When I saw the synopsis of this book, I was fairly excited to begin reading it since I’m definitely a sucker for books about kick ass female demon hunters! The book had all the usual ingredients for success in this genre: strained family relationships due to the need to hide the fact that you hunt demons from the rest of the world, budding romance, sins of the parents coming back to haunt the children, and the possibility of a plot by the underworld to take over the human world. But, unfortunately, it failed to deliver for roughly the first 75% of the book, leaving me unsure if I’m done with the series, or if I want more.
First, let me discuss my criticisms. Honestly, it’s hard to say what exactly turned me off to the book for the first three quarters of the story. The characters were not unlikable, although they were somewhat one dimensional. Personally, I find overly predictable characters to be annoying…I like to be surprised and to see the dual nature present in all of us reflected in both protagonists and antagonists (barring demons since they are evil by definition). These characters are, for the most part, very one-sided, making it difficult to develop any affection towards them. As for the plot, it flowed well, but lacked the edge- of- my- seat suspense that I am used to with this type of book, up until almost the end. The last 25% of the book however, was fast paced and intense, if somewhat predictable (mostly because the characters themselves are so predictable).
Despite my criticism regarding the characters and lack of early action, the book did have some very redeeming qualities. The story had a well detailed back story, about why each of the characters feels the way they do about their role as demon hunters, and about how the damned conduct their business on earth. Tala’s and Aiva’s battle against the various representatives of the nine circles of hell was well done, with each playing a specific role in the advancement of the story and the reader’s understanding of the relationships among Tala, Aiva, and the missing Hartley. The sister’s relationship if a crucial element of the story, pairing well with the use of Irish mythology, to put a fresh spin on the genre: each of the sisters represents an important aspect of the mythological balance needed to defeat evil. Because I like Irish mythology, this aspect was particularly appealing, and is one of the reasons I may read future books in the series, since I’m curious how that angle will be developed, given the rather violent conclusion to the book. The other reason I may come back for more? Romance finally shows up for Aiva with another demon hunter…and the chemistry was just intriguing enough, that I want to see what happens next.
All in all, this is a fun book for the season, full of demons, magic, and mythology. Happy Samhain!