Review: “Exhumed,” Skyla Dawn Cameron

Rating: 5 out of 5

Skyla Dawn Cameron’s Exhumed (Demons of Oblivion) (Volume 4) manages to be, if anything, even darker than previous installments in the series. Nate has awoken from his stasis after six years. Unfortunately, it turns out to be true that warlocks who are turned into vampires suffer insanity when they wake up. He’s in some sort of fugue state, and for the moment he’s obviously a danger to himself and others. But of course, there’s no spare time for Zara to focus on him. Somebody’s trying to hire Zara for a job and doesn’t want to take no for an answer. An enemy from her past returns and threatens to upset the entire apple-cart. She seems to have a mysterious admirer who sends her flowers and helpful notes. And Armageddon is back on the table.

Nate and Zara’s relationship just got a lot more complicated. Oh goodness. It’s hard to read; I cried once. Okay, twice. Cameron really lays on the emotions, and despite Zara’s narcissism I honestly hurt for her a couple of times. It also ends up being the backdrop on which her relationship with her… employees… evolves. All of them are here: Nic with her girlfriend Peri, Ryann, and Ellie. Even her relationship with Peri is developing into something beyond hate.

Don’t worry though–it isn’t all tears. There’s still plenty of snark, and Zara pulls off some very satisfying kills. She finally meets up with that super-secret shadow government organization, and she decides she’d like to join. Or maybe blow them up? Eh, she’ll make it up as she goes.

There isn’t a lot I can talk about without spoiling some surprises that I’d rather not spoil. Suffice it to say, this is one series that starts out fantastic and just keeps getting harder to put down.

This time there’s a content note for child death, sex, torture, and rape.

NOTE: There are a couple of novellas that are recommended reading between Exhumed and Oblivion. You can find them for cheap at Skyla Dawn Cameron’s website. They’re very good, and I highly recommend them. 9Crimes includes a handful of Nate-PoV stories, including the flip side of what Zara (thought she) saw happen between him and Mishka. Damaged sees Zara dealing with the emotional fallout from Exhumed–also with demons accidentally summoned by some stupid college kids playing with an evil book.

“There’s a vampire, a quarter-demon, ex Venatores Daemonum member, and a psychic. Now that I have a warlock, I have a complete set to sell on eBay.”

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