“Rhapsodic” By Laura Thalassa
Make a Deal if You Dare
By Samantha Shrider / January 5th 2017
Author: Laura Thalassa
Series(?): The Bargainer (#1)
Publisher: Lavabrook Publishing Group
Publication Date: November 15th 2016
Source & Format: iTunes, iBook
Page Count: 326
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.
Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want… at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.
But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.
For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.
If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.
If the TV show “Lost Girl” and the book “A Court of Mist and Fury” had a book baby it would be Rhapsodic.
The story alternates between main character and siren Callypso Lillis’ past where she comes to meet the “Bargainer,” and with her present where she works as a private investigator. When the Bargainer comes to collect her debts she finds out more about who he is and starts unraveling his secrets as well as trying to solve the mystery that finally brought the Bargainer back to her: Fae warriors are disappearing and the women are being returned in glass coffins.
While the relationship between the Bargainer and Callypso begins with tragedy, it becomes one of friendship. The Bargainer actually becomes a kind of mentor for her, taking her on adventures to escape her high school life and always there for her whenever she calls, even if it is for a “favor,” until he disappears for ten years.
“People like us are not victims. We’re someone’s nightmare.”
I felt like the reason the Bargainer had disappeared for ten years was a little unclear, it felt more like the author just needed a reason to let the main character reach maturity and add drama to the relationship. In the end it was easy to gloss over why he had left and move on to the real plot: the missing female fae.
Thalassa leads you into the story with character development so you actually care what’s happening to them and their world, instead of just dumping you in the middle of a mystery. I do categorize the book as New Adult as it has both coming of age elements in the flashbacks involving Callypso’s childhood as well as sex scenes in the later years. The book is a fun fast read, with enough action and romance that I read it in one sitting, and I look forward to reading the sequel.
I would, and have, recommended this book to my friends who enjoy SyFy channel shows involving kick ass female leads and love stories, and books like the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series by Sara J. Maas.
About the Author
Found in the forest when she was young, Laura Thalassa was raised by fairies, kidnapped by werewolves, and given over to vampires as repayment for a hundred year debt. She’s been brought back to life twice, and, with a single kiss, she woke her true love from eternal sleep. She now lives happily ever after with her undead prince in a castle in the woods.
… or something like that anyway.
When not writing, Laura can be found scarfing down guacamole, hoarding chocolate for the apocalypse, or curled up on the couch with a good book.