Deep in Crimson

Main Characters:

Jett – from the last book, a demon who feels the need (even through he doesn’t understand why) to watch over Raphael’s family.  He was raised by Lawrence (he was kidnaped as a young boy) to believe that all demons were bad and evil.  He is the one who helped Raphael escape in the last book.  He doesn’t understand why he feels the need to protect.  He rescues Bryce and goes after Lawrence.  He also starts Guardian training.

Lexi – one brother is captured the other is killed.  She falls for Jett.  She also has Raphael train her some so that she won’t be defenseless.  And she supports Jett booming a Guardian.

Raphael – one of the Archangels.

Lark – a demon; a Guardian.  In the last book he was possessed and was the bad guy.  However, he is one of the demons who are good guys now.  He also is Raphael’s (and family) dedicated Guardian.  He starts to train Jett.

Wren – Raphael’s son; an Archangel.  Married to Ginger.  He has infant twins (Talon and Phoenix).

Victor Lawrence – the money behind the poachers.

Devin – Gigner’s adoptive father.

NEW CHARACTERS:  Lexine – a demon whose little brother is kidnapped in the beginning and her older brother is killed.  She falls for Jet.  She has a disorder that allows her to see in the daylight unlike the other demons.  She also makes wine (her brother used to make it before he was killed).  Bryce is her younger brother.  She also has prophetic dreams and she dreams that she will mate a poacher.  Turns out the poacher isn’t really – it’s Jett.

Richard – the pastor brought into things by Lawrence.  He hires the poachers.  He believes the demons should all be killed.

Andrew – Lawrence’s grandson.  After listening to Victor, he believes that Raphael can cure his dying mother (and Lawrence also believes that the Archangel’s can cure humanity of all illness, that is why he is after the twins as he wants them to experiment on them).

Locations: Vermont

Main Premise:  Jett is watching the colony from afar when he senses primarily through smell that someone’s in danger. He heads off to find out who and why and discovers a number of dead bodies.   He also finds one child alive and about to be kidnapped by poachers.   Unfortunately he can’t save any of the others and terribly some of them are children.  They are demon children however and therefore in the eyes of the humans nothing to worry about.  Lexi is the older sister of the boy who is kidnapped.  Jett and some of the other guardians with Lexi’s help head off to rescue her little brother Bryce. Turns out that was a diversion however as someone is after Wren’s and Ginger’s newborn twins.  Luckily the bad guys don’t get to the twins and Bryce is rescued alive.  Lexi and jet seem to like each other. Lexi however believes she is destined to be mated to a poacher.  She thinks this because she has prophetic dreams and in one of those prophetic dreams she sees that her poacher has poacher tattoos.  What she doesn’t realize at first, although she quickly discovers, is that Jett had those tattoos even though he didn’t want them; he had them because of his life under Lawrence.   He tried to scratch them off and that’s how she knows for sure is the person in her dreams.  Jett doesn’t understand why he feels drawn to Sanctuary like he has been to protect some of the people there or why he can’t just walk away.  Turns out this is because the demon who founded sanctuary was his father. It’s in his blood to protect the archangels.  He gets asked to be a personal guardian to Raphael’s family.  He starts training for this and so he has limited time with Lexi but they do start a relationship.  Lark advises that jet think long and hard about it because a woman he was with many years ago he had to sacrifice in order to do his duty.  Lexi knows about this and Lexi decides not to be helpless she seeks out Rafael to get trained to defend herself.  Jett continues with his training and manages to go after Lawrence who was behind the attempted kidnapping.  He wanted the twins so that he could try and cure sick humans – he discovered through prior experiments that demons can’t be of any use in this way.   After seeing Rafael heal someone in the first book, he believes if he studies the archangels he’ll be able to use them or something about them to help your humans of all sorts of things.   Jett and the other Guardians track down Lawrence and Victor (through Andrew’s help).  Lawrence and Victor are killed.  Jett and Lexi get together.    Jett becomes a dedicated Guardian to Raphael and his family.

Other Important Things to Remember for Later:  Lark had a relationship at one point.  He had to choose between doing his duty as a dedicated Guardian or protecting her; he did his duty and she died.  (Is he who might be the next book subject?) Jett has accepted assignment as a dedicated Guardian to Wren, Raphael and their family.  Turns out the demon who founded Sanctuary was Jett’s father, Dante.

Review:

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.
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.
 And 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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