Want to Return to Sanctuary for a Third Time!

What a wonderful second installment!  Deep in Crimson by Sarah Gilman was a great read!  This series is a unique take on the idea of a world full of fallen angels and demons and it is void of so many if the little traps and failures which seem to be more and more abundant in this genre. While still not the steamiest, the storyline more than makes up for that.
We return to the world Sanctuary where fallen Archangels are hunted by humans for their feathers. In one of the best twists I recall seeing in this genre, the demons protect the angels and both angels and demons have fallen from heaven. There is an acknowledgment of traditional religion (wight he nod to church and the one child learning about things in church) but this isn’t an apocalyptic end of the world scenario. Instead this is about angels being hunted and their quest for a life with no poachers.  It is also about a few bad guys who, in a twisted sort of way, are doing what they believe is right.
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One of the things I love about this book is that the romance develops over the course of months.  We don’t see every day of that (otherwise the book would be way too long to read) but we do get to see time progressing – this isn’t a fall madly for each other in three days type of thing.  It’s refreshing.  It’s nice to see something that is more real, even if set in a very fictional or imaginary setting.

There were lots of little great things and great little things.  We know that Lexi has prophetic dreams – and the suspense where the reader knows that Jett is the subject of her dreams and she doesn’t doesn’t last long. I was so worried at first that there would be a lot of time spent by Lexi stressing over knowing that Jett was the subject of her dreams but it was wonderful that this wasn’t stretched out unnecessarily.  It was a treat that even the little bit of stress about the fact that the subject of the dream was a poacher had a short lifespan – we learned it was really Jett because of the scratches on the tattoos dry early on.  It was also great that while Jett had some feelings of not wanting to be trapped we didn’t hear from him that that was going to cause problems letting the couple form over and over again either.   The biggest hurdle would be his training and both characters were fairly smart about it and didn’t let it cause too much drama.  Instead of the drama being manufactured by the respective halves of our couple it was manufactured by the plot of the story.  Awesome.  It was an awesome change of pace!

The couple was allowed to try to couple and the crippling doubt that is so prevalent in this genre never found a home with either half. The woman being strong – there are lots of PNR where reviewers think the woman is strong  and where I totally disagree – here is a strong and capable heroine. Finally. She fights. She trains. She totally is not a victim. She doesn’t hesitate to find a way to get what she wants – and in not in a pushy of noxious kind of away either!  The drama with the big bad guy is handled swiftly without being too convoluted and, in what is in a lot of ways, a totally believable manner.

I didn’t have religious theories hitting me over the head. And there was actually a little bit of gray about the awful big bad guy too.  His motivations were noble even though his actions were not; the ends don’t justify the means and its easy for the reader to see this but also easy to see that while he his twisted logic for thinking he is doing what is for the greater good.  I couldn’t route for a baby stealer but I could see why he thought he was right.

It was really nice to see the little bit of mystery about Jett’s past in large part solved again without too much drama and without being dragged out across six books.  I was totally satisfied the way every element of the plot and subplot progressed and and tied up. It felt like there were very few loose ends.  The unfortunate part? The downside? It’s hard to tell if there will be (many) more books in this series. Although it seems to me like we are ripe to find a partner for Lark. I think it would be a tremendous shame if we didn’t find a way to return to sanctuary to get to know more characters and the wonderful world this author built better.

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