I received this book from Headline through Book Geeks and rated it 4.5 stars.
Welcome to a world where mortals share the planet with Angels, Fallen Angels, and Lycans (shape-shifters). A world in which the Seraphim are supposed to be unemotional observers of life on earth; the Fallen are former Seraphim who lost their wings and were turned into vampires after they got too close to the humans they were watching; where Lycans are a subgroup of the Fallen who were spared being turned into vampires but in return lost their immortality and were enlisted to serve the Sentinels, a special group of Seraphim charged with enforcing the punishment of the Fallen. And for a very long time these groups lived more or less separate lives, occasionally interacting and never friendly towards each other. Now things are changing though. A group of Lycans has revolted against the Sentinels they were serving. Lead by their Alpha, Elijah Reynolds, they want their independence. At the same time a new virus is sweeping through the ranks of vampires, turning them into mindless killers. The vampires want and need to form an alliance with the troupe of renegade Lycans in order to hunt those infected with the virus while also discovering what is causing it and what might cure it. Vashti is the second most powerful vampire in the world, and although she has a very personal reason to detest and mistrust the Lycans, it is up to her to contact Elijah and forge a working partnership. The moment Elijah, who has equally compelling reasons to want the vampire dead, and Vashti meet sparks fly. The attraction between the two creatures is instant, powerful and undeniable. As the Lycan and the vampire work together they get ever closer to each other while they uncover secrets, long-standing conspiracies and numerous betrayals. Danger is never far away, and neither is the strong and very sensual attraction between Elijah and Vashti. A journey filled with blood, violence and lust lies ahead of the two unlikely lovers while some unknown force seems determined to destroy them.
Honesty first; I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. It took me a while to get my head around who everybody was, which group they belonged to and how all those groups related – or not – to each other, but once I had those facts straight and could just concentrate on the individual characters and the interactions between them, I really got into the story. The premise of the story is interesting and the characters all became real for me. At times I found myself forgetting that I wasn’t actually reading about humans, since the thoughts, feelings and the emotions the main characters display are all too recognisable even if their abilities aren’t. And while some might say that non-human characters should come with non-human characteristics, I don’t agree. Being able to relate to the characters’ emotions and actions meant that it was easy to fall into the story and just flow along with it.
Sylvia Day writes a wonderful story and sparkling dialogue. In a matter of a few pages I found myself completely submerged in this world she created and believing in it. What is more, even though I didn’t read the first book in this series, I never felt that I was lacking vital information. This story stood on its own without any problems, although it is clear that a lot of this story started in an earlier book. Sylvia Day is also very good at writing her erotic scenes. The heat rises off the pages and the attraction between the characters involved is palatable. What is more, the author has made the sexual relations an integral and realistic part of the story without ever allowing it to become the story.
This may not be a work of great literary merit, but it is definitely an example of fabulous story-telling. Sylvia Day knows how to grab her readers at the start of a book and keep them hooked until the very last page. And now that I’ve read that final word on the last page I can’t wait for the third book to come out. To say I’m curious about the rest of this story would be an understatement.