WARNING (to my non-erotica readers): This is an LGBT adult title (M/M erotica). It is a very explicit in some passages, including some scenes with some very well endowed males.
"Satan and his army of demons are man's only hope..."
This short novel (it comes in at 133 pages or so on the e-reader) has an interesting premise that turns conventional myths of God and Satan around. What if God is the bad guy seeking to bring about the Armageddon, and Satan and his fallen angels are the only ones standing in His way? And why? Well, in part because God is pretty much a jealous SOB who does not take rejection well (we could argue the jealousy part is very much true. Just read the Bible, especially the Old Testament). God and Satan were lovers, and the world (Earth) was God's gift to his lover. However, when the lovers break up, God gets pissed and decides to destroy the world. The catch is that God plays a good con game, and he has humanity convinced that He is the good guy.
From the book's description:
"The demon Kinzer and his lover, Janka, have been sent by Satan to spy on The Raze, a gang of rogue demons who are working with God to bring about Armageddon. When someone exposes their true allegiances, The Raze clips Kinzer's wings and murders Janka. Kinzer manages to escape. He tracks down Satan's allies to warn them about a mole in their midst when he learns that they've located the Antichrist—a powerful weapon that could prevent the apocalypse. Now, he's on a mission to protect the Antichrist and avenge his lover’s death."
This novel is classified as an M/M dark erotica; I suppose for some readers, it would fall under the paranormal umbrella given the presence of angels and demons. As an erotic work, it does have explicit sexual content. So, with the warning out of the way, let's look at the book.
This was a novel that I enjoyed, and I found myself zipping right through it. In addition to the action of the story, it turns out that angels and demons are very sexual creatures. They are hot, as in basically male ideals of beauty (they are semi-divine creatures after all), and very well endowed who are not shy about getting it on. By the way, their swords (yea, that's it) are pretty impressive. There are some very hot sex scenes in this novel in between the action scenes (yes, there really is quite a bit of swordplay). If hot M/M sex is your thing, this book will have you well covered. Even though it is not classified as romance, there is also budding romance and doomed romance; in addition, there is also love and betrayal. You find some elements of romance for those readers who seek that.
Will Kinzer be able to find others and warn them in time? You will have to read the book to find out. The book is clearly the first in a series; I see in NetGalley it is labeled as part of "The Punished Saga." For me, the story did seem a bit short, but what you get so far was pretty good. The author drops you into the action right away; there is not a lot of build up, but you are able to catch on to what is going on right away by way of some exposition and flashback scenes. The mystery becomes who was the traitor who betrayed Kinzer. For me, I had suspicions only to find it was not who I expected, so it was a bit of a surprise to find out the culprit. In that regard, the author kept the suspense well. However, if you pay attention to the small details, you might be able to pick up who it is a bit sooner than I did. Once I went back and reread, I saw it. Then again, if you are paying more attention to the sex, you may not find out who it is until the end. Plus, if you do like it steamy with dreamy, muscled guys, then this may be for you.
I am giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars mostly because it was so short. Just as it was getting interesting and deep, it ends. And there were a couple of flashbacks that were a little distracting, to me as a reader, in terms of breaking the narrative flow. However, that is a minor thing, and I think other readers may have a different experience. In terms of the sex, if size is your thing, this is a book for you. If on the other hand, big "swords" make you cringe, well, keep that in mind. I do think the sex worked fine (for me it did). Overall, this was a novel I enjoyed and had fun with, and when the author gets to it, I am going to seek out the next installment. This was certainly a nice discovery of a new author for me.
Disclosure note: In order to keep The Man happy this is where I tell you that I read this book as an e-book galley from the publisher via NetGalley. It was provided in exchange for an honest review. The author has recently announced that the novel has been acquired by Wilde City Press, and that publication date, as of this note, is TBD.