthy dose of flaws, and her personal demons, which for a main female character in this genre is a rarity. I wasn't expecting to like her as much as I did. She's someone I'd like to hang out with. Her relationship with one of the male lead is probably the best I've seen in a while as well.
The performance was well done. I hope she comes back to read the second book.
The story isn't ground breaking as I said, it's standard. But how its written is what it gets a 4/5 from me.
I definitely recommend it.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
"Boundary Crossed" starts well and keeps getting better. It opens with:
"The third time I died was early on a Monday morning, a week after Labor Day"
The person speaking is Ex-Army Sergeant Alexandre "Lex" Luther. Working the late shift at a convenience store in Boulder Colorado, she finds a couple arguing about nappies in the baby aisle and realizes that the baby the nappies are for does not belong to them. The ensuing fight and its dramatic conclusion pack a punch that sets the pace for the rest of the novel.
"Boundary Crossed" is set in the Old World universe as the Scarlett Bernard trilogy "Dead Spots", "Trail of Dead" and "Hunter's Trail", occupied by vampires, werewolves, witches and nulls. There are cross-over events and characters between the Bernard trilogy and "Boundary Crossed" but, as Lex starts with no knowledge of the Old World, you don't have to read the Scarlett Bernard books first.
With "Boundary Crossed", Melissa Olsen has hit the turbo button on her Old World series. Lex is a much more action-oriented main character than Scarlett is. She starts by attacking two vampires with nothing more than her bare hands and a heavy jar of baby-food and moves on to using automatic weapons and kick-ass magic.
I read the whole book in a day during two (very long) car rides across Germany and the time just flew by. Part of the impact of the book comes from being read by Kate Rudd, one of my favorite narrators. She packs energy into her performance, getting the accents right, keeping the pace up and bringing Lex alive. The rest comes from the character of Lex herself. Melissa Olsen has created a plausible action-oriented main character who also has enough vulnerabilities and enough connections to real life to make her sympathetic and convincing.
The cast of characters around Lex gives a different take on the Old World than the previous books. Boulder is a Vampire town. It has witches but werewolves have been "purged" from the State. Both the lead Witch and the lead Vampire are strong, scary people but neither is monstrous. Lex has an affinity for the Vampire world and quickly becomes entangled in it. Where Scarlett held herself at the edge of the Old World, Lex pushes steadily into its heart.
I won't go into the plot because part of the fun is finding out who Lex is and what she's capable of but by the end of the book, Lex is set up to good deeper into the Old World and to cross paths with the characters from the Scarlett Bernard trilogy. I'm already looking forward to reading about what happens to her.
This is Melissa F Olson's new series set in the same universe as her Scarlett Bernard series and it takes places after the last Scarlett Bernard book.
With this being a new series in the same universe as her previous series the first question one has to ask is "is it as good", and sadly for me the answer is no.
Now first I want make one thing clear. This IS a good book and good start to a new series. BUT it is just not as good as the the last series.
One of the things that are different is the narrative,
In the Scarlett Bernard books we get two different points of view in two different writing styles. The first was a first person narrative from titular female character and the second was an subjective third person narrative from the male lead character.
Here it is a first person narrative from the female lead although out. Now if that is a good or bad thing is up to YOU! For me it left out a major part of what I liked about the previous series.
Now as far as the characters go Ms. Olson again gives us genuine well rounded characters.
Lex is just as developed as Scarlett but is still a completely different person. That being said Lex is not as enjoyable as Scarlett.This is impart because is that unlike Scarlett Lex does not have the supportive friends to show her more light-hearted side which makes from a more somber story.
As for the narrator, I will say Kate Rudd does a good job just not as good as Amy McFadden did in the Scarlett series.
If you are a fan of the Scarlett Bernard series than this is book is worth checking out but keep in mind this is a different story.
I had to force myself to finish this book. It was very disappointing. The main character is very unlikeable. I was hoping she would go through some interesting character development but instead she remained the same. Her actions are reckless and implausible. She is supposed to be intelligent but her impulsive actions suggest otherwise. It's ridiculous. In addition, she acts like an immature 16 year old girl when she is in her early thirties. On a more positive note, the plot is quite interesting.
Imaginative, intelligent, intriguing, and I wanted to listen from start to finish without putting it down! Lex's Army background was unique for a female character in anything I've read, and I partially identified with her in that I was a SSG upon honorably leaving the Army. I did feel that the training for combat skills was unrealistic, but perhaps authors research or experience with training was from a later time than mine ('93) and Army had seen fit to better prepare women to save our own butts?
I love the budding, possible romance.
The profanity was strong, but not so extensive that my tweens couldn't listen, and they loved the story as much as I did. My son said, "There better be more of these!"
This is a vampire novel, so I understand you have to suspend reality to read it. However, I found the mood and attitude of the main character to be completely unrealistic. I typically love the brash attitude in strong female roles (Mercy Thompson series) but I felt that this character acted more 13 than 30. Often throwing fits and judging situations with a child's demeanor. I am 30 and often found myself saying, a 30 year old would not act like this. The world is very interesting so I finished the book but the narrator ( unrealistic male voices) and main character made it hard.
The story was entertaining, however, the narrator was not well chosen. Her speech patterns & voices for the characters were lacking individually. This occasionally made the storyline difficult to follow.
The story was interesting, though it felt like it sort of meandered in some places. I liked it well enough that I'm going to read the second book.
The performance by Kate Rudd was adequate, but I found that I had a hard time getting past her inflection. The actual narration was pretty dry, but she perked up when using character's voices. Her crisp pronunciation, while nice in other settings, distracted me quite a bit as a narrator.
This could very easily be the first season of a show. Lex, the main character, is one of the most real I have ever come across. Her decisions aren't always smart, but they are always born of very real motivations. This book is so good, my wife got hooked while listening with me. Kate Rudd brings the characters life and really makes me want to scrap my listening plans and dive right into this series.
"gripping and outstanding"
loved it just what i've come to expect from this author can't wait for the next book
"A good read, a little predictable though."
I found I really enjoyed the characters in the book and felt there was a good variety but felt that it was very predictable and there could have been a little more excitement added to the mix. on that more I still really enjoyed the book.
M F Olson writes fantastic stories and this is another one. Lex is a very interesting character and look forward to further development in the next book, which I hope we do not have to wait to long for. highly recommended
"Engaging and exciting"
I'd happily recommend this to a friend - it's a nicely written, beautifully read and engaging story.
I loved every minute of this story. I found the narration to be good too. I'll be downloading the next in the series just as soon as I get to somewhere with wi-fi
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