Reviewed by May
Khavi smiled. Her teeth glittered like knives. “I do not give spoilers.”
From the author’s website:
After a terrifying encounter in Hell destroys her trust in Michael, the Guardian’s powerful leader, former detective Andromeda Taylor is ready to call it quits as one of the angelic warriors and resume her human life again. But when demonic forces threaten her closest friends and she uncovers a terrifying plot devised by Lucifer, Taylor is thrown straight into Michael’s path again…
To defeat Lucifer, Michael needs every Guardian by his side—and he needs Taylor more than any other. The detective is the key to keeping his own demonic side at bay, and Michael will do anything to protect her and keep her close. And when Taylor manifests a deadly power, her Gift might tip the scales in the endless war between Heaven and Hell…or it might destroy them both with a single touch.
This epic novel is the conclusion to Brook’s guardian series, and it definitely will give fans the story they want and is a satisfying read. The series for me has been an inconsistent one – some of the books (Demon Bound and Demon Forged) are among my all-time favorite stories, while others (Demon Night) I barely made it through. But through it all the big question has been for me – when will we get Michael’s story?
For more than a year now, Taylor’s brain hadn’t been her own. He’d known her every thought and action. He’d saved her life when she’d been threatened by demons and nosferatu – but to save her, he’d taken over her mind and used her body like a puppet’s.
Meljean Brook is an incredibly talented author who can weave such rich tales filled with memorable characters, and that is no easy task. When there are a dozen or more important characters running around, and I’ve not read a guardian book in a year or so yet know exactly who everyone is and don’t feel confused? That’s some mad skills right there.
“You fucking Guardians. Next you’ll all be shooting rainbows out of your ass.”
“We already do! That’s why we wear pants – so we can walk undetected amongst you mortals!”
This book blends emotional scenes with humor, danger, and action seamlessly. There is great dialogue, and each character I know and love from past books comes back to play a part and help save the Earth from Lucifer and his demon army.
Now I know Tori especially is waiting for me to drop the “but…”, and here it comes. This is a really long book, and at times I felt like it slowed to a snail’s pace. I had no strong reactions while reading the second half, and that bothered me greatly about the book. It just all kind of played out in a way I expected. Not only that, but I felt like there was a significant lack of twists to the plot, and that despite being a battle to save the Earth it had a significant lack of excitement and tension at the end.
“You should be all ‘but baby, my balls hurt. How about just the tip?’ Or at least asking me for a blow job, so we both come and we’re even.”
Part of this problem was the lack of romance. Yes, they’re leading the charge and the story is pretty much told from their points of view. But I didn’t feel I was any closer to them than in past novels where we see them through other character’s eyes. Even when the scenes turned sexual, it felt rather detached and considering things Michael had said in the past I didn’t understand why he was now aroused, interested, and wanting to get physical with Taylor.
Basically, while I could see why they were meant for each other, I did not feel satisfied by their story arc especially since the first half of the book really amps up the tension and had me expecting a lot more from them when they do get together. One big thing that bothered me was the lack of communication between them, and I didn’t see why Michael wouldn’t share more about his big problem.
I suspect that part of my problem with this novel was that there might not have been any way humanly possible it could have lived up to the hype. I have been anticipating and waiting so long – I think I set my expectations to a point where they couldn’t have been fully met. Because when I look back at this story to review it I really am impressed with it. Perhaps some of my issue with the relationship development in the second half is that I wanted something these characters just weren’t going to deliver. Michael and Taylor’s unique dynamic and relationship is such that the anticipation of when they’d get together, when things would work out was intense. From the first time they meet much earlier in this series to the time Michael transforms her into guardian with a kiss – you knew they had a story to tell.
Combine this with ending the series and tying up all of the plot lines with the demons and hell and Michael’s sister – it was a heck of a big story to tell. While I did discuss the elements that I was not happy with, I do feel it was an excellent way to end the series. It leaves things overall in a satisfying way yet not so neatly tied up that it changes the tone of the series. I really did enjoy this story and while I’m sad to see this series end, I’m excited to see what Meljean Brook has in store next.
If you’re looking for a PNR series with winged warrior defenders of humanity, demons, and a different romance/couple in every book than this is a series you’ve got to check out.