The Crimson Hunt has all the potential to be a great science fiction romantic thriller. It has aliens, action, beauty and the beginnings of a very interesting world filled with some awesome super powers. I am such a fan of science fiction when it incorporates a sweet love story or a heroine coming into her own powers. The Crimson Hunt has both. But it is not without flaws.Ariel lost both her parents, and nearly her own life, at the age of five in a fire. She has spent most of her life alone. Now, a junior in college, she is finding a life for herself. She is burgeoning artist doing well in school, she has a small close knit group of friends and Piper her bestie that doubles as a roommate. She's content until the day she, literally, bumps into Luca.Luca is a conundrum. He's hot and cold within seconds. Ariel can not get a handle on him and is becoming more and more drawn to him. It's the relationship between Ariel and Luca that gave me the first pause. I am in no way a fan of instant love but the drag out of this relationship was so long and torturous it was almost as painful as if they had fallen in love at first sight. The attraction is there from the start but there is no action of any kind until somewhere after the books halfway mark. In fact the romance is quite tame and could be handled by many young adult readers.As Ariel's relationship with Luca develops, her relationship with Piper strains and strange events begin to happen around them. Eventually the events become tragic for Ariel and she must go on the lamb with Luca in order to preserve her own life. This run begins the unraveling of the science fiction aspect of the story, which was my favorite part. The last ten percent of the book is where the action really picks up and I wish there had been more of it spread throughout.I understand the need for details and buildup with this sort of a storyline but The Crimson Hunt felt overly long and wordy at times. I think there was too much time spent on the relationship at the beginning of the book and the story lagged there because of it.Don't mistake me, I think there are many fans of romance that will enjoy the love story here. Luca is quirky, sweet and old fashioned and makes for an interesting hero. I just found the other aspects of the story more my suit and wanted more of it. I get a little rush from alien action, be it from books like the Lux series or shows like Roswell. I love to see how the creators come up with these alternate beings and the powers they wield. Smith is on to something with it in The Crimson Hunt, she's created an interesting take and I want to see how it all hashes out. I look forward to the second book due to so many of the details being let out in book one. I am hoping it makes for more action and aliens as that is really the gem of this story.