Published on June 13, 2017
The battle is far from over.
When the lives of her loved ones are put in peril, who will Audrey turn to for help? On the surface, Audrey’s existence in the afterlife is coming together. Her quirky new mentor guides her on the path to becoming the demon hunter she always hoped. She has great friends and even a kinda-sorta-maybe new boyfriend. But if things are so wonderful, why is Logan never far from her thoughts?
After learning that her family is the target of an unprecedented demonic siege Audrey puts all she’s gained in jeopardy by defying heavenly authorities and returning to Earth. Stranded at the place she once called home with the one person she’s been desperate to forget, she’ll face vicious monsters, betrayers, and a legion of demons with an insidious weapon that even her celestial sword can’t defeat.
Will Audrey’s mistakes in the afterlife be what destroys the lives of the ones she loves the most?
From a plot perspective, this book is so much stronger than the first book in the series. Audrey has a goal right from the first moment, and she’s not giving up, no matter how high the stakes get. She’s still that same adorably awkward girl we fell in love with in Huntress, but her training definitely shows. Now she’s a powerful warrior. I’m so loving that!
Most of the spunky, fun characters from the first book reappear in this one, with a few notable additions. I loved Audrey’s mysterious mentor, Hugo. He’s wise and both fierce and gentle. And funny! Total win. We also meet a surprise guest from Logan’s past, who turned out to be one of the most intriguing characters in the whole book! (No spoilers… but I’m really hoping we get to see more of this in book three!)
My enthusiasm for this book came to a screeching halt toward the end, though. I’ve stepped onto my soap box below in the romance notes section, so you can read the whole tirade there. But readers with any history of sexual trauma should be aware of a potential trigger.
I’m so torn about this book. I liked so much of it, and I feel guilty for liking it so much because of the consent issue. I’m going to read the third book in the series, and see how it resolves.
Characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
No profanity. Audrey uses faux swears like “shoot” and “gosh.”
Kiss between boy and girl without her consent.
Okay, to be honest, it’s a brief kiss, but the way it happens and the way other characters react really bothers me. Basically, in the story world, a kiss creates a bond between two people, a strong spiritual tie that’s supposed to lead to marriage. It can be broken, but that’s a painful process.
So taking a kiss without someone’s consent is a big deal, because even without consent, the bond is apparently created.
It goes down like this: he kisses her without permission, and at first she’s like whoa, wait! And then she’s into it. So he’s pretty cocky because, hey, by the end, she liked it.
I think this is a really dangerous message. It’s NOT cool to kiss a girl who doesn’t express permission because she might consent after a minute or two. No, no, NO.
Also, when she tells her friends and family about the incident, they basically roll their eyes and laugh it off, like, hey, we all know you’re into that guy anyway, so just chill out.
Wow. Not okay.
Seriously. Not a single character says, wait, he didn’t have your permission? That’s not cool. You have every right to be upset, girl!
She’s just supposed to ignore her own feelings about it.
Again, not cool. At all.
Most of the story takes place in Heaven. Audrey briefly meets Jesus (though she doesn’t recognize him and he calls himself Joe) and angels. It’s based in Christian doctrine, but there are some big departures. For instance, Audrey and others are assigned to a strict physical training regimen for service on a team called Hunters. These Hunters go to earth to battle demons who attack living humans.
The story also shows prayer offering protection from demonic forces (which fits with Christian doctrine.). It also shows that sometimes God chooses to let demons harass people as part of a larger plan or purpose. Audrey specifically learns some hard lessons about how disobeying God’s plan to do what seems to make more sense in the moment can be a huge mistake and cause big problems. Obeying even when it doesn’t make sense yields much better results.
Battles between Hunters (human) and demons. Some brief gore.