My Aunt Lucy used to say, “If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.” She said many wise things I never heeded when she was alive. I want to be the woman that’s okay with hiding from what she fears and letting her big, strong man protect her. But that’s not me. I hate to be scared. I hate the feeling that there is an evil out there that could hurt me if it finds me. But mostly, I hate that so many before me lived in fear and died at the hands of evil. That is why I cannot find peace within. There is no peace for me while Healers suffer the atrocities of others.I know Rhett would protect me at all costs. He loves me. And that is why I must leave him behind. It’s impossible to justify hurting someone you love—or many you love—to do what you truly believe is right. Lucy also used to say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I get what she was trying to tell me now. Hindsight is twenty/twenty. Sometimes we choose a path we think will lead us toward a noble cause, full of ambition and altruism, only to look back and see we’ve run over and crushed the ones we love most along the way. I can only pray that one day those I love will forgive me.I woke up and I left. I left Rhett, the man who saved me from myself. The man I love. I left my brothers—my best friends.I left.But leaving led me to more. I found answers. I found others like me—who want what I want.But most importantly, I found myself.My name is Aldo Lawson.I’m awake.And I’m a Hybrid.
Hybrid picks up directly where Healer left off, with Aldo Lawson waking from a yearlong coma ready to fight. Aldo is a Healer, someone born with the ability to pull energy from one person and transfer it to another to treat illness, injury, and even death. Aldo emerges from her coma knowing the truth that she and her brothers are the by-products of a breeding project to ensure a pure, unlimited food source for Vampires. Aldo must learn to embrace her powers and hidden strength to save those like her mother and to make the Vampires pay.
Can Aldo trust Rhett Mason, the man who saved her from endless sleep, to steer her in the right direction or will he be too focused on protecting her? When Thomas Watson, the man she believes betrayed her family to the Vampires, reappears offering aid can she forgive him and accept his help? Or does Aldo need to embrace the hard teachings of ancient Hybrid Daniel O’Sullivan, a man who promises to break Aldo to rebuild her into the ultimate fighter?
What I Loved: B.N. Toler has created a solid paranormal heroine in Aldo Lawson. Aldo is far from perfect and in all honesty she makes a lot of stupid mistakes, but that’s what makes her easy to identify with. What teenager/twenty-something is going to keep a level head hearing the news that they have superpowers and scary monsters want to harm them and their family? Aldo does what she thinks is best for those she loves and owns the consequences. Also, Hybrid introduces Daniel, an ancient and super powerful hybrid, and spins the love triangle from Healer into a very interesting love quadrangle. I loved the character of Daniel and the sparks between Aldo and Daniel are electric, making Hybrid feel like a much more adult read.
What I Didn’t Love: Aldo experiences a lot of sexual violence/violation in this book. Though the scenes are not graphic and Aldo is rescued from several of the situations, after the third and fourth occurrence I became frustrated and found it a little hard to stomach.
“Be careful of the toes you step on today because they may be connected to the foot that kicks your ass tomorrow.”
“Aldo, I’m in love with you. Like it or not, I’m going to protect you. It’s what a man does when he loves a woman. I may not be human, technically, but I don’t think that changes regardless of what I am.”
“It’s an odd feeling to know you possess so much power over another; a power that can make them crazy, make them lose their senses, but it’s also a major turn on when that person is one of – if not the strongest beings in existence.”
Overall Hybrid is a solid paranormal New Adult read. There’s great character development, action, romance, danger, heat, and heartbreak. Hybrid is not a standalone, so if you haven’t read its predecessor Healer, definitely check that out first. Hybrid also has a handy glossary in the back to refresh those who are jumping back into the story.
I’ll be looking forward to the next book in the series, Savage, which comes out later this year.