Pros: Fun relationship; neat plot and world; enjoyable characters
Cons: Still a bit much bickering between Eden and Darrak
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Eden is trying to find a way to get the demon that’s possessing her, Darrak, out, and he’d like nothing more than to comply—as long as they find a way to do it that doesn’t destroy him. In the course of trying to find a local wizard who might have a clue, they end up instead encountering an old friend of Darrak’s, Theo. There’s just one big ol’ problem: since Theo’s a friend from the days when Darrak had a body and thus was an archdemon, Theo is one badass, mean, immoral, deadly creature—in short, just what Darrak used to be. Theo’s more than a little disappointed to find out that Darrak’s becoming tainted by humanity, and is determined to “help” him become what he once was. What else are friends for, after all?
Theo’s plan might just allow Eden and Darrak to go their separate ways—if it doesn’t get Eden killed, of course. Or destroy any number of other equally important beings, since Theo was never one to let a little mayhem and destruction get in the way of a good ambitious plan. His goal hasn’t changed in the last 400 years: he wants to destroy Lucifer, and he wants Darrak’s help to do it. Soon Darrak will have to choose between having his old self back, and saving the life of the woman he’s coming to care about.
Michelle Rowen’s Something Wicked (A Living in Eden Novel) is a fun book, and it smooths out some of the mild starting issues that were present in The Demon in Me. It’s particularly interesting to see Darrak struggle with wanting to be the big, bad demon he used to be, but finding himself constantly stymied by his feelings for Eden. And of course, there continue to be some serious trust issues between the two. In some ways it felt like it was carried out a little far still, but on the whole it was a good balance of understandable weaknesses and forgivable sins.
I like the ongoing plot in this series; there’s plenty of supernatural politics, particularly in Hell, and it’s entertaining and fun. The combination of dark paranormal, humor, erotic romance, and camp is balanced much better this time, creating a smoother tone. Malleus is still a little one-dimensional in its “good guys gone bad” aspect; I would like to feel a little less certain in my dislike of them as a whole, given their original mission to protect humanity from supernaturals.
There are some plot developments in particular that I enjoyed, but I don’t dare get into them for fear of giving away the delightful surprises this book has in store. Suffice it to say, Andy puts in more of an appearance, the politics of Hell make things quite fascinating, and both hilarity and tragedy abound. I very much look forward to reading the next installment!