I do not give 5-star reviews often. I'm even less likely to read a review over 3 stars in effort to avoid over-excited reader babble. With that being said, you should trust me on this one.
I think the quality of writing is as equally important and notable as the characters and story in this series. The story is captivating and edgy but would not be nearly as amazing coming from another author.
Karina Halle consistently writes stories that make me feel like I am watching a very well-made movie (a legitimately well-made movie, not some popular fluff ball of a movie). The amount of detail given is vibrant without being flashy. We learn just enough to feel like we are present in the story without feeling like details are being thrown at us just to fill a page or to make the author or character sound more insightful.
In regards to the story, whoa. Reading Shooting Scars was like watching a three hour movie and feeling like it only lasted one hour. I feel compelled to immediately start reading it again just because I liked the rush. The twists were just big enough, the conflicts battled just long enough, and the emotions poured out just enough to make us feel for every one at once. How is it so easy to love and despise all three main characters so much and all at once? And Gus...so many things I want to say about that storyline but can't without spoiling things. Team Gus, all the way!
So I've turned into one of those five-star babbling readers I often find myself glossing over. And I've done it without saying much of anything of worth. If I must filter myself and condense my thoughts like a grownup, I must say that Karina Halle is a phenomenal writer with the knack of telling (showing, really, if that makes sense) a story in a unique and captivating way. Her characters are flawed and no one is in denial over it or blindly excepting of it. The conflicts are believable and a far cry from anything in a flowery romance (this is a good thing). The reader is easily left conflicted on so many fronts (again, a good thing). Camden or Javier? Is Ellie redeemable or hopeless? Are any of them worthy of the love they crave from another?
Shooting Scars is intense, fluid, captivating, and very well-written. I definitely recommend this and the entire series (read On Every Street second! ). I am very thankful that Bold Tricks is being released so quickly after this one. One of the beauties of this series is that everyone is fair game. Something bad, or good, could happen to any one at any time. I have no idea who will come out on top or come out alive. It's an exciting time to be a reader.