Pen and Azael can no longer avoid their final confrontation – which they cannot both walk away from. Driven to reclaim Michael’s soul, Pen cannot avoid Azael and Azael is driven to bring his sister back to his side – or destroy her and everything else in the process
But while they are focused on their epic show down, Lilith changes the whole nature of the game: there’s a new ruler of Hell and sibling rivalry is not part of master plan.
I loved one excellent element of this book – Lilith. Oh yes, I loved Lilith. I loved how her mythology was so centrally part of her story. I loved that she was the character who would not submit, who plotted so very excellently and whose defiance should, as she pointed out, have definitely being predicted. She is Lilith, the woman who would not submit, who would not be secondary to any man. The death of her children was just the last straw – just the idea that she was a gentle, submissive servant means anyone who falls for it thoroughly deserves the stabbing they get.
Her backstory, her depiction, her craftiness and, even to a degree, how she seems to slowly degrade down the same path when she gains power herself. It’s really well done, contains a lot of challenges against misogyny and is fascinating to read.
The introduction of Lilith as an independent force added a new layer to this series that, while sorely underdeveloped (more on that later), really widened the story. This is in addition to the ongoing examination of why Heaven failed and how it lost its way – expanding on what was already established inEngage.
On top of that we have some really nicely written action scenes and lots of hacking and slashing. We had Kala and Ana – a previously excellently established same-sex couple, one of which is a Black, disabled angel – with a lot of excellent depiction of her furiously objecting and fighting back against any idea that she is weaker or less capable because of her disability. We also had some nice debate about Ana’s pacifism – and how it can really only work for her and her campaign because she is surrounded by people who are willing to fight on her behalf.
It did have some really good elements that I enjoyed
Despite all this I find myself curiously dissatisfied with this book and after much internal deliberation, I think the problem is with the actual structure of the book.
A huge amount of this book is spent telling the story from multiple points of view. And part of this works because we see the events how they’re actually happening as well as from the point of view of each character. We get to see how things surprise them, how they operate in completely different realities and it quite works artistically and stylistically…