*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*
Much like the first book in the series, this one gripped me and sucked me in, and I blew through it a lot faster than I had been getting through other books at the time.
Also like the first book, this one was action-packed and filled with supernaturals and crazy fight scenes galore, but it still had a great balance with the character development.
And speaking of the characters… Noah was pretty much a major asshole again, as cocky and rude as ever, but you just can’t stay mad at anyone who has suffered (and who still suffers) as much as he has. And then he goes and does something like bring Dorian pizza and clothes and actually seem worried that Dorian might still be mad at him for something he did, and *sigh* Yeah, you just can’t bring yourself to hate the guy. At least I couldn’t. But I did think he deserved it when neither Dorian nor Vance was willing to help him while he was weak. Ok, fine, I still felt bad, but he needed to be taken down a peg, and that’s what he got for treating them the way he did. Honestly though, these books wouldn’t be the same without him. (And especially after reading later books in the series, I really do love his character.)
Then there was the new character, Gianluca. I’d been wondering who that character on the cover of Book 3 was because I can never resist black hair and green eyes 😉 But anyway, he was the complete opposite of Noah—whereas Noah was closed-off and secretive (as per usual), Gianluca was kind and open and genuine. Also, I feel like it can’t be easy to write a character whose second language is English and who still hasn’t perfectly mastered it, but his dialogue actually sounded genuine. And the slightly broken English somehow made it easier for me to imagine his Italian accent. (Ok it probably came out more Spanish than Italian in my head, but that’s not the author’s fault, haha.) Oh, and Gianluca’s powers involving shadows and darkness were kind of awesome.
There was also Dorian himself, of course. He once again made for a good protagonist. He was naive at times but compassionate, likeable, and growing as a person. And his shyness was realistic rather than exaggerated.
One thing this book did particularly well though, I think, was portray what it’s like to be judged for being in a same-sex relationship. It’s not like I didn’t know these problems existed, but there’s a difference between knowing and experiencing. And that’s one of the things I love about books, getting to vicariously experience things you otherwise wouldn’t. Being in Dorian’s head any time his love interest (technically there was no love, just feelings, but you get what I mean) tried to be affectionate in public, even just to hold his hand or put his arm around Dorian’s shoulder, seeing the way people stared and whispered, feeling Dorian’s anxiety… Dorian already had a lot of anxiety in general, so I think maybe it wasn’t quite as extreme or negative a reaction from everyone as he perceived it, but, well, 1) it’s good writing to take the POV character’s perception of things into account, and 2) that doesn’t even matter because that’s not the point. The point is that there are some people out there who react negatively, so I could understand why it made Dorian feel that way, and since worrying about being judged for holding someone’s hand is not something I’ve ever had to deal with, it was enlightening to better understand some of the prejudice other people experience for things I take for granted.
I only had a couple slight issues with the book. Well, I’m not even sure if it was a flaw or simply a personal preference thing, but I kind of wanted Dorian to not jump from place to place and character to character quite so much. Honestly I think I just liked some of the characters so much that I got anxious anytime Dorian left one to go do something else since I didn’t know when we’d see that character again. I also didn’t quite understand why Dorian went with William since that just seemed like a bad idea to me. But the plot still made sense and had a goal and all that though, so, again, these were small issues.
So overall this was another great, gripping book in the series with lots of actions and characters I cared about, and, well, at the time that I’m posting this, I’ve already finished the next two books (which got even better), so clearly I enjoyed it!
*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 1st read.*
*If you’re interested in learning more about the series, you can find an interview with the author here!*
4 Stars (1st Read – 2016)
4 Stars (2nd Read – 2019)
Fans of Book 1 in J. Armand's The Immortal Coil series. Anyone who likes intense action, complex plots, large casts of lovable and continually growing characters, sweet friendships/relationships, and lots of supernaturals.