I’m not sure where to start on this review. I had a very difficult time getting through this one. My disclaimer up front, as anyone who reads this blog already knows, is that I’m not a big fan of the paranormal or supernatural. But I was approached to review a copy of this book, and being a huge Allison Brennan fan, I was hopeful that I would enjoy it like I’ve enjoyed paranormals from some of my other favorite authors. I don’t *think* that was the case here.
I expected a paranormal, but I also was waiting for Allison Brennan’s voice to shine through. I think there was so much worldbuilding to do and so much backstory to fill that I didn’t get that voice until about 2/3 of the way through the book. Having said that, I can objectively say that this book was well-written, well constructed, and I imagine that fans of the supernatural, witches, demons, etc will eat this one up. Had the subject matter interested me, I can imagine that I would have been riveted.
Moira is an excellent heroine – tough yet vulnerable, strong but with past hurts that haunt her. She knows who she is, and accepts her past wrongdoings. Given the back blurb, I expected to see a lot more of Rafe. But there didn’t seem to be a lot of facetime for him. What I did see showed me a sensitive soul, but a man willing and able to stand up and protect what he believes in and those he loves. I felt as though there was more relationship building between Moira and Anthony, the hero of the 2nd couple, and brother to the man that Moira loved and tragically lost than between Moira and Rafe, but that was likely due to the lack of facetime for Rafe and Moira and Anthony coming to terms with their past.
The plethora of religious undertones in this novel lessened my enjoyment of it; I found myself skimming over portions in order to avoid lengthy explanations. But I think that’s my own personal prejudice. The subject matter of this book (see blurb) combined with the necessity for extended religious & explanatory scenes (and yes they were a necessity) made this one of my least favorite books I’ve read. And how it pains me to say that, because I likely won’t be reading the rest of the series – at least not as it comes out. On the objective note, I gave it a 3 on Goodreads because of how well done it is. I applaud Brennan for writing something totally creative and different, and doing it well, while at the same time I want to hate her because I didn’t care for book 1 of a long series. Of course I don’t hate her; it’s my selfish desire for books written in the Allison Brennan format that I love so much.
I should reiterate that I can objectively say that it is incredibly well written, well thought out, intense, and gripping. Fans of this type of book should buy it and savor it, because I believe it is an excellent book for fans of the genre. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, unfortunately. Which sucks for me because it means no more Allison Brennan for me for a while. This is book 1 of a 7-book series.