Galena Margolis, a brilliant scientist with a tragic past, is determined to fulfill her destiny and develop the vaccine that could save millions. Yet when Galena’s test subjects meet with foul play, it’s clear that someone is still determined to stop her, and that Galena herself is a target. As the Ferry empire forges a plan to keep her safe, Declan Ferry, the politics-hating black sheep of the family, steps forward to protect her—but the emotional cost may be more than either of them is willing to pay.
As unknown enemies close in, it becomes terrifyingly clear that they threaten to destroy not only Galena’s lifesaving work but also the very fabric of fate. As Galena and Declan race to uncover the traitor, they also forge a special bond that could save both Galena and those she’s sworn to help. Torn apart by the past and hunted by those she trusted, can Galena find room amidst her fears for a passion that could make her stronger than ever? And even if she and Declan can find their way together, will it be enough to keep the future from coming apart at the seams?
Very quickly, Marked was Cacia’s story and that book has a lot of the backstory you will need before diving into this book so definitely read Marked before Claimed or you will be a bit lost. In Marked, we learn that Cacia is a Ferry…both in name and occupation (she is also a paramedic). As a Ferry, she is tasked with guiding those souls that have passed on to their final destination. She (and her brothers and sister) work closely with the Ker’s to keep the balance and follow through on what Fate has determined for humanity. Eli is Cacia’s new paramedic partner and he has a secret of his own that leads these characters through to the end of book one. Since this isn’t necessarily a review for that book, I have glossed over a lot.
Moving into Claimed, the story is more focused on Eli’s sister Galena and Cacia’s brother Declan. Galena has a fairly tragic story and while a good bit of it is revealed in Marked, we learn more about what really happened and the effect it had on both Galena and Eli. Since Galena’s research to find a vaccine for the human plagues has a direct impact on the Fates and the paranormal world, she is a target for those that don’t want her to succeed. Also, now that Eli is a Kere and working for Moros, Galena is pulled into danger.
As Galena and her test subjects become targets for those trying to stop her, the only answer that the Ferry’s can come up with to protect her is that Galena needs to marry into the Ferry family …and not only marry but become claimed and really, truly a Ferry. Not only would it mark her as part of the family and therefore, not someone who can be marked, but it also would make her indestructible in the human world and therefore, offer her a bit of protection.
At the beginning of the story, it is clear there are some feelings between Declan and Galena and I thought Fine did a great job of showing how the trauma Galena experienced funneled over not only into her professional life, but also the relationships she had with those around her. She did her best to power through with Declan but I loved that he forced her to stop and take a step back to consider what he was going through having to get her out of her head the first time they tried to be together.
As characters go, I liked Galena. I don’t know that anything about her really stood out for me. She clearly loves her work and has fallen back on that and Eli as the things that continue to push her forward. I am fairly positive that if she didn’t have one of both of those things in her life she would have given up after her attack. I did like Declan. He is tough but caring and truly loves his family. He was also very patient with Galena and learned quickly what he needed to do to protect her and ultimately gain her trust.
The overall story of who is behind the rogue markings and attacks on Galena and her research is interesting. I’m looking forward to learning more about Moros’ sisters and what will happen in book three. I thought the world building and the character development were done well. If you are looking for an interesting take on paranormal with an urban fantasy feel, definitely check this series out. Fine does a wonderful job of creating her characters and developing / moving the story forward. I will definitely be reading the next book of this series when it comes out.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the review copy.