Hartlove makes a slight misstep in setting up too many concepts for a conclusion to a trilogy. Desiree’s need to master the spiritual practice of tai chi and achieve the enlightened state of satori derails an otherwise tightly woven story. The characters often have colloquial conversations about warring gods and the fate of the universe (“This is his final play to snuff out the pantheon”), which are entertaining but sometimes tonally dissonant.
Complex characters draw readers into the intricate world of demons and angels, many of whom have multiple names. Desiree’s struggle to reconcile her new powers with a strong sense of self is poignant; the cagey Joseph, the ambitious Alec, and the caring Sanantha round out the appealing central cast. Hartlove gives readers a sumptuous fantastical realm for readers to get lost in, a world where ancient Egyptian gods, Celtic spirits, and Catholic saints collide. His ability to suffuse each ancient deity with a distinct personality gives the narrative a delightfully human edge that will keep the pages turning.
Takeaway: Readers who enjoy thought-provoking fantasy will appreciate this complex final installment of Hartlove’s urban fantasy trilogy about warring gods.
Great for fans of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, Nalini Singh’s Archangel series.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece!
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2020
In the final book of the Trilogy the reader is lured in by the further exploits of Desiree, the manifestation of Isis and her Voodoo benefactor psychiatrist. An intricate story with strong/accurate Biblical, Ancient Myth and Celtic histories. Monks, Gods and Goddesses, magicians and two notorious Arch-Angels aid them in a developing ultimate end goal to bind "Sammael, the snake of The Garden of Eden...The Devil himself." (direct quote) The "in your face" "no holds barred" references applying to mankind as good vs evil will leave impacting impressions to consider in this perfectly executed and intriguing story. The writer saved the best for last.
-To The Author- A standing ovation!
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic end to a trilogy
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2020
Jay Hartlove is a little known author who should be much better known, and this, the third and final volumes of his "Goddess Rising" series proves it.
The series starts as a Psychological thriller, with supernatural elements- and ends here as a full blown Urban Fantasy. Few authors could do the transition so seamlessly as here.
This the third and final volume (and yes, unlike some authors, almost all loose ends are tied up- that doesn't mean the beloved characters here might not return, of course) and it is a rollicking rollercoaster ride thru several mythologies and legends. Expect hair raising twists and turns!
Fascinating characters, plenty of action, and of course a mystery.
Wendy S. Delmater
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting & satisfying capstone to the series
Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2020
The resurrected Desiree Macklin and Dr. Sanantha Mauwad are back in this third book in the Goddess Rising trilogy. In a previous tale, Sanantha – a psychiatrist and a practitioner of her homeland Haiti’s religions, had helped bring Desiree back from the dead. You see, a friend of Desiree’s father had turned her into a clone of her mother whom he desired. Desiree was out of her own body for a month and has no memories of that time.
Desiree is on vacation Ireland, and chances on a bookshop where she meets Alec Doogan, a paranormal investigator whom we met in the first chapter to establish that he really does know how to look for spirits and spiritual things. Desiree, brought back from death by the intervention of a Haitian god, knows such things are real and they build a friendship, investigating together. Alec’s equipment can sense that Desiree has much more than a human aura.
Things take an odd turn when the Egyptian equivalent of an angel comes to warn them of impending danger. Osiris is interested in what they are doing, and what they might have already unleashed. And there is a long-term war between Isis and Osiris that they are caught smack dab in the middle of. I’m not going to give away what happens next but the breathless action is a fitting capstone to the series.
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive Ending to Thought Provoking Suspense Triology
Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2020
The ambition of the Goddess series by Jay Hartlove has been evident from the first page of the original version of The Chosen (which sadly Damnation Press had little idea how to promote). This new edition of the series ends the saga with the correct emphasis between action and characterization that's become Hartlove's calling card. When your main antagonist has beaten time, space and the Devil, you know you'll need all hands on deck to take in him. Goddess Rising combines the keen historical research and solid science elements of Books I and II and melds them with the breathless pacing of the modern mega budget blockbuster. In terms of keeping the energy going, Hartlove has few peers in the modern suspense field, especially as he keeps the page count lean and mean. Given the sheer territory covered, Goddess Rising does lack the meticulous character building of the previous books. You're really cast in mid stream with a rainbow assembly of heroic, desperate and dastardly characters. But, the good news is, you can easily jump in with the other parts of the series given the bright and shiny re-releases now available here and elsewhere. Shelter in place and put nose in this book (and others in series). You'll be glad you did.