Series: Demonica, Book 4
Rating: 4 Stars
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle
Dark, Seductive, and Satisfying
With each book of the Demonica series I become more and more impressed with Larissa Ione. She's created an original world with complex and unique mythologies blending nearly seamlessly into a cohesive whole, ripe with dark humor, honest and erotic sexuality, and at its core, the steely strength of love - familial and mated both. What began four books ago as a paranormal romance series has developed into a smorgasbord of trials, tribulations, dangers, and true consequences, and as a reader, I'm intensely appreciative of the pleasure each book has provided. Ecstasy Unveiled was absolutely no disappointment.
Lore, the Sem demon assassin, is one kill away from freedom from his master, but it's not freedom for himself he cares about, it's his sister Sin's life - which hangs in the balance of this particular kill. Unfortunately, the target is none other than Kynan, the human whose life he restored in the previous book, and the guy who got the girl that Lore himself was interested in. Not to mention that Kynan is real tight with the three brothers Lore recently discovered and he's protected by the almost-angel, Idess, whose job it is to keep Kynan alive - at all costs - to save humanity. What's a demon assassin to do?
One of the things I like most about the Demonica Series is it really is a study in the adage "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." Truly, none of the good guys (and the not-so-good-but-mostly-well-intentioned guys) can catch a break here. Lore has to kill someone he sorta hates, sure, but he doesn't want to kill him, really, especially as he craves a family bond and connection to his brothers Eidolon, Shade, and Wraith (and they'll kill him for taking out Kynan), not to mention he's totally hot on Idess, who really wants to get into heaven and leave the earthly plane, but to do so she's got to make sure neither Kynan nor Lore get dead. And if that's not enough, the forces manipulating all this death and destruction are viciously evil and bent on the destruction of the brothers, their mates and children, and Idess...basically everyone.
Oh yeah, you definitely can't say that Ecstasy Unveiled is thin on plot. My only complaint, actually, is that in this particular book there's almost too much going on as Lore's world spins out of control and the evil undermining his brothers starts ripping everything apart. I can understand - and really liked - the initiation of the story thread for Sin's (the smurfette...*giggle*) book (due out in September 2010, so look for it!), but a werewolf epidemic on top of everything else that was going down in Ecstasy Unveiled made it just a little too chaotic for my personal tastes. I would've liked more time with Lore and Idess, seeing their relationship develop a bit more in non-life threatening or captured situations. It's a minor issue, really, but it did keep me from truly loving this book. I really really liked it though.
I do not recommend this book if you haven't read the three previous novels. This is not the sort of series where you can just pick it up here and go, or read out of order, because far too much of what goes on in these books, and the characters in them, are motivated by the relationships and events of the past novels, and there's not enough exposition to satisfactorily define the world for a neophyte. Too much impact would be lost. Also, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone not comfortable or fond of sexual situations written with explicit language and without the use of flowery euphemisms. The brothers are sex demons, after all, and there's not a whole lot held back.
Really enjoyed Ecstasy Unveiled and am very pleased that the next in the series, Sin Undone (Demonica, Book 5), will be out in September. Until then!