Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: The Mephisto Kiss by Trinity Faegen

I read and enjoyed The Mephisto Covenant back in 2011. But while I enjoyed it, there were aspects of that book that honestly drove me a little batty. It wasn't anything wrong with the writing or story itself, but rather personal quirks that kept me from being totally connected with Jax, Sasha and their story.

I so didn't have that problem reading The Mephisto Kiss.

Key and Jordan's story was everything I hoped it would be and then some. It was the book I wanted The Mephisto Covenant to be, even though I realize now that (1) It wouldn't be right for that book, and (2) I wouldn't have been able to explain back then what I wanted anyway.

I'm totally sorry if I'm not making an ounce of sense, but if you'll bare with me I'll try to tell you just how awesome this book (and series) is so that if you haven't started reading it yet, hopefully you will be soon!

The Plot: (Summary from GoodReads)
The eyes never lie. No one’s eyes are darker than Eryx. Not even the Devil’s.

When Jax and Sasha first see Jordan Ellis, they know she is no ordinary teenager. She’s the daughter of the President after all, but she’s also Anabo – a descendant of Eve.

What they don’t know is that Eryx plans to kidnap Jordan and force President Ellis to pledge his soul. If Eryx’s plot succeeds, the consequences would be catastrophic.

But the Mephisto brothers do know about Jordan’s secret identity. And for one of them, she could be the match that leads to their soul’s salvation.

Now it’s a desperate race against time to save Jordan and prevent Eryx’s haunting eyes from discovering her true identity.

A thrilling story of romance, danger, and intrigue, THE MEPHISTO KISS continues the marvelous mythology that began in THE MEPHISTO COVENANT.

This book grabbed me from page one and didn't let go. The key to such obsessive book devotion? Totally awesome pacing. Trinity Faegen knows when to keep her book racing forward and when to dial the speed back enough that the moments that matter -- well -- matter. This is a big book and I was reading it as part of a read-a-thon. It could have felt like an 'outmeal' book if it had been paced wrong, but fortunately perfectly set pacing is one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of what made this book feel so well written.

And that, of course, is thanks to a twisty, turny, heart-gripping plot that kept me guessing and second guessing things all the way through. There are moments I laughed, moments I cried, moments I gasped and moments that I was screaming "WHY?!" at the characters and thinking of using the book as a frisbee in a GOOD way. This book drew a lot of emotion from me and I felt like I was right there with Key, Jordan and the rest of the gang. I need that feeling when I read, it's presence (or lack thereof) can make or break a book for me. I definitely felt for the characters here. 

Once again, just like I (hope!) I did in my review of the Mephisto Covenant, I must praise Trinity Faegen's absolutely brilliant mythology. I don't know enough about deeply studying every aspect of Christian mythos to know how much is based on fact and how much has been bent for the sake of story. What I do know is that the Mephisto series has only of the richest mythologies that I have encountered within YA. It's absolutely no surprise to me that people like Sherrilyn Kenyon and P.C. Cast are praising this--the quality of Trinity's world building is unmatched by all but a select few. It's what got me to read book two even though book one wasn't quite what I wanted, and it only gets better. 

The Characters: 

This is where The Mephisto Kiss really shone for me. I absolutely loved Jordan and Key. They were complex, interesting, memorable, flawed and yet absolutely made for each other. I could totally understand their struggles as they tried to build something together. I could totally relate to Jordan despite her background and her place in the world. I could totally see why a girl would want to be with Key, yet also totally got why that could be really hard. 

The character who really grabbed me in this book, though, was Eryx. My heart really ached for him, despite the fact that he's the villain. (I'm sure you're all so surprised by this. Not.) His interest in Jordan, his connection to Key and the way that this almost felt like a triangle was absolutely fascinating and made this book impossible for me to put down. I was utterly spellbound and desperate to see if there was any way he could be saved, while fully knowing (c'mon, it's only book two...) that there was no way in hell that could happen. To have me that involved, to the point I was actually uncertain, is impressive. I'm use to liking villains, but I didn't like him in book one and I'm generally smart enough to know a villain will not win. 

The Romance: 

I loved all the layers of complexity I found here. Jordan's guilt over her boyfriend, Mathew, drove me batty for a while but fortunately it doesn't end up being the make it or break it issue, so it didn't take away from the book in the way I was worried that it would. 

I love how Trinity manages to strike a balance between having it be believable that her heroes have lived a thousand years, and yet having it be believable that they are 18 year old guys. 

I also like how Jordan jumped into things with both feet, even when they seemed totally crazy. I understand that some people prefer the heroine of a fantasy or paranormal to question and have disbelief, but when you read as much fantasy and paranormal as I do this really needs to fit the character, rather then being a generalized requirement. Sasha's struggle with this in The Mephisto Covenant drove me nuts just on principle (I realize this now) and I am glad that Jordan was able to be her own person and decide things based on her, rather then on the needs of any type of genre convention. It made the issues she faced with Key that were paranormal seem more believable and natural, whereas if this problem had been present that might not have worked out so well. 

In General: 

Fans of paranormal or fantasy romance: if you have not yet started this series run, don't walk, and pick up The Mephisto Covenant and The Mephisto Kiss. This is an absolutely amazing story that is not to be missed, but to enjoy it fully you really should start from the beginning. To those who have read the Mephisto Covenant and weren't sure about continuing: if your issues were anything like mine, lay your fears to rest. The Mephisto Kiss is better then its predecessor in every conceivable way, and is truly a love story not to be missed! 

1 comment:

  1. That's interesting. I liked but didn't love book #1 and was just going to quit the series. I might have to check out book #2 if I get a chance.


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