This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Small Publisher
Released on September 18, 2015
This one was for all the marbles. Thank you all for voting it in as the TBR read winner. Seriously. Armageddon is here and Alex is caught right in the middle being crushed under the weight of her losses. How does one come back from all this loss while working to prevent the end of the world? This book shook me up, broke my heart, and yet it was one of my best reads this year.
As the fourth and final book of the Grigori Legacy series, this does not work at all as a standalone or out of order. The worldbuilding, characters who have been around all the way through, and time line on the plot all assume the reader is au courant with all the previous books.
The story opens with Heaven and Hell at war, The One and Lucifer gone, earth trembling on the edge of full destruction when Lucifer’s army come of age or more likely the angels bring their war to earth and destroy it first. Against this backdrop, a broken Alex who has just watched the murder of her soulmate and the one who did it, Seth, used to be a being she loved and now he’s lost forever, too, her beloved niece is impregnated by Lucifer’s child and will die on its birth, and her sister is in a coma wanting to die. She has nothing left to give and yet here stands Michael the Archangel telling her that he needs her once more.
Thousands of years before, Michael’s soulmate and the daughter of The One turned her back on them all and left. Michael let her go out of loyalty to her mother and his responsibilities to their people. She is the only one who can hold Heaven together and stop her brother, Seth, but first Evangeline must be found. Michael knows she is hiding on earth as a human and refusing to use her power while living in a sordid place to avoid notice. He needs Alex’s human detecting skills and network to find the only one who can restore the peace and balance of the realms. But it weighs on him when he comes to Alex and sees what the devastation his kind and their eternal war has wrought on her. He is asking too much and yet, if he doesn’t, her world and his will be lost. But for once, he will do what he can for Alex, as well. She has taught him to see things so very differently and he feels the weight of all his past decisions that have led to this point. He will make things right.
Seth only knows anger and need for Alex to make him whole after his choice to lead Hell and it’s fallen. His injuries from Alex wielding her soulmate’s sword are healing, but in the meantime he must rely on the the untrustworthy second in command to find her. Samiel has no intention to bring Alex to Seth and let the leader be side tracked by the human woman. He will find her and kill her. He will do what it takes to return to Heaven and rule all.
Evangeline left because she saw the writing on the wall for her parents and for Michael. She would never be able to persuade them of the truth and it hurt to be ignored by parents and placed second by her soulmate. On earth, she has lived to make it a better place by influencing one human at a time. Now, she feels the momentous change has come. The human woman, Alex, tells her she has a choice and whatever she does, she will have to live with it. Seeing Alex and later Michael and then really looking at the situation beyond her home tells her that, here it is, she must face her past and her future with all the realms depending on her choice.
So much happens as the war rises to its highest, most destructive pitch. Losses are guaranteed and everyone is stretched well beyond breaking. Painful choices must be made and the repercussions are horrendous and impossible. Who and what will survive it all?
Alright, this was a book I put off out of cowardice. After the ending of book three, I just knew it was bad and would only get worse. And it did, this was a weighty, crushing story. Alex faces what no one person should ever face. The author took her to that place where there is nothing left, including a will to live though sadly for Alex, she is immortal and will live on when others suffer and die. Alex is surrounded by powerful beings who need her or need her to die while anyone who supports her is taken from her. This was a no holds barred fight to the finish. It is gritty, dark, and desperate- and I loved it.
There are a handful of narrators and the story flips between several plot threads giving the story many angles and complexity. There are a few themes laced through this one as each character is on the brink and must face what their past decisions and their current decisions are leading them. The characters are a wide spectrum of dark and remorseless to gray and regretful to lighter gray and guilt-ridden and unsure. No one comes out pristine and all have varying degrees of flaws. It was perfect for the tone and plot of this story.
The action was amazing as was the internal conflict. There were twists and turns into and out of impossible corners. It was one long adrenaline and emotional rush. And that ending, egads! I had to read it twice because my brain stopped functioning at one point. Too much! Too much! But the denouement left things in a good, hopeful place though realistic. Who ends up with whom? Can’t even go there. Darkness and brokenness will always be a part of the aftermath though so will all the good things.
All in all, this was the granddaddy of all finales. I’m shell-shocked and exhausted, but oh so satisfied. Need I actually say that I recommend it? Hope not.
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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