I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
So, I started out thinking this was the second book in the series and about 2 pages in, I went and looked and it turns out I misread and this is actually book 4 of the series. And this is not the sort of series where you can pick up any book and understand what's going on; you definitely need to read all the other books in the series first. Fortunately, I found a friend who had read the series and so she explained parts of it to me, but again, I recommend reading all the other books in the series first or else this book will make very little sense to you.
Sometimes victory requires risking everything -- even those you love.
Time has run out for Jesse, Gabriel and Lazarus. With the rogue archdemon Hiil and his vast army marching for Abaddon from a neighboring world, Gabriel is forced to make a decision that may mean the death of one of his lovers. As an elemental, Lazarus once sought control of Ba'al's lands. Things have changed, but if Ba'al returns, the ice mage's word may not be enough to keep him from the archdemon's wrath.
I was conflicted with this book. There were things that I loved and things that annoyed me a bit. Let's start with the positives:
First, the characters. Demons, mages, vampires, oh my! Throw in a ménage relationship, and things get interesting. I liked how the three lovers interacted with each other, you could just see the love and that they'd been together a while. I must admit, Jesse is my favorite as he's just too cute and funny! And he has the best lines. "Right. Electrocute the behemoth. Got it." Oh Jesse, I love you so. And the names themselves are pretty darn cool. Lazarus, Ba'al, Hiil. Every name fits the character. The demons have demonic names, etc. The slightly confusing part with the character names though is that Gabriel and Bela are the same person. I was greatly confused by that until it was clarified later in the story.
The secondary characters are engaging and meaningful. They're not just superfluous characters thrown in to make the main characters stick out. I would love to read more about several of the secondary characters, especially Ba'al. For an archdemon, he's a pretty swell guy. Friends, foes, allies, every character is thought out, not just a name. You get info on all the characters (some of which is also in earlier books) and their interconnecting relationships. The way all the characters are connected is interesting as well. So many of the characters have backgrounds with each other that are fascinating and it's intriguing how interconnected all the characters truly are.
Another positive aspect is the setting. Now, most of the world building was in earlier books, but the world itself is intriguing. You have Earth (where Jesse came from) and then you have the Demon Realm where this story is set. To me, the Demon Realm is a bit like England or Scotland with all the huge castles all over the countryside, though a lot less green. Most of the main and secondary characters are higher up demons, so they all have their castles and a feudal hierarchy and ruling system. It feels like old history meets fantasy magic, which makes for a very interesting world.
Now for the parts that bugged me. One is the amount of events occurring in so few pages. At just under 40 pages, this is a short story and yet it seemed a lot happened super fast, which made it seem like it wasn't as hard as it was portrayed to be. Bringing someone back to life, a battle, forgiveness, retirement. So much happened that I became confused. There was such a quick transition to the "next big thing" that I didn't really get time to digest what had happened previously, which caused me to disconnect from the story. I felt like I was being given a brief history of what happened instead of being there while it occurred. I felt like I was getting the bare bones of the story. Keep in mind, I didn't read the earlier books in the series, so certain details might have been in earlier books and would therefore make more sense when reading this book.
Second, the whole series had been building up to this big epic showdown that just wasn't that epic. It reminds me of how the Twilight series ended. There was all this build-up with an anticlimactic ending. Now, I liked the ending and it was a happy ending, just a bit disappointing after all the events earlier in the book.
It is an interesting ending and I think I would have enjoyed this series much more if I had started with the first book. This is an interesting book and promises a great series. Just from reading how it ended makes this series sound amazing. I would love to read how it all began.