This book picks up eight years after the Dark Heavens series ended. Emma and Simone are older and are skilled fighters, Simone being one of the most deadly fighters. Emma and Simone are trying to get Leo back…still…after eight years. They are granted passage to Hell to retrieve him but find that nothing is as it seems and Demon King’s son Number Six has been meddling with Leo, demons, stones, you name it. Will they be able to save Leo from Six’s clutches?
What I really liked about the last series was the way Chinese mythology seemed to come alive in the books. In this book they were still very much alive, though a little overdone I think, with everyone mind-talking and changing into their True Forms all over the place. The story kept twisting and turning and just when you thought it might get somewhere it changed direction. It can be good, to help keep interest in the story but here it just made it frustrating and hard to keep up with.
The change in characters over eight years… Was Emma really that annoying in the previous trilogy? She’s too proud and ignorant and has no forethought for what actions may come out of her actions. Like during the fight with Er Lang and allowing the tree Shen to stab her to get the fight over and make him feel better, not stopping to think that in allowing that to happen would put him on trial for attempted murder, thus changing nothing. And then turning up at his trial and demanding he be released, full well knowing that it wouldn’t change anything, and at the same time revealing her true form to be a snake. Wwwhhhhyyyyyyy?
The story itself also shit me to tears just about. It had been years since I read the Dark Heavens trilogy and being thrown back into a huge cast of characters and unfamiliar words made it really hard to work out who was who and who could do what. There were also stupid irrelevant scenes in the book as well that made no difference to the story. Such as the lunch Emma had with Louise to talk about Rhonda and see if Emma could make her back down. Absolutely no point.
What annoys me is the lack of consequence in the books. It’s ok to chop off someone’s head because they’ll just be down in Hell and will come back eventually. No one really dies, no one really gets hurt. So there’s not really any danger or suspense in any of the fights, there’s not really any sadness if someone “dies” because it’s not really, well, real.
One thing that did surprise me though was the wedding at the end where Rhonda died upon drinking the Elixir. Throughout the book there’d been comments about what Michael (her son) could do and whether Rhonda was something special. Everyone kept saying no, but then at the wedding, poof! So I’d be interested in finding out what she is, maybe it’s the same kind of thing as Emma.
As much as the frivolity of the story annoyed me, I’ll keep reading the series because I do find the Chinese mythology interesting. And if only to find out what happened to Rhonda. No one else seems to have cared that much, even though she actually died, unlike all the other characters. So we’ll see how the next books are.