I have wanted to read a S.A. Price book for a while and with a new series, it was a good place to start. At first the story was confusing to me as I wrapped my head around all the little details of the plot. The series is about Gods of the Underworld from different Pantheons. We start with Syrus (God of Death Osiris in the Egyptian), who is married to Isis. When evil needed to be stopped, a group of Gods had their powers tied to a Relic and a Keeper that would free them. Centuries later, none of the Gods have found their Keeper. Some know where their Relic is while others don’t. Syrus has lost his long ago and didn’t think there was ever hope to find the Relic, let alone his Keeper.
Then one night while patrolling, he saves two young women. One is a normal human, Ansley, and the other has an aura that makes Syrus know she is special, Gwen. Gwen is an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Tom. When I say abusive, I don’t mean he beats her physically. He’s inconsiderate, cheats on her and verbally abuses her at every turn. Well he meets his end in a gruesome fashion. Syrus Gives Gwen and Ansley a ride home, but circles back to watch over her, his senses haywire that something is going to happen. And so he finds out that his Keeper is Gwen and that her family has passed down a necklace from daughter to daughter through centuries. The necklace, lapis Scarab, is the Relic lost so long ago.
Syrus will go to any lengths to protect Gwen, but though it all we have to see Gwen grow into the woman she is destined to be. We see her grow from a wallflower to a blooming blood red rose. Maybe a little to fast for me to believe, but then we are talking paranormal here. A lot is thrown at her at once, like seeing her boyfriend being eaten to a group of Gods who run a security company.
We meet all the Gods from the different Pantheons: Blaine, Castor, Dezi, Kaid, Arlo. Some of them grew right into my heart…Blaine and Kaid. But all of them interest me enough to bug the authors to write faster to read them. There is also Sherri (Bedit-Shari) who is an priestess go between for the Goddess in charge, Tiamat (supreme dark goddess). We get to see Sherri be the conduit between the worlds and also in a role of helping Gwen understand her place in their world.
Evil…oh evil has a awesomely bad face in this book. The bad soldiers are called Div and they refuel by eating humans. The main bad guy is Nathan and he is a piece of work. I think he is having some kind of sex act done in almost every scene. If he loses his job as head bad guy, I am sure he can be a good man whore. He has three main bad guys under him that do the recruiting. One of those guys is Caine who runs a lot of the intrigue in this story. Nathan answers to Nebacanezzar, the Veln on a plane that he can’t get off. So he brings Nathan to him, which it seems is not a pleasant journey. Then there is Carina, who was a child when Nathan found her. He has spent her life forming her into quite the evil young lady, but also the lady with all the evil good ideas. She is also the sex puppet for Nathan. I suspect Nathan and Carina have a lot of purely unadulterated evil plots left to unhatch.
Just one more side character to mention: Ansley. Ansley and Gwen grew up as best friends in the same apartment complex. But what surprised me was Ansley may be a flirter and a go getter, she is also writing a thesis on Sumerian mythology, which just happens to be from Kaid’s world. Kaid is sent to bring her in when they fear she might be used by the Div to get to Gwen. These two set off sparks that I can’t wait to read more about. It seems Kaid was married to Eskirgal who seems to be the kickass goddess who would champion women and her consort was Nergal, which we assume is Kaid.
The story moves quickly over the space of a few days. Syrus is a surprise to me from the stand point he basically has a harem, but is so in love with his late wife, Isis. But he falls so hard in love with Gwen when he finds out she is his keeper. He does right away give up the sex with his priestesses, but Gwen has to come to terms with his past, knowing it is his past and not his future.
It wouldn’t be a good story without an epic battle at the end and I can say there is, but no details…read it for yourself.
There are two pet peeves I had while reading. The word smirk was used 78 times in the book. After a while I thought everyone was smirking all the time. Second, was there were some commas left out at key points that changed the entire sentence structure. These at times distracted me from reading. Overall, the story is awesome and I hate that these little things pulled me away from what was really important.
Pick up a copy and give it a try. A great start to a new series I am looking forward to reading!