Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars. I'm not too sure how I feel about this book - my feelings were definitely mixed throughout it. On one hand, Larissa Ione (LI) used to be my fave author, and I was just about floored when I read her Demonica series. Those books were amazing!
But something happened during the start of this new series - I'm not sure if it's the content, or is it me that's changed somehow, or did LI get a new editor/s? I have no clue, but something is just "off" for me in this series.
Let's start with the truths we hold be true. LI changes things up with the iconic story of the Four Horsemen. In her version, they are personified by four individuals (all siblings - one of them female) who are half demons. They aren't truly the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - since the event hasn't happened - they are merely the vessels which will house the monsters they are destined to become.
In the beginning of the story, one of the siblings, Reseph, had his seal broken (This occurred in the last Demonica book when Sin let loose a plague that all but killed Werewolves) and he's now turned into Pestilence. All of his compassion and - for lack of a better word - his humanity is all but gone. He recognizes neither friend or foe and his only objective is to get his siblings to break their seal as well and join him in bringing about the Apocalypse.
His siblings battle with coming to grips with the new reality of their brother being beyond help and from keeping their seals from getting broken. Ares - who will turn into War, has his seal entrusted to a Fallen Angel. But if this Fallen Angel is killed, his seal will be broken and he will change. All efforts are made to keep the bearer of Ares' seal alive.
Thantos, who is to become Death, has his seal tied to his celibacy, and Limos, their sister who will become Pestilence has a double whammy. She must stay virtuous because Satan wants her for his bride and he's agreed to stay away from her if she will stay away from all men. Plus, her seal is tied to a mysterious bowl which no one seems to have found in centuries.
So this is a lot of information to take in, and I'm not even sure I got all the details right LOL Anyhoo, somehow in between all these going ons, Cara, a woman who everyone at first thinks is human, gets sucked into the ordeal.
In the past, Cara wanted to open a holistic vet care for animals - What does that mean exactly? I'm not sure, but somehow she's got a gift where she can heal animals by touching them. She has all the vet instruments at her home, but before she could get her practice up and running, she endured a break in at her house which left her emotionally scarred. Her gift - which she previously thought only worked on animals - suddenly worked on one of her attackers and killed him.
Needless to say, the shock of the events were too much for her and after she lost her will to practice, her real job, and her boyfriend, Cara's pretty much hanging on by a thread when a strange knock in the middle of the night wakes her up. A local brings in a dog he's just hit on the road, and while Cara nurses the strange animal to health, several men break into her house - AGAIN.
But these are no regular men, they're Aegis warriors after the animal she's just healed. But it's not a dog, it's a Hellhound, and Cara's life is never the same again.
Through a lot of twists and turns (seriously you can't skim read this book as it's just one thing after another - non-stop I'm telling you!) Cara ends up being the bearer of Ares' seal, but a human isn't meant to carry the seal and it's killing her.
From then on, it's a race against time to find a replacement Fallen Angel to take the seal from Cara before Ares turns into a monster. Sprinkle in a little romance as Cara gets a little too close to Ares, who's still pining for the loss of his wife and children like 4000 years later!!! Really? LOL Goodness, it was tough to take in places. I mean Ares wasn't celibate, he just didn't 'love' any woman for that long.
Some good aspects of the book were that some of the characters from the Demonica series come around, and I cheered every time one of them made an appearance. I just loved catching up on what was going on with them.
The most notable bad aspect/s were that there was a lot of sloppy loopholes. So many questions arose from the book and I don't think even LI could make sense of things, because there were a lot of instances where the characters were all: "Wait a minute. You said there was a rule about such and such. So how am I able to do this then?" Answer: "I'm not really sure."
There wasn't a way to explain things? Ugh. It was really hard to keep things in the story together.
In the end, we get a Happily Ever After For Now, and things are kind of up in the air as Pestilence won't stop until the Apocalypse is like a thing.
Part of me wants to continue, and part of me says why? *le sigh* I'll come back when I can't take the 'What happened?' anymore.
Darn my need for closure. :(
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