Corban Alexander has a dark side, and ever since a chance encounter with Liana Linacre, a girl he was supposed to protect, it's darker and more addictive than ever. Every minute of every hour of every day he fights to resist succumbing to his worst instincts. If he doesn't, he will fall, and gain the power to scourge and wreak havoc upon humanity, feeding off their pain. It would take a legion of angels to stop him.
So when he learns that Liana needs help once again, he knows he is the last person to provide it. The problem is, no one else is willing.
Corban must return to the side of the girl he loves, and pray that he is strong enough to save both her and himself.
Plot: The plot of Mah’s novel is very well-wrought. At its most basic, it is a suspenseful chase scenario in which the angel Corban, the vampire-infected Liana, and their confederates attempt to evade the demon-possessed Melanie and her vampire cohort. But the complications the author introduces into the narrative allow her to elaborate a vividly imagined alternate reality of supernatural beings and their power struggles that intersect with and influence mortal reality.
Prose/Style: Mah’s prose is clear and well-suited to her characters thoughts and speech as well as to the novel’s action. It is especially good at capturing the conflicted emotions of Corban, whose introspective moments are focused on his personal uncertainties and frailties.
Originality: Depictions of a world of supernatural reality functioning behind or intersecting with mundane everyday reality are common in contemporary dark fantasy. Mah gives her treatment of this approach an original twist, blending making biblical fallen angels part of the pantheon of vampires, werewolves, demons, and other more familiar beings of supernatural fiction.
Character Development: Mah’s well-developed characters are the solid foundation for the story she tells. Both Corban and Liana are sympathetically human in their fallibility and uncertainty about their natures. This same fallibility, expressed in the supporting characters, is what makes them susceptible to the betrayals and role reversals that add refreshingly unpredictable complications to the plot.
Date Submitted: August 20, 2019