Pros: Interesting story and world with some great action
Cons: I didn’t enjoy the dynamic between Liam and Jilly
Rating: 3 out of 5
Liam Niall is the leader of a Chicago chapter of demon slayers who are also all possessed by repentant demons. It’s a dark, lonely, and dangerous existence, but it’s the only thing they know. Until recently, only men were possessed by the repentant demons. Now women have been brought into the fold, and they’re displaying particularly violent powers, ones that only come fully under control once a strong relationship has been established between the possessed woman and a member of the existing group. No one really trusts or understands what is going on.
Jilly Chan is the most recent demon-possessed. She’s in great danger from those who would turn her power against the world. Liam wants to use her as a weapon, but fears the danger she might represent to his people. It doesn’t help that he’s incredibly attracted to her.
Forged of Shadows is the second book in Jessa Slade’s “Marked Souls” series, after Seduced by Shadows. Unfortunately, while I loved that one and I still like the basic idea, I didn’t enjoy this one as much.
On the plus side, each relationship in each novel is quite different. On the minus side, I didn’t like the pairing of Jilly and Liam. They both stretch likability, and they have very little understandable chemistry. I found it difficult to believe in their attraction and eventual caring for each other. The friction between them is overwrought and melodramatic. Also, there’s at least one place where unless I misunderstood what was going on, it seemed as though the group discovered a potential weapon against a newly-discovered type of demon, and then immediately discounted it without much explanation.
That said, there’s still plenty of action, danger, excitement, and sex in the second book of the series. Unfortunately for me, there’s really only one member of Liam’s band, Ecco, whose story and eventual wooing I find I have much interest in at this point.