Author: Larissa Ione
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
Warning: If you have not read the Lords of Deliverance four-book spinoff series, and plan to jump into Reaver after reading Demonica book #5, Sin Undone, you will have missed significant events that relate directly to the telling of Reaver’s story. Plus, they are just awesome books, so go read them!! So with that heads-up, be warned that this review contains “spoilers” from previous books.
Reaver, once a Fallen-angel doctor at Underworld General Hospital who has no memories of his thousands of years of existence, turned world-savior, turned full angel, turned Horseman of the Apocalypse watcher, who recently found out that he is the father of said Horsemen, is fed up with not knowing the truth. Never having been one to follow the rules (and probably part of the reason why he was cast out of Heaven in the first place), Reaver is determined to save fellow Horsemen watcher, Harvester, from her captivity in the demon realm of Sheoul. Although Harvester has played for the wrong team as a Fallen angel for the past thousands of years, Reaver recently discovered that she did so in order to protect his children – the Horsemen – and save the world from the demonic apocalypse. Now the Reaver and Harvester will have to survive the evils of hell, and each other, if they want to make it out of Sheoul alive.
Confused? Don’t be! Ms. Ione does a marvelous job reminding readers of the complexities associated with Reaver and Harvester’s history without coming across as repetitive or an information dump. The brief opening prologue sets the stage, giving readers a glimpse at Reaver and Harvester’s angelic history, and it provides those of us with faulty memories enough recap to jump right into their story. I loved the prologue because it also gives the book an air of an epic romantic story in the making.
Reaver, going against direct orders, makes his way into Sheoul with the help of a few hired assassins, including a Sem demon named Tavin. Reaver wants to rescue her for a few reasons, one of which is to find out more about his forgotten past. Since Harvester knew Reaver before he fell, but doesn’t know Reaver is that same angel, he figures he can learn a thing or two from her. He also wants to have Harvester help him locate Gethel – the evil angel who is working with Satan. She has some big news that ups the anti in the war between Heaven and Hell, so finding her is critical to saving Heaven. But lastly, Reaver feels something for Harvester, and he wants to protect her from the torturous ministrations of her father, Satan. All of these pieces are critical to understanding the direction of the tale. It provides fierce motivation for Reaver, giving him drive to carry forward despite the hardships.
Reaver is magnificent. He is a powerful angel who isn’t above being a dad and grandfather. Having lived so much of his recent life as a Fallen, he respects and cares for humans and many good demons. This puts him at odds with the Archangels, and gives readers the ideal rebel hero. Reaver is not perfect, nor does he pretend to be. I admire that he must work through all of his baggage and doesn’t make excuses for his past actions.
Getting cozy with Harvester was a little more difficult for me. She’s done some really awful things over the course of the last few books, and getting past that is something Ms. Ione writes successfully. At the start of the book she is being tortured, and she recalls the numerous horrid acts done to her since her capture. While the scenes are not gory, they are gruesome and made me uncomfortable. It may be difficult to digest for some. But once freed, we read her transformation from what she’d been for the past thousands of years into something new – but definitely not the angel she was before she fell.
Reaver is a gripping read right from the start. Following Reaver and his assassin comrades into Sheoul is fun. I liked their back and forth banter. I also appreciated how the book didn’t spend a lot of time on actually getting to Harvester. Her rescue was immensely interesting to read from her POV, as she is deaf and blind at the time. This scene was one of many that paints the picture extremely well, allowing the reader to see and feel what is going on in the story.
So much happens during the course of the book that it was best for me just to sit back and take it all in. I could give you a play-by-play of the action and all of the key players, but I feel that would take away from your own reading experience. Even though there is so much to keep track of, the story flows fairly smoothly. We learn much more about the nature of Heavenly politics and see that the Archangels are not all as one would hope. I wasn’t completely convinced by the motives behind the actions of at least one of the Archangels, but his behavior made for exciting and tense reading. There were times while reading Reaver that I was really worried about the potential for catastrophic disaster, giving the story an edge of riveting suspense.
Back to Reaver and Harvester. I ADORE that the pair worked through all of their issues and that the truth of what happened between them thousands of years ago remained ugly. Ms. Ione stuck with grit, and their history is messy. In order to have their HEA, they need to accept the things that happened: the good, bad and ugly; embrace their differences and how they’ve changed – and Ms. Ione allows all of this to happen. It makes the story so much more substantial and emotionally satisfying. While it may not have been the sexiest book in the series, it was beautiful in many ways.
Reaver felt like a turning point. It really wrapped up the “Four Horsemen” (Lords of Deliverance) story arc, but the Horsemen are key players in the Demonica universe, and I don’t think they’ll be going away anytime soon. The book also began something new. There is a small subplot revolving around a female doctor, Blaspheme, who is hiding her true nature, and the demonic Horseman watcher, Revenant, who is the focus of the next book. Also important is the Assassin, Tavin. When Tav got injured in a fight, Reaver’s attempts to heal him lead to a big change in Tav… what happens next will hopefully play out in future installments. Finally, learning Reaver’s true nature and history opens up some of the inner workings of the Archangels, and I can see more coming from that.
Overall, I really enjoyed Reaver. The book has grit; it is filled with substantial action and plot development, coupled with the raw and painful, yet beautiful growing pains between a couple with a very long history. Once again, I will stress that a LOT happens during the course of the story. The whole archangel/heavenly politics is complex, and while I was pleased with the outcome, and I think I have it all straight in my head, it was a little difficult to follow at times. Ms. Ione is ushering in a new set of characters that blend seamlessly with the wonderful world she has created and nurtured over the course of ten titles. Now go out and enjoy all that is Reaver!
WARRIOR OF HEAVEN
Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he’s agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before . . . to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.
ANGEL OF HELL
Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she’s doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan’s lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld’s darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel’s blood . . .
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Series: Demonica #10; Lords of Deliverance #5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (416 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher
Reaver (Demonica #10, Lords of Deliverence #5)
Reviews in the Series:
Sin Undone by Larissa Ione (Demonica #5)
Eternity Embraced by Larissa Ione (Demonica #3.5)
Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione (Lords of Deliverance #1 / Demonica #6)
Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione (Lords of Deliverance #2 / Demonica #7)
Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione (Lords of Deliverance #3 / Demonica #8)
Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione (Lords of Deliverance #4 / Demonica #9)