Review: “Mortal Danger,” Eileen Wilks

Pros: Great story; fantastic characters; confident world-building
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

After the events of Tempting Danger (book one in the World of the Lupi), Lily now works for a special division of the FBI whose purview is the paranormal, magical, and mystical. She’s a rare ‘sensitive’–someone who’s capable of feeling and identifying traces of magic, and someone who’s largely immune to magic as well. Unfortunately, there are just a few magical things that can affect her, and one particularly powerful item is in the hands of the lupi’s enemies. They need to find that person and take the staff away from him before he can set certain events in motion. Unfortunately for Lily and Rule, everything is about to go completely pear-shaped.

In Eileen Wilks’s Mortal Danger (The World of the Lupi, Book 2), the Old One who is the ancient enemy of the lupi is driving her agents even harder to achieve their goals. Demons are involved, and the mystical bond between Rule and Lily is being tested in new and difficult ways. That bond is still fairly new, so Lily, Rule, and the audience get to discover its nature all together.

Rule’s theory made the mate bond seem almost sentient, like some sort of psychic snake–now tightening its coils around the two of them, now loosening them. Most of all, it irritated Lily that she didn’t know.

I actually liked the arguments between Lily and Rule. They didn’t feel in any way like the characters were being unreasonable; they argued about entirely understandable things (in particular butting heads over independence and secrets). They are, after all, two extremely different people who were thrown together by the Lady the lupi serve. Not every goddess-created mate bond works out, after all, although at least she seems to pick people who stand a good chance of falling in love. That aspect of outside interference is what makes their bond different and, IMO, better than, the standard one-true-mate plots in many other books. There’s still an aspect of self-determination here, which I find much more palatable than most other such constructs.

Lily and Rule are great characters, as are all the secondaries. Cullen is a sorcerer who moonlights as an exotic dancer, which is great fun. We also get to meet more of Lily’s new co-workers and her boss, and we see more of her family. I’m enjoying the slowly expanding sphere of attention that gradually brings more and more of the world into play.

There are some fascinating events later in the book, but I’ll just say that I thought it ended with a very satisfying bang. Now I have to hunt down the next two books in the series!

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