This is a quite overwhelming read. Not emotionally, it’s non-stop action after all, but with all the… everything! It gave me whiplash. Yet, so many aspects of this book was amazing. But. In the end, the overload and excessiveness of it all lowered my overall opinion of it.
At first, I thought that Patrick was such a cliché. I mean, a world-weary, agent with an alcohol problem and a slight death-wish. In his early twenties, no less. But there was an explanation for all that. One that actually made sense. So kudos to Turner for that.
And the world-building. It was spectacular and felt very unique to me, with the existence of magic wielders, werecreatures and vampires, all co-existing with regular people in a modern society. The different dimensions and the gods. It was pretty fabulous.
So Patrick, a mage with an old injury that cripples his magic, is called to NYC to investigate some gruesome murders. Not only are the murders paranormal, but they stink of hell. It soon becomes obvious to Patrick that there’s more going on than random killings. Magical beings are being targeted. And even a god has disappeared. What starts as helping the local police with a few murders end up being a race against time to stop the Dominion sect from ripping up the veil between out world and the hell-dimension.
Patrick is jaded and pissed at the world in general, but he’s also damn good at what he does. When he’s paired up with Jono, an alpha werewolf without a pack, they’re perfection together. And smoking hot. There are only a few steamy scenes in the book, but they were high-quality smut all around.
Just a few chapters in, I was convinced this would be a 5-star for me. However, that feeling didn’t last. There were mainly two things that brought it down. First, there’s all the off-handed information about the workings of magic and souls and immortals and whatnot, like that’s supposed to make sense. You’re bombarded with information that’s impossible to parse through. But the story goes on like it’s all perfectly logical when in actuality, more detailed back-stories and explanations were sorely needed. I did love the world Turner created, and I get that the first book in a series needs to contain lots of information. But for heaven’s sake, then at least make some of it comprehensible. As it were, there were no way of understanding the reasoning behind any of Patrick’s actions. He ran around all over the city, doing random and inexplicable magic, meeting all these people that didn’t get a proper introduction. So yes, at times I was completely lost.
The second thing was the gods. I think the idea of it is great. All the different gods of legend being real, bickering with each other and manipulating and using humans as if they were mere chess pieces on a board. But it was bloody exhausting after a while, how every time Patrick turned around, another god popped up. Either to threaten him, help him or kidnap him. I lost count of how many near-death experiences Patrick was saved from by the sudden intervention of a god. A couple of times would have been alright, but it soon became ridiculous.
So, not a 5-star to me. But it is a very well-written book, despite everything, and the characters and the world are both fascinating. So 4 stars is what I give it. That being said, I’m actually not sure I want to read the next in the series. There were so many things that completely went over my head in this story, I can’t imagine the next will make any more sense.