Thursday, December 3, 2015

REVIEW: Mathieu (+$10 Amazon GC Giveaway)

Title: Mathieu 
Author: Irene Ferris
Series: N/A
Pages: 296
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Robyn Lane Books
Format: Kindle
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

When Mathieu followed his king to war, he knew the Crusades were holy, that God went with him, and that he would return to the arms of his truest love. 800 years later, enslaved by the demon Gadreel, all Mathieu knows is pain.

After winning his freedom, Mathieu emerges from the dark void of captivity, only to find himself facing the soul of the love he left behind, in the eyes of Jenn Bartlett. Can he do the terrifying thing she asks of him, and still save her from the monster he has become? Or will the darkness overcome them both?

~My Thoughts~
Centuries of torture at the hands of the Demon Gadreel have left Mathieu almost without hope. When last he saw freedom, kings ruled the lands and the crusades were many an Englishman's fate. Now, more than 8 centuries later, he manages to free himself with the help of his love reincarnate and her Marcus. They are part of a modern-day occultist group, bent on studying demons and their ilk, and Jenn needs Mathieu to ? But Mathieu has been corrupted as his time as a demon's servant. That corruption is painful to the touch and threatens those around him with death. 

I liked the interplay of past lives and present. Reincarnation is always something intriguing to me because there is so many ways to frame it. Can souls remember past lives? How?? Super romance points if it's because true love makes them remember. Usually there is a vampire or other immortal involved who hasn't changed over the years and can describe past reincarnations to the current model. You kind of got inside glimpses into both the present timeline and when Mathieu was living his...original life I guess we can call it? 

Irene's writing style was very descriptive, particularly during confrontations like when Mathieu escaped Gadreel, which I appreciated. It's always nice to get a blow-by-blow account of events that make you feel like part of the action. I could have done with a bit more imagery however. I felt like the action was well-depicted so I saw how shapes(characters) were moving and interacting, but the shapes themselves were rather indistinct in comparison. The plot was well thought-out and moved relatively rapidly for a romance, which was nice. I enjoyed the world-building, but would have liked both the demon world and this modern world's magics fleshed out just a bit so that I could understand how it all worked together...just the pseudo-scientist in me I guess :)

I have to get it out there that I will never be 100% down with a character who has a completely strange spelling of an average name. It's not's not original...Yes, I'm talking to you Brytnnay. Every time I read Matthew I mean (ick) Mathieu's name, a little tiny chill, composed of disgust and irritation, rolled it's way up and down my spine. Since he was the man character, this resulted in me growing quite restless and I fought the urge to throw the book across the room (which would have been really bad, because I was reading an e-copy on my laptop).  I can't say I got over it, but the pain of it died with familiarity so that by the end I was only flinching a little bit and the crying stopped at about half-way through. 

To me, the best part of this book was Mathieu's own character development. We get to see him at his lowest low, then follow along beside him to discover who he is now that his master is gone and what he can be in this present world. While much of the story hinges Mathieu and his interactions with people now, he has a lot of personal growth that has to take place in order to recover from his past. One of the more influential themes was regarding his faith and how he battles with losing his religion and trying to figure out if he really believes after all that has happened to him. 

After learning that this was Irene's debut novel, you can officially color me impressed. I would definitely look out for another read from Irene, though please, for the love of all things holy, don't name your main character like...Robuerte (also known as Robert...) or something. :P
~Try an Excerpt!~
It was the screaming that wrenched Mathieu back into the world, not the myriad of silver pellets slamming into his chest.  The terror in that sound dragged what was left of his soul out of the dark, formless depths of his mind and threw him hard on his back on a cold, dirt floor. 

He lay there and blinked in the unfamiliar light. He’d forgotten that there was anything except blackness.

He drew a deep, shuddering breath.  The air, sulfur-tinged as it was, hurt all the way down.  But this was a different kind of pain, a good kind.  The chain of his servitude dug into his neck where the four rusty, iron links met. That was a more familiar pain and not good at all.   He gasped again and then looked down at the shredded wreck of his chest. 

The flesh was healing, knitting together as he watched.  The pellets were pushed out, and they rolled onto the packed earth floor with a muted patter.  The pain would have been unbearable to anyone who had not already endured what he had.  As it was, it was beyond agony.  Gadreel perverted even healing into torture.

Speak of the Devil—no, the Demon—Gadreel’s face appeared in Mathieu’s vision, its angelic beauty marred by that sharp, cruel smile that meant it was instigating some kind of blood-soaked mayhem.  The sight was enough to fill Mathieu with overwhelming terror and hatred, and Gadreel’s grin grew even wider.

 The Demon grabbed Mathieu’s hair, yanked him to his knees, and peered into his face. “Is that pain?  It is.  Wonderful.”  It spoke to someone over its shoulder. “Excellent.  You’re better at hurting him than I, and that’s saying something.”
~Meet Irene!~ 
Irene Ferris wanted to be an archaeologist paleontologist astronaut when she grew up. Instead, life pushed her into insurance claims to expiate her past life sins. Obviously, she was a horrible person. Writing dulls the pain, has less calories than alcohol and is (mostly) completely legal.

She lives the dream in the humid paradise that is Florida with her exceptionally patient husband, daughter and two extremely stupid cats. She is well on her way to her retirement goal of being a crazy cat lady. All she needs is thirty-seven more cats.

 Irene will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Great excerpt! I really enjoyed the author's bio, too. It demonstrates her great sense of humor!

  2. Interesting about the name Mathieu, I would not have pronounced it Matthew in my head.

  3. Wonderful post! I truly enjoyed reading the excerpt and your review! This book sounds like such an interesting read!

  4. If you had to look at one city skyline for the rest of your life, which would it be?