“He should be dead. I thought I’d killed him. I was wrong.”
Three dead Enforcers in three weeks, their bodies butchered. Muse has seen it before, and when she reads the metal memories in the murder weapon, she sees it all again. Her owner, Damien, is back, and he wants what is rightfully his.
Muse escaped him and the netherworld, once before. This time, she’s stronger, smarter. This time she knows she has the fires of hell at her fingertips, but so does Damien, and he’s not the only one. Akil is weak. No longer a Prince, he needs Muse’s limitless power to regain his title. How fortuitous then, that Akil’s fate is tied to the one man she cares the most for.
As Muse, Stefan, and Akil battle their own demons, not all will come away victorious. Some choices can never be forgiven. Some lies are never forgotten. Some wounds will never heal.
It wasn’t too long ago that I reviewed the first book in this series. (You can find that review HERE) I mentioned in that review that I really wanted to find out more about Muse and her past, I really wanted to find out more about Stefan and I REALLY wanted to know more about Akil. I needed to figure out what was going on with him, he seemed like such a mystery. So I was excited to get into this book and get more… more of everything! And I was absolutely not disappointed!
In this book we meet Muse, just months after Stefan has dragged Akil through the veil. She’s now working for the institute, but that’s not of her choosing. Also not of her choosing, she’s still cut off from her demon. Yep, life is really not going well for Muse. To make it even worse her torturous ex-owner is back seeking her and eventually she also ends up being pulled through to the other side of the veil…. Like I said, not great times. But believe it or not, there is a whole lot worse to come for Muse in this book and she doesn’t even see it coming.
This book overall was darker and grittier than its predecessor. This is to be expected when not only do we have Damien in the picture, Muse’s ex-owner who she thought she’d killed, hell bent on taking her right back to where he thinks she belongs…and trust me, he is a piece of work, but we also have a big chunk of the story based in the netherworld. It really stole my breath how on edge I was throughout, waiting for Damien, or the next demon, or imagining the sights and smells of the netherworld, it was very well executed. The devil is in the detail and nothing rings truer when talking about this book.
Character wise I was really glad to see that Muse did a lot of growing up throughout this book. She was still feisty and could definitely still be impulsive but at the same time she became more self-sufficient and definitely much less of a victim. Which was actually kinda really handy considering she had a lot of work ahead of her if she wanted to survive the netherworld, let alone escape it. Stefan was a real surprise for me in this one, you can imagine how being trapped somewhere like that could change you and I really don’t know quite what the end game is here, his story was heartbreaking but really kept me on my toes but despite the despair and I loved that we weren’t just going to replay the whole romance/no-romance scenario over again as so often can happen in a series. This way of approaching it seemed fresh and was exactly what the story needed. Akil was also heavily featured and I definitely got my wish when I said I wanted to find out more about him! He’s still mysterious yes, but at the same time I’ve learnt a great deal about him. Finally we got to peel some layers back, seeing him in an almost fragile state at times really reinforced that he was more than just a big bad demon. I didn’t know what to expect with him and honestly, in some ways I still don’t and I LOVE this about him, you couldn’t have him any other way. One thing for sure is though, I’m looking forward to what the Prince of Greed is going to get up to next.
Once again Pippa DaCosta keeps the story fast paced and consuming, which definitely suits the subject. You really get a sense of urgency and ‘fight or flight’ really does come to mind more than once. After this second book I definitely feel like I’m getting a good grip on this ‘world’ as well as its characters. Everything is seeming really well fleshed out going into the upcoming third book, even with the un–resolved issue of Stefan vs Akil for hottest book boyfriend of the series! There was a teaser at the end of my E-Book for Darkest Before Dawn, I couldn’t help myself, I did read it and I have to say I feel like this upcoming book could be the best yet, so lucky it’s out this October!