Author: Barbara Elsborg
Release Date: December 1, 2017 Price: $4.99
Reviewed by Elaine
Cover Art: The cover is simple, artful, and I love it. Like a photographic work of art, the background is an unfocused photo of a downtown at night. In the foreground, a beautiful angel appears, shirtless and with wings outstretched. The gothic styled font is in bold white and easily read.
Synopsis: The synopsis was okay, but in my mind, it didn’t really portray how much …. more the story really is.
Main Characters: West, Assassin for the Archangel Raphael
Tao, homeless man with amnesia
The author immediately pulls us into Tao’s reality, and it is gritty and entirely not pretty. Homeless, with no memory of who he is or how he came to be in his circumstances, he is hungry, lonely, and devastated to not have any memories. However, somehow Tao doesn’t stop being a kind, good soul. West’s reality is no less harsh, between his duties as an Archangel’s Assassin and trying to rescue his brother from the bowels of hell. He absorbs the memories of the evil deeds of his assignments with each kill, and no one can fathom the horror he alone views. The author writes in vivid detail which allows us to feel the characters’ emotions really well.
Secondary Characters: The secondary characters in the book are very well done and play essential parts in the story. From Raphael and Carson, West’s employer and stalker, to Makk, the demon we all love to hate, the personalities are well done and believable.
Plot: The plot is a bit full of twisty turns, and small surprises. West, whose one goal is to save his brother, meets Tao and mentally adds him to the list as well. Tao is on a mission to find out who he is, but with his big heart, he quickly falls for West. I really loved the paranormal aspects to this book, there definitely was more than the synopsis vaguely hinted at.
Flow/Continuity: The story moves at a good pace, and there was nothing that interfered with the continuity of the book.
Conflict and Climax: I loved the little, unexpected turns in the conflict, and I enjoyed the slow reveal of who Tao truly is. It was exciting and kept my interest. I cannot discuss the climax of the book without giving it away, but I cried. Twice. Came out of left field and stabbed me in the heart kind of climax.
Writing Style: The story is written in alternating third person, between Tao and West’s point of view.
Editing: No editing issues were found.
Formatting: The book was formatted correctly; the chapter headers were labeled appropriately, and the change between POVs were readily apparent.
Conclusion: Well, I have found a new author to potentially stalk! All kidding aside, I really enjoyed the book. A lot is going on in the first part of the book as we get a glimpse of what life is like for Tao and West. It’s harsh, not pretty and right up my alley. Did I mention that this book made me cry twice? When an author makes me feel that depth of emotion, they have really done their job. West seems harsh and heartless, but who wouldn’t be? Spending your time as an Archangel’s killer then absorbing all the gruesome, horrible memories would not make a very stable person. But West rose above it, and found, for lack of better terms, his soul mate. In deed and action, West is an honorable person who has had to do terrible things. The road to redemption is there, but at what cost?
I give this a 9.5 out of 10!