This story really sucked me in. I was immediately intrigued by the world, the post-apocalyptic feel of an alternative London. The angels, the demons, and everything in between. Captivating is an understatement.
Synopsis: This is truly the ultimate enemies-to-lovers narrative. An angel and a demon. Mikhail, the Guardian Angel of London and Severn, a demon lord gone undercover as an angel in his quest for revenge. It’s a wild ride without a doubt. Severn is determined to avenge his dead lover, and to kill the angel that cut off Severn’s wings and left him mutilated and earth-bound. But the closer Severn gets to his enemy, the more conflicted are his feelings. And he starts to hope for something more.
I thought the whole storyline felt very fresh and inventive. But then, this is one of my first books about angels, so maybe I’ve just missed out on the trope. Either way, it’s great how the preconceptions of angels and demons gets turned on its head. How nothing is black and white but shades of grey. And the plot twists! There are so many of them and they’re awesome.
Primal Sin is the start of a lovestory, sure. But it’s grim as well. It’s brutal and bloody and if you can’t handle the two protagonists hurting each other, this is not a book for you. It’s not dark per se, but very violent. I’d say the storyline is equal parts gore, sex and emotional angst. And there’s never a dull moment.
But there were two things that bothered me.
The first one is that the supporting characters are more props than anything else. The only three-dimensional portrayals are of Mikhail and Severn, and that hollows out the story a great deal.
The second thing is that there’s very little actual world-building going on which is a shame. There are just glimpses now and then and no real explanations as to the current state of things or how it came to be. It’s irritating, and also waters down the story – which could have been epic – to being merely great.
The lack of back-story might be intentional, it sure piqued my interest. But the read would have been better with at least a few more clarifications. There were some highly illogical aspects of the story that kept nagging at me and brought down my reading experience. Like the presence of a killing field in the middle of London. If angels and demons have been warring for hundreds of years, and truly want to slaughter each other, surely they wouldn’t wage that war by meeting up once in a while at a predetermined site to do some butchering?
But my reservations aside, when I finished this book, I dove right into the sequel, Eternal Sin. And it’s safe to say that I’ve been completely and utterly captivated by this angel-demon saga. This first instalment is a very well-deserved 4-star read. But I’m almost finished with the second, and that one’s a 5-star.