Friday, July 24, 2009

Eve of Darkness, Eve of Destruction and Eve of Chaos by S.J. Day

I read Ms. Day's first novel in this series, Eve of Darkness, a few weeks ago, then Eve of Destruction and Eve of Chaos this week. Let me preface this post by saying this was a really hard series to write about - there was a lot going on in each book...

Eve of Darkness was good - I liked it, but I felt like there was too much going on to keep track of everything. It seemed like Eve just kept taking hits without a break to recover. The book starts out with a bang - Evangeline Hollis (Eve) is at a baseball game and ends up battling a dragon in the ladies' room. Then, it flashes back six weeks and Eve is headed to a job interview, sees this hot guy who reminds her of her first love, Alec Cain, and has sex with the guy in the stairwell. He then reaches out and "marks" her with a brand on her arm - the Mark of Cain. She thinks she is hallucinating and goes home. There, Cain is waiting for her and tells her she was marked by his brother, Reed Abel (yes, THAT Cain and Abel) and is now a "demon killer" for God. She doesn't want to believe it and doesn't want to believe Cain is back in her life after 10 years, but once she goes through the transition she knows it's true. If I understand everyone's positions correctly, Cain is her mentor/teacher, and Abel is their boss. This book had a lot of storylines going on at once: A water demon was attacking her repeatedly, a group of tengu (sort of like small gargoyles), and werewolves; it's a lot, but Ms. Day ties everything up neatly at the end. Eve's main problem is that the demons she's supposed to be slaying are not marked nor do they smell (all demons are marked to show where they fall in the demon hierarchy and smell bad). She needs to find out why not and how to stop it.

This book lays good groundwork for Eve's "world". The Angel/Mark heirarchy is very interesting, as well as the Demon system. Eve is agnostic, which also makes things very interesting for her. I liked the three main characters as well as the secondary characters - the angels, Eve's family, her neighbor and a mysterious priest. There is a sexual tension that runs throughout the book between Eve and Cain and Eve and Abel. Cain and Abel's hatred for each other is well-written.

As Eve of Destruction opens, Eve is in a 6-week Mark class to learn how to effectively eradicate Infernals, sort of like a boot camp. Outside in the real world, a demon is killing some of the best Marks. Now, the students in the camp are being attacked, one by one. Even though no one else agrees, Eve thinks it's someone in the group doing the killing. As she is trying to investigate, a "reality-TV" crew ends up at the base camp and Eve is trying to keep them from getting killed as well. While all this is going on, Eve is undergoing another Mark transition that leaves her feeling feverish and oversexed, and there's nothing she can do about it which makes her irritable. She is dating Cain and is attracted to Abel but still not acting on that impulse; Abel is very attracted to Eve. Because Cain spends a large portion of the book out of town, this leads to a hot phone sex scene with unexpected results that resonate through the rest of this book and into the next for all three main characters. We meet some new characters that I like in this book, and one of the bad guys from the first book comes back for Eve. The end of the book leaves a few loose ends, including the fate of one of the Angels, who is missing, and Eve and Cain's relationship has taken a hit. By the end of this book I couldn't decide who I wanted her to end up with, both brothers have different strengths and weaknesses and both appear to have deep feelings for Eve.
I tore through this book. I liked it better than the first one. The relationships between Eve and the brothers were good; their reactions to each other were believable. The end was bittersweet as far as her personal life, but I liked it.

Eve of Chaos jumps right back into the action, with Satan putting out a contract on Eve. This leads to a huge number of demons in the area, all gunning to bring her in. Cain and Abel are both doing their best to protect Eve, but Cain has been promoted and it's having a strange effect on him and they're still searching for the missing Angel - they know where he is but not how to get him back or what will happen to Cain if they do get him back. We meet more of the bad guys from Book One, and Eve is pissed about it. She's trying to rescue the angel, fight the bad guys, and work out her feelings for the brothers. Eve is not sleeping with either brother and both brothers are unhappy about it. She loves Cain but his new position makes it difficult for him to feel love for her. Meanwhile Abel's feelings for her have been growing stronger, and she eventually turns to him for comfort. In this book we also meet Cain and Abel's parents - Adam and Eve. Very interesting...
This book has intrigue, deception, and demons galore! I really enjoyed it. And the end - Ms. Day - how could you leave us hanging like that?!? Ohhhhh - I want to know who it was!!!
One thing that confuses me about this series, and I assume Ms. Day will go into more detail as the series progresses, is why both brothers are so obsessed with Eve. Several times over the course of the books they both ponder how they want to ascend to higher ranks in the hierarchy, and apparently having Eve is pivotal to both their plans, but I'm not sure why.
I enjoyed this series and am looking forward to the next installment. Eve is a strong female character who manages to maintain her feminity without being Too Stupid To Live. Go Eve!!!


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