Riley Walker has been labelled rogue by the agency by her former mentor, Brandon - and is left with no choice but to run. Of course Scott will follow - his loyalty to Riley has only grown stronger; as is the unexpected help from the Agency’s Director
She expected many things to come chasing her - but demons were never among them. They are forced to appeal directly to the supernatural specialists in the Agency to survive… but Riley, and her unpredictable new powers, may be the real key to fend off the attackers - especially when one of their own is possessed by something far worse than a mere demon
There is a lot of action in this book. Our characters are all secret assassins for the government, with a specialty in the supernatural. They’re being pursued by a former mentor and general bad guy who has a penchant for using demons. There’s a lot of fighting, a lot of planning about fighting, a lot of running from crisis to crisis and planning for the next crisis.
The action is well done, the fight scenes exciting and flowing with lots of skill on display as well as a steady diet of tension and fear. There are definite stakes and, barring one element I’ll get into, a good sense of them as professional agents.
The plot never lets up and races through a lot of development quickly as these professionals do bounce back and hit the ground running
We also have an excellent prominent gay couple with Zachariah and Ashton, whose love for each other is never in doubt and matched equally by their capacity and skill. They’re not victims or weak or stereotyped or dead weight or ridiculous - they’re excellent together. Ashton, a long term agent and a complete human, also has been severely injured in his work for the agency and is disabled - that doesn’t make him weak, incapable or not a valued member of the team, but nor is woo-woo or plot contrivance used to erase his disability when it could be convenient
Sadly we have not developed any of the minor POC characters from the previous book into dominant roles - or roles at all - and this book is very white. Vanessa has made an appearance as another female character but her prominence is still not really developed even as her skill is acknowledged.
I do have some issues with the shape of the story because I ended up not enjoying it a great deal.
We have all this woo-woo thrown about but very little actual clarification or exploration. We have demons and angelic power… ok, what does that mean? Why? We have vampires… ok can we explore that? We have an ex-vampire, can we explore that? We have a legend about the Witnesses… ok, what does that mean? There’s a lot of stuff that just is because we jump from battle to crisis to crisis to battle.
This also affects the characterisation: like I love Ashton and Zachariah’s relationship and we open with some excellent moments examining Ashton’s injuries and Zachariah’s battle fatigue - but this is all quickly cast aside so we can focus on the drama with Ashton in a terrible situation and Zacharia being full of rage and angst