You know, I’m finding it absolutely impossible to sum up this book without throwing in spoilers for book one. So instead, here’s the blurb from Amazon:
Mortals never see me in their final moments. Isabel saw me. From the very beginning. She saw me, knew me for the monster I am, and still she loved me. That beautiful young woman with fire in her blood. I wanted her the moment I laid eyes on her. She was perfect, made just for me by a cruel and merciless twist of Fate. Isabel was my mate and my match, in every way, but loving me destroyed her.Fate stole my love from me, simply to watch me suffer. Oh, it cost her, but not nearly enough. A few dead Reapers were nothing compared to what I would do when I found her. The River of the Dead could run red with the blood of the guilty, and it would never be enough. My revenge would be a bitter-sweet thing, for it would never bring my Isabel back to me. Once she faced Judgment, she would be lost to me, forever.I could not accept that. I would not.
I enjoyed the first book, it was a good book full of philosophical questions, fast-paced action, and great characters (check out my review). But where the first book was a touch clichéd and perhaps overly commercial, clinging to a trend that’s trailing to its end, this second book is far from it! In fact, this book moves so far away from the cliché that I had to read over bits of the first book to make sure I hadn’t got it entirely wrong!
Book two, whilst remaining firmly along the same storyline, takes the tale off into a different direction entirely. It’s unique, it’s exciting, and it’s full to the brim of an array of wonderful and intriguing characters – none of whom had the stock-characterish feel that I mentioned in the first. Despite all these wonderful new characters, I did miss Gwen and Grim this time round. They were feisty characters from the first book, who featured mildly in the second, but if, like me, you are Gwim fan (see what I did there?), fear not as a glimpse into the next book has shown me that they will back – and with a book of their very own!
At its core, sure this book is a cheesy love story but actually, it’s just as much an adventure tale for me. It reminded me a little of The Hobbit in that the tale follows the journey of the characters and watches them get themselves into sticky and difficult situations along the way. The world that Wingler has created is huge and (for the most part) consistent, and it’s an impressive place to be – believable and colourful and best of all, enjoyable (at least for the reader, I’m not sure how much I’d enjoy her hell in real terms!) The plot, too, is complex and fascinating. It’s clever, with plenty of twists and weaves whilst still being easy to follow, and that makes the book a real page-turner.
That wonderful philosophy of the first book is still there too, and it’s very cleverly done in such a way that you can read as much or as little into it as you choose. Not interested in deep debates? No problem, the story is still awesome. Want to get your brain all twisted into a philosophical knot? Then let this book tie them for you. It looks at the cruelty of Fate and the madness of Time. It talks about life and death and everything in between. The debate of free will vs. determinism features heavily in this series too, although sometimes it gets a little lost amongst its own metaphysical vortex (if, for example, the Reapers do not have free will, how was Asher able to reject Fate in the first place, hence leading to this whole story?).
Although so far there are only two books, this series for me is getting better and better. Where book one was good, book two was awesome – so will book three blow me away? Only time will tell! In the meantime – buy these books. I promise you won’t be disappointed!