A horrific car accident put Jovienne in a coma. When she awakened months later, she was told that her family had died. And Jovienne? She felt different…irreversibly changed.
Years passed, and she was raised by a stranger who trained her to use the quintanumin. She excelled at every lesson, and she longed for her mentor to become much more. When the time came for her final test, a death-match against a demon, she uncovered a terrible truth: the man she had trusted to teach her had a dreadful secret, and Jovienne had become a monster’s monster.
The traumatized Jovienne becomes desperate for a way out of this new life, working on a way to rescind her immortality. But this only brings the demons ever closer, one of which claims to know a secret of its own about Jovienne—a secret she doesn’t even know herself.
It's hard to like Jovienne and even though she feels she has been manipulated and is used, I really couldn't quite see past her bitterness at times. Yes, she is incredibly brave (although some might say foolhardy) but her anger meant she makes hard decisions and takes such stupid chances. Yet this book details her progression in such a way that I found it hard to put down.
Frankly, at first, I was a little confused by the author's use of different perspectives as she introduces characters that initially have no bearing on what Jovienne is going through in San Fransisco and then it all falls into place as the connections start to happen.
Andrei was a sort of mentor and trainer to Jovienne and clearly has feelings for her but having pushed her away, it's hard to trust him and yet he does have redeeming qualities.
Nathan is introduced as a man marked by stigmata and he turns out to be more than instrumental if Jovienne is to rise above her base instincts. Sometimes she can resist anything except temptation!
Then we have Araxiel, a demon hiding on Earth with no desire to return to Hell. His selfish thoughts are consumed with his own wellbeing leaving him with the cunning idea of manipulating Jovienne and quite frankly, he does a pretty good job.
We do meet other characters as Jovienne isn't the only one fighting against the Demons and Ms Robertson lets her imagination play here. Are Angels all good? Do they always do the right thing? Perhaps more importantly though is what is the right choice, as after all we were all given free will. Plus, just what does it take to become demonic?
So many questions and yet some answers trickle through. There's a very good reason why Jovienne is the way she is and her past helps define her. Hurt, betrayed, and yet she carries such guilt because of one small childish action and I understood why her own survival meant little to her.
It's a little wordy at times which occasionally meant it felt dry and I wanted more feelings, more humanity I guess. Jovienne really wants to help but her hands are tied. Speaking of hands, those blessed by God have unusual powers that range from being able to move at great speed occasionally to the use of ghost like hands that stretch like something out of the Fantastic Four! Plus, I understand the use of more angelic terms, but some of the words used just didn't wow me.
All in all, very different to other books I've read and it's the start of a series that hopefully will be fleshed out enabling the various characters to show more warmth and feelings.