Review: “Lineage,” Skyla Dawn Cameron

Rating: 5 out of 5

Skyla Dawn Cameron’s Lineage (Demons of Oblivion Book 3) takes place about five or six years after book one, and some undetermined time after book two. This time our protagonist is Persephone (Peri) Takata. She’s an agent of Bravo Division, and her job is theft, sabotage, kidnapping, and killing, all at the behest of her superiors–one of whom would like to see her dead. See, she’s a quarter-demon, daughter of the antichrist, much like Mishka in book one. (Different mother, though.) Her husband and twin children were killed in the mass attacks on supernatural creatures in book one, and she’s been trained by and working with Bravo Division ever since in a plan to get revenge for her children. One of her superiors comes to her and says they’re going to give her some paid vacation–they’ve finally found a survivor of those mass attacks, who might have some insight into what happened: vampire Zara Lain. Peri sets off to find Lain, but seeing as she’s a sociopathic killer hell-bent on revenge, she bulls her way into Lain’s life and nearly gets herself killed several times over. Ultimately, Peri, Lain, and Lain’s other acquaintances decide to seek out the Veil, a rumored super-secret organization of powerful people.

Peri is a great character. Zara’s problem is that she’s a narcissist–everything she does is done with an eye toward “what’s in it for me?” Peri’s problem is she’s a sociopath–she almost entirely lacks the ability to empathize with others. It’s easy to imagine that this is a result of what happened to her husband and kids, but when you scratch the surface you realize there’s no way she could have been totally “normal” only to switch off when that happened, and that’s handled well. Peri ends up getting to know Zara’s “assistant,” the squeamish vampire Nicolette. The two of them are almost polar opposites, and thus their interactions are wonderful. Nic is the only person who seems to be able to reach Peri, and even that is sporadic and unreliable.

Now that Zara has Ellie (the psychic medium) on tap, you just know she’s going to milk that resource for all it’s worth. In order to figure out who was responsible for killing Peri’s family, they’re going to have to talk to Sean, Nate’s brother–who is perhaps the one responsible, and already dead (at Nate’s hand). Meanwhile, it seems like someone’s killing people to fuel demonic magic.

I was hooked by this one, and shed a few tears in one or two places. I can’t wait to read more Oblivion books!

Content note for suicidal ideation: Peri’s very clear that once she avenges her family, she plans to kill herself.

I sang “Happy Birthday” at his party…or would have if I was the kind of person who sang “Happy Birthday” instead of standing awkwardly across the room while thinking about stabbing people with plastic knives.

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