Territories: Crossing the Line
After attending the funeral of her estranged father, Emma receives a mysterious package containing a piece of a jewel and an enigmatic warning: don’t trust anyone you don’t already know. The jewel holds magical powers, affecting Emma in ways she can’t explain. Despite the ominous warning accompanying the jewel, she has no choice but to trust one of the strangers who invade her life. But which stranger? And will it be the right choice?
Territories: Crossing the Line by Kim Wise, is a paranormal romance with elements of mystery and intrigue and is the first book of a trilogy. The premise of Territories is intriguing: a mysterious jewel affects the possessor and imbues them with power and a certain kind of weakness. There are underlying elements of shapeshifting and vampirism, mainstays of paranormal good and evil, but the mystical elements of the story revolve around the jewel — where it came from, how it affects the possessor, and the experiments Emma’s estranged scientist father conducted. Is it natural or manmade? Why is Emma affected by it? Is everyone after the jewel, or are they after Emma?
The romance between Emma and Derrick is more of a subplot than the main focus of the story. Her desire for Derrick seems to be driven more by her possession of the jewel than any true connection between the characters. I was more intrigued by the potential between Emma and Derrick’s brother, and foresee the potential for a love-triangle…or more.
Unfortunately, I never felt drawn to Emma. While I can forgive her for ignoring the enigmatic warning not to open the package she was given (who wouldn’t after all?), I could never decide if she was naively ignorant or supremely ditzy. Despite the ominous warning that accompanied the jewel, she continually trusts the multiple strangers who cross her path immediately after she takes possession of the jewel. She disregards the obvious threat posed by these strangers. While it makes for a fast-paced story, it did not make Emma a sympathetic character.
As the first part of a trilogy, many questions are left unanswered and there is a lot within the story overall that piqued my interest. I hate to categorize Territories as a straight paranormal romance, as there are aspects of science fiction/fantasy, mystery, and thriller. Readers who like their genres mixed will enjoy Territories.