Saturday, February 13, 2021

Eve Silver - Sins of the Heart

Half human, half god, Dagan Krayl is the Underworld's most powerful soul reaper. When one of his
brothers is murdered, Dagan must use every ounce of his power to hunt down those responsible for his brutal death. But he must move swiftly—and carefully—if he's to have any chance of resurrecting his brother.
Yet that resurrection could wreak havoc on the mortal world. As an Otherkin, Roxy Tam has sworn to protect the human race, and it's her mission to stop Dagan. But when she sees him face-to-face, she realizes that she has seen him once before—a meeting that changed her life forever.
Neither Dagan nor Roxy expect to join forces for the sake of mankind. Or to have their loyalties tested as they struggle against the potent desire that threatens to consume them both….

Comment: I had this book in the pile for years. One of those PNRs I have "collected" when my addiction to the genre was in full swing. Now I have several first books in a series to get to and in the case of this one, the plot was interesting enough to make me want to read more, but probably not with priority.

In this world where the underworld is divided into several areas, all managed by the many gods associated with the notion of "hell" in the also many religions/beliefs out there, the mightiest of them all is Seth, from the Ancient Egypt tradition. He has four biological sons who "work" as soul eaters, and they grab the vilest of the souls which is what their father uses to increase his power. However, one of the sons was killed and now Dagan, the oldest brother, decided to investigate and get revenge. In order to do that, he follows the clues which lead him to Roxy, someone he helped years ago, when she had been prey of two human killers. His help made Roxy change and now she belongs to a secret sisterhood who helps innocents...she has never forgotten Dagan but she is no longer a teenager, will they be able to solve the mystery and find happiness?

I started reading this with no idea about what it was about, except it was PNR. I gladly found that, unlike many other PNR or urban fantasy stories, this was not written in first person. I like this because when well done, third person can convey a lot more than first and I ended up immersed in this interesting world.

The plot pretty much follows what I wrote above but the more detailed elements the author has imagined to support the plot did seem to suit what I was reading. The tone is slightly dark but not to the point where I couldn't find willingness to keep reading. There are some extra issues which we can glimpse through little details here and there, but the biggest part of the novel is about the investigation of who killed Dagan's brother. This does occupy a lot of the development and although some things weren't as exciting to me, I kept being interested in what would happen next.

I'd say the weakest link, to me, were the protagonists themselves. Dagan is one of those aloof guys who seem to maintain their intransigency in disguise for lack of ...well, hobbies. He works, he investigates, he worries, he wants to get revenge but he doesn't really have a personality. Apart from his care for his siblings and a certain sense of honor, he could be any guy. I understand this might be a norm and love changes him (right....) but he wasn't such an intriguing guy to read about. Ah, I remember, he does like lollipops.

Roxy is a woman bent on helping those in need even if that means going through methods which one would not describe as "by the book". She also wants to know why the fact Dagan rescued her years ago has made her a different person but she hasn't been able to find him, except now he is the one who finds her again. I liked Roxy for her agenda - rescuing/helping people in danger, as she had been one day too - but we also don't have a lot about her besides the basics one wants in these books. 

I can rationalize that in action driven plots there might not be enough time to fully develop a character, but it is possible! I also can't see why these two are such a great couple except due to the bond that united them when Dagan saved Roxy years ago...we are certainly not here to be convinced of that, I felt.

The secondary characters have enough presence to be interesting or to inspire curiosity over why are they mysterious. The villain is caught but the mastermind is not, so I can imagine the big mystery carries on though the next books. I wish we had more on the siblings' relationship. We do see Dagan interact with one of his brothers and there is a lot of talk of getting revenge on the dead one but there aren't that many scenes to reinforce whatever relationship they have. Same for Roxy and her closer circle of secondary characters.

All things considered, this wasn't a bad story, there were enough elements which compel me to read the others but assuming the tone/style are the same, I'm not that desperate to know what happens next. But one day, I'll read the second one for sure.

Grade: 6/10

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