Events pick up steam in the latest installment to this serial epic, which I appreciated. Action, adventure, and sexiness galore, which is what we’ve come to love and expect from Draper’s entertaining stories. For this series, especially, we get answers to questions about Freya’s shared history with Derek White, along with explanations about current events in the broader world beyond White’s claimed city.

Before I, unfortunately, mention the things I didn’t like about this book, I have to give major compliments to the way Draper handled Black and his incubus power. Throughout this book, Freya uses her innate healing ability to target Black’s fears and help him release them, resulting in some lovely sexy bits (because incubus) that have a plot-related purpose beyond just being sexy. For a crazy urban fantasy epic, Draper has her romance genre beats down as well.

Alas, I wish I could give this book five stars, but some action and adventure and even the resulting sexy bits wouldn’t have happened if Freya hadn’t fallen into the “too dumb to live” trap of book heroes. Her reason for leaving the safety of the city boiled down to being selfish and spoiled and not wanting to be “left out” of the action. While I do recognize a person reaching the end of their limits, I didn’t buy that Freya’s reaction would be an impulsive decision that she was in no way prepared for, putting everyone around her in additional danger. It may have moved events along in the story but at the cost of some confusing characterization that I had trouble believing.

And that other half-star? I’m excited to learn more about the gods and demons implied the series title, but the first one we meet on the villain side is named Apophis. And he presents on earth as a white man with blond hair. I was disappointed by this default racial portrayal that could have been a much better world-building decision, based on what I’ve already read of Draper’s excellent creative skills.

Still looking forward to continuing with this series because I do love the characters. Still bummed that this installment moved the story forward at the expense of what Draper had already established about her wonderful heroine.

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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