Origins by Jambrea Jo Jones
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (91 Pages)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Foxglove
Going home could be deadly.
Centuries have passed. While family has come and gone, cat shifter Zareb has stayed strong to fight against an evil that keeps coming back. It’s his duty as a guardian and he never lets the Ancients down. Not even when he has to go against his fellow guardian. It is a risk he was willing to take - until he meets the woman who could change his world.
Joy Rockwell is pissed at the universe. Or is she? The pull from the Vessel is strong. It drags her down and brings out her mean side. Although she’s journeying to Africa with virtual strangers, she knows in her heart that this is where she is meant to be.
Two strong individuals must fight their way through the jungles of Africa to put an end to the hold the Vessel has over the shifters before it’s too late. Will they fall in love along the way? Or will they be torn apart by circumstances beyond their control?
Origins is the fourth book in Jambrea Jo Jones’ intriguing series, Seeds of Dawn.
A plane crash, a dead pilot, and betrayal by an old friend-all come into play when Joy, Ive, Djimon and Zareb travel to Africa to return the evil Vessel to where it was found. They must succeed in this or the world could be in more danger than anyone can imagine.
When the group is ambushed, Joy and her mate Zareb are separated from Ive and Djimon in the African jungle where Zareb grew up. Joy and Zareb realize that they have to make a decision: rescue Ive and Djimon or continue on their original path to destroy the Vessel. When the Ancients speak to Zareb, they convince him that Djimon’s safety is no longer Zareb’s responsibility and they must continue on their quest to return the Vessel to its original resting place.
When they are joined by one of Zareb’s old friends, Zareb takes it as a sign that success is at hand. Baakir, however, betrays the trust Zareb and Joy show him, at least at first. When Joy experiences a shift into panther, without the mating ritual, Zareb is stunned to discover what he has done. But he is determined to keep his mate safe, and awed at her strength in both forms. Can Joy and Zareb make it through the jungle to destroy the Vessel? Can they trust the about face of Baakir, and save Ive and Djimon? Can they all make it back to the Masters pack and begin their new lives?
This takes the story back to its source, in Africa, in the time when Zareb and Djimon were young, and being trained to be guardians, before they were shifters. There is a marvelous use of flashbacks in this one, with Zareb remembering the good times and the bad times before and after the Vessel drew them to it. I loved these glimpses into a time before the evil was loose, and seeing how all of this started.
Joy Rockwell is strong and determined, and loyal to those she cares for. She is also strong in magic, and a good match for the strength of Zareb. I love her sassy attitude and her take no prisoners approach to life. I liked that, although she is new to the shifter community, she trusts in her mate completely and without question. I love that they share power, to the benefit of both, and that she is willing to step back when Zareb asks. I also love her determination to convince Zareb that he is worthy of having a mate, namely her.
Zareb is strong, and carries a burden of guilt that keeps him from being happy. He feels unworthy of Joy and her love, and he doubts himself and his mission. I liked the fact that Zareb was willing to let Joy take the lead at times in their relationship, not needing to be the big strong man all the time. There is a sharing of power and of souls that is unique to these two, and it is possible because his inner strength and his sense of the past and its connection to the present.
This is a fast paced adventure, with danger around every turn in the path for Joy and Zareb and their friends. The passion in this one explodes off the page early and often, and it was impossible to put down. Ms. Jones raises the heat level in this with several hot scenes, both in the jungle, and again back in civilization.
Origins finally gives the reader a look into where and how events have unfolded, and offers a glimpse into a possible future for the Masters pack and all shifters. The supporting cast is perfect in this one, and I enjoyed looking at the progress of these characters as they find their unique place in the pack. I recommend that this series be read in order to get the whole picture of what is happening in the world of passion and magic and power.