Genre: urban fantasy
A demon's enslaved executioner - a ravager of lives and souls - Maliha Crayne has been reborn, willing to sacrifice her immortality for a chance at freedom . . . and salvation. Now she has an opportunity to prevent the death of thousands - perhaps tens of thousands - to make up for the countless lives she has obliterated over the centuries. To do so, she must locate and destroy an evil cabal of madmen in possession of a weapon of unspeakable power - and survive the immortal assassins who are now after her blood. But it means reverting to the old ways and surrendering once more to the darkness. And if Maliha dies before the mission is accomplished, the hell she once knew will seem like a picnic compared to the eternal torments awaiting her.
Well, you absolutely don’t have to be afraid of second book syndrome in this series! This second book was even better than the first.
Maliha has been a demon’s assassin for over 300 years, but she finally had enough and has broken free. Now she has to redeem herself and save as many souls as she has killed in those 300 years, before she dies, or she will have to face eternal torture. She is no longer immortal, but not completely human yet either. But for every life she saves, she will age a bit, so Maliha is not sure she will have enough time to accomplish her goal.
So now Maliha is on a mission, to fight evil and save innocents, but she is also looking for the seven hidden pieces of a magical object. If she finds them, she can kill or banish all the demons from Earth, and make this a better place for humans. Where we at least can make our own mistakes without being prompted by the demons. They thrive on chaos and war, death and destruction. Of course, the demons are looking for those objects as well, and they will use it to call the Sumerian gods back to earth.
The book starts in a helicopter in Darfur, where Maliha and Hound are searching for his kidnapped girlfriend Glass. She was there on a humanitarian mission, when the village she was in was raided by the Janjaweed. They rape and mutilate their victims, so they have to find Glass soon! When they find the camp where Glass and the other women are held, Maliha has to fall back on her old assassin skills, to kill the sentries and free Glass, but Hound cannot follow orders and just runs into the camp, shooting like a maniac. Which does not make freeing Glass and getting away unseen any easier. Glass has also been almost beaten to death, and both her legs and an arm are broken. They will have to carry her out of here. Or rather, Hound needs to do that, while Maliha keeps the rest at a distance.
But the severe numbers of tugs overwhelm her, and when Maliha is about to die, she is saved by a Roman warrior. Can this be true? It has to be, as she wakes up in the hospital later. Although Hound never saw the man, she was just in the pickup location, unconscious from her wounds.
But rescuing Glass was not enough, apparently she stumbled upon a `melting` corpse, and men in white suites destroying everything in the vicinity with fire. Glass managed to put some of the substance in her canteen, and it needs to be tested, to find out what caused the deaths. Maliha sends the canteen to some scientist friends in America, to research the contents. Unfortunately, her friends are not at the university, but at some conference so it will take a few more days before they have answers. When Maliha gets impatient, and her friends don´t call her back, she decides to drop by herself, only to find her friends being murdered, and their lab and whatever they found in the canteen, destroyed.
Maliha´s gift enables her to relive a dead person’s last moments if they died violently, where she can communicate with the piece of ghost left behind. Reliving being murdered time and again is not a walk in the park, but it is necessary to find out what happened, and to release the ghost into the afterlife.
Somehow, they have stumbled upon a secret experiment with nano technology, killing people invisibly from the inside out, in a horrible manner. And one of the ageless is behind it all. But it does set Maliha on her next quest, to find the people responsible and to put a stop at this before they unleash this horrible weapon upon the world.
I really enjoyed this second book in the series. I like Maliha, who is certainly not a typical heroine. Yes, she is kick ass, and she likes to do things her way. But she has a conscience, and protects her friends as best as she can. But she also loves men and sex, and after saving people and suffering the pain from doing that, she needs sex, a man to warm the cold inside of her. So she has not just one boyfriend, but some casual encounters as well, wherever in the world she is. This is just one of the things that make Maliha unique, and I like it.
She loves the better things in life, like really fast and expensive cars, and she has enough money to do whatever she wants. Maliha also has a public face, that of a mystery writer named Marsha Winters, which comes in handy from time to time.
Maliha's friends mostly help her with research, and try to keep her on the right path. And this going it alone, is making her walk a very fine line to her past. Even making her former owner, the demon, offer her her old job back with all the benefits of the Ageless.
This novel is fast paced, action packed, and would be perfect as a tv series or movie. I like Dakota Banks' writing style, her characters and world building, and look forward to the next book in the series. Which is already on my shelves, waiting for me.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian