Author: Sylvia Day
Genre: PNR, Urban fantasy
Publication Date: January 8, 2013 (Tor/Macmillan – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided finished copy
Summary: Years ago, Evangeline Hollis spent a blistering night with a darkly seductive man she can’t forget. But that evening of addictive pleasure has become a disaster of biblical proportions: She’s been branded with the Mark of Cain.
Thrust into a world where sinners are marked and drafted to kill demons, Eve’s former one-night stand, Cain, is now her mentor—and his equally sexy brother Abel is her new boss.
Now Eve has become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history…
Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel… All in a day’s work.
☆: 3.5/5 stars – a pretty solid urban fantasy story.
Review: I’m not sure where to begin, except to say that the sex was good. Actually, I think it was better here than in “Bared to You”, Day’s most recent work. Day writes a solid urban fantasy story with some pretty smouldering characters – but I do feel like it could have been better in quite a few ways. This is a pretty original take on the story of Cain and Abel, and that’s what sucked me in. If you’re looking for a sexier, more original urban fantasy work, I think you might find that “Eve of Darkness” is your book.
Where I felt Day was the strongest was in her characters and her mythology – which was really important. She has a very strong main cast with Eve, Cain, and Abel, and even though it’s a love triangle, it works really well because of the Cain and Abel story. If anything, it makes sense. All of the main cast felt very real, very 3D, compared to their quarry (The Infernals), which could have used a bit more work. We also do have a bit of a dubious antagonist – is Abel the antagonist? Or is Lucifer, who has dominion over the Infernals? We really don’t know. And while I usually like that murky sort of “who dunnit” in a story, I felt even at the end, it was just still too murky for my liking. I do understand there are two more books to come after this one, but even so, I do feel like Day could have brought us a bit more closure in terms of who our actual target is at the end of this book.
What I do feel needed work aside from the antagonist issue: the world. The contemporary world of Southern California was absolutely fine, I had no issues with that (partially because I live there, and because everything made sense to me with references and such), but the secondary world of angels, demons, and the Infernal really, really needed more solidification. I had a fuzzy sense of the hierarchy of everything in heaven, but not so much in that of hell. I feel like that’s definitely where Day needed to work the most, especially since this is the first book in a trilogy. I didn’t feel as rooted to the world as I needed to be and that was more than a bit disappointing. However, because things were so original, it made up just a teeny bit for that lack of grounding.
Otherwise, this was a pretty crazy ride of a book. And very hot. DEFINITELY for adults only. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this series, but I am tempted to if just to figure out more about the world and how Cain and Abel will help train Eve to get her day in court, as it were, by becoming an expert Mark. While I do feel like there was definitely a Tolkienesque journey in terms of Eve becoming a Mark, at times it felt too rushed, and packed into the time frame of “six weeks earlier” than the opening chapter.
Final verdict? If you’re looking for an original take on Biblical mythology and a very spicy urban fantasy book, definitely give this one a try. “Eve of Darkness” is out now from Tor in North America, so definitely check it out when you get a chance!