Killing immortals is easy. Becoming one is hard.
When three lovers (Ring, Waleska, and Risa) take a vacation after losing a fight with an elegant monster named Elizabeth, their time for healing is cut short by a new threat, and this time, innocent blood will spill.
Reaching for the crown of Hell, Elizabeth gathers Archangels around her to fuel her power-mad ascent - but she has powerful enemies who will fight her every step of the way, including Delphine, the 2,400-year-old succubus hooker who knows that inside her beautiful body rests a very human soul. Joined by an honorable priest who finds himself in the middle of a war he never knew existed, a demigod and his partner, and the stage is set for another round in the battle to determine how much of Ring, Waleska, and Risa is still human, how tough their immortal side can be - and how far they are willing to go to protect the people they love from a creature who would burn their world to ashes.
©2014 Terry Maggert (P)2014 Terry Maggert
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Okay... I hate to admit it, but... I looked up the author on the internet because I was convinced it was a female writer (it is not). Why, you might ask, did I wonder this? Well, because the female characters are fully realized, and not just objects to be rescued, and the main (male) character is sensitive and responsive - like a woman might want a man to be - rather than crass and manly like many 'action' heroes are.
Of course, Ring is not really an action hero, and this novel falls into the urban fantasy genre, not the action genre. But it is only urban fantasy in that some of the characters are immortal... the story itself, and the main characters, all have a feeling of realism. In fact, the biggest reason why this novel doesn't really feel like an urban fantasy is because of the quality of the writing, and the lack of 'cheese'.
Maggert has fantastic vocabulary. The book almost feels like literature, but it is not dense or heavy - it just has a lovely use of language. There is some non-graphic sex, which was well-placed and... I don't recall any swearing.
Overall, this book is actually better than book one was - and that's saying something since book one was pretty good. This one has a more concrete resolution, and characters which are consistent internally and over time as well. It was not a cliff-hanger ending, but I will read any more in the series. I think that if you were going to pick up this book, though, you might enjoy it more if you read the first book first since the characters will make more sense if you do - and this is definitely a character driven novel.
The narration is terrific. It's a female narrator for a male main character, but don't worry, she doesn't narrate the men in "falsetto", and each of her characters are distinctly voiced.
I had read book one, but the author did enough recapping without getting pedantic that one could start here, if necessary. Terrific, complex story line well developed. Characters are finely delineated and well explored. The series is addictive, and the audio performer exceptional!
Rebecca Cook's ability to construct so many different voices gave a complex story even more depth.
The scene between the main antagonist and an old adversary. The shifts in demeanor of all characters involved were believable and well written; beautifully performed by Rebecca Cook.
As stated above, Rebecca Cook's diversity of voices was truly inspiring. I'll leave it to others to count the total number of unique voices, but but just a sampling included: Eastern European, Northern Britain and Southern Britain, some form of east African accented English, as well as several dialectic accents of the southern U.S.
That would not be practical as it was a 10 hour book. However, I would not have wanted to listen to it in one sitting since some of the themes Maggert explored deserved some contemplation. I've not read an author who reveals so much inner human (and inhuman) turmoil in a modern fantasy setting.
This book has heft to it. Yes, it is about a group of lovers hunting immortals, but it is so much more as well. It deals with loyalty, and hope, and fear, and sex, and sin, and vengeance. I don't read many books twice, but I think I will be reading the printed version of this book before moving on to the third in the series.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
This would be my first modern day vampire romance novel and truly, Dracula is the only other I have to compare it with. The Mask of the Swan: The Fearless is quite different from the old classic but as always I listened with an open mind. Rebecca Cook was a very good narrator and her variety of voices were surprisingly well done. Best of all, she did an excellent job on the male characters; it’s not often that women are able to do so. The production of this audiobook was fine, nothing fancy but good.
Overall the story was well written and I thought it had a great twist or description of this hidden underworld. As I don’t know much about the vampire craze, succubus was new and the description available is a bit different than the characters in the story but in a nutshell, they suck the life out of both men and women even with just a touch and it keeps them looking youngish and beautiful rather than the evil looking creatures which they can turn into. There is adult language and sexual scenarios in the story some of which was unnecessary in my humble opinion.
The main characters are: three immortal warriors (two beautiful women and a hunk of a man living together as a married trio) who make it their business to kill vamps, warlocks and a variety of evil creatures; two drop-dead gorgeous succubus, one is nearly as old as time, hates humans and is on a power-crazy rampage, while the other is her “daughter” who was turned 2,400 years ago, enjoys for the most part loving relationships with humans and wants to stop her evil “mother” from destroying the planet; and, the rather handsome, open-to-the-strange unknown priest. The supporting characters are many and varied ranging obviously from good to evil and again, I must give the narrator credit as she had only a few nearly unnoticeable voice falters in the wide variety of character changes she had to make.
I’m sure vampire fans and romance readers will enjoy this easy listening audiobook as it’s got a little action, some lusty romance, a save-the-world plot and sinister characters. While writing this review, I saw the book cover for the first time and must say it is nice but I don’t understand the lone female approach, I would have used the three warriors.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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Although this book can be read as a stand alone I recommend you listen to the first book Forest Bull. This is a very well written story. He did a great job of letting us know the history of the characters. How they got where they are. The ending was amazing.
I cannot say enough about the narrator of these books. I think that I would enjoy reading these books, but now that I have listened to the first two there is no way I could start reading the next book. I will have to wait for the audio now. Thank you Rebecca for making the story really come to life!!
This book is even better than the first book and I really enjoyed the first book. I love how he would give us a few chapters here and there with a little back story about Elizabeth, it was great learning how she came to be along the way. This book kept my attention from start to finish and that is not an easy thing to do.
I think this could be a stand alone book, but I feel that you would understand more of the characters and the story if you read the first book before this one.
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