2: Beauty Awakened

Main Characters:

Koldo – we learned really only that he was an angel who had his wings ripped off while young, too young for them to regenerate in the first book.  Here we learn much much more.  He is half angel and half demon (nefas) – he gets his ability to flash from his shadowy demon side.

Nicola – the love interest.  She’s being poisoned by demons.  She also has a health condition that makes her faint every time she and Koldo get close.  She and her twin sister Lalia are both sick.  In the beginning Lalia is dying and Koldo buys some time – time he wants to use to teach them both, but Nicola especially, how to fight off the demons.  Nicola finds faith and saves herself while Lalia can’t – and she eventually dies.

Zacharel – we met him briefly in Darkest Secret.  He has been tasked with leading an army of disgraced angels and trying to teach them the error of their ways.

Thane – Zacharel’s second in command.  He, Xerxes and Bjorn were tortured in Hell by demons.

Axel – another of the band of disgraced angels.  He ends up having to be Koldo’s partner for a good portion of the book – in the beginning, only letting Koldo have an hour to himself.

Jamila – one  of the female angels in Zacharel’s army.

Cornelia – Koldo’s mother.

Nox – Koldo’s Nefas father.

Locations: Kansas, the Heavens

Main Premise:  As we learned previously, Zach was given a year to reform his band of angels.  The upcoming war between the titans and Greek gods and the Diety will require the services of all.  We also knew that Koldo’s mother cut off his wings, but we didn’t know why.  Now we do:  Koldo is only half angel and his other half is demon because his mother was raped.  So, his mother hates him.  We open with a chapter where Koldo is a young boy, just trying to get some attention and love from his mother, but she is a hateful awful angel.  I think its enough to say that she cuts off his wings and dumps him with his father.  And his father is pure evil.  So… now he is in the Army of Disgrace and faced with fighting demons.  He happens upon Nicola and her sister Laila in a hospital and Koldo can see that they are both being directed by demons.  He instantly feels a connection to Nicola and he decides to try to save her – and by extension then he needs to try to save twin sister Laila.  Meanwhile, during his teaching he and Nicola fall in love.

The cut to the chase is the same here as with all in this genre – Koldo and Nicola do find a way to be together.  He manages to teach her how to fight off demons.  So well in fact, that she too becomes part of the “good army” – sword and all.  Lalia on the other hand, succumbs to the demons, in part because Koldo who has now sacrificed his wings for Lalia (because of Nicola’s begging) is captured and looses the water of life he sacrificed his wings for.

Other Important Things to remember for Later:   

You can, apparently, become a Sent One – as Nicola does.  William and Axel have something going on.  They strike up a deal but we don’t see what all will come of that yet.

Koldo let his mother go – after keeping her in a cage most of the book (she totally deserved to be in a cage!).

Koldo’s father wanted Koldo to marry his half-sister (Sirena), one of the women who was planted in Nicola’s office.  She’s dead now thanks to Nicola but wouldn’t surprise me if something came of this later.

Thane was tricked into being with a Phoenix – Kendra.  He sent Kendra back to her people but she captured him instead.

Germanus offered each of the “Elite Seven” a reward for their service to Germanus.  That’s how Zacharel gave Koldo his wings back the first time.  Because of the way everything ended, he gets his wings back the second time because Clerici doesn’t like some of the rules that were applying.

Kane was in NY and has disappeared. Bjorn is missing too; Xerxes and Thane are looking for him.

Sent Ones are bound by a ring of truth (except Koldo).

Thane met with William (Lucifer’s adopted brother, both raised by Hades).  Thane tells William he can help William find out who his real parents are.  In exchange for a meeting with Maleah (once a Sent One not a fallen one).  Thane tells William to meet Axel.  Maleah leads Bjorn , Xerxes and Thane to a dozen places to see how to destroy the demon army.

McCadden is a fallen Sent One who attempted to murder one of Zacharel’s charges (still does).  Xerxes keeps him locked away.

Germanus was killed and replaced by Clerici – (and for Germanus to have been killed, he had to allow it).

Review:  Preachy, not-at-all-steamy, lame reason for less steaminess (really, Nicola passes out because of her heart condition?  REALLY???), all sorts of attempts to show off what must be the author’s new found religion…  yikes!

This is terrible.  I adored the Lords series.  And I liked the first installment here.  But what seems to be happening here is illustrative of a trend in the PNR category – these books are getting softer, less steamy, more preachy, more theological, and less fun.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s romance.  And since there are angels involved, there is a certain expectation that there will be some theology.  But the preachiness and PG rating are getting to be a bore.  Not to mention, I felt like I was in Sunday school, being not just lectured but hit over the head with the notions of how to keep demons at bay.  Where’d the Gena Showalter I used to love go?  Ack!

If you want a weak female lead, a ton of bible thumping, action so quick its over before you notice it, a lot of build up to virtually nothing (talk about frustrating!!!), then this installment is for you!  There are hints and tie ins to what will presumably be other installments down the line (which everyone knows I will probably read anyway since it takes a lot of terrible in a lot of installments to get me to finally quit a series) but I am not betting on improvement since a lot of these PNR authors (especially those who are trying out YA too) are totally loosing their edge.   And there are sooo very many little tid-bits to have to keep track of, I am grateful for my own blog (how shameful is that) because I am absolutely positive I would not remember any of these little details later.   The quips between the male characters made me chuckle but that was the only thing to keep me awake and remotely interested, and that’s sad.  PNR should have other things to keep my attention too.  Koldo was interesting and had promise, but he too came across fairly flat and boring, even with his tortured history.  To have him passed out throughout most of the end of the book – totally lame.

This book was yet another reminder as to how much I miss the “old” PNR stuff (and old is relative because this really all started about 2 years ago I guess).  I miss the  things the first few LOU books had to offer.  I was hoping that would carry through to this series – but maybe the author got stuck in the YA genre she entered into with the  Intertwined series (which I admit I have not read, but it is clearly in the “YA” category).  I can only hope that the references to William (whose appearance was a nice treat) might signal a return to the things that made the LOU universe so awesome.

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