Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review: Beckoning Darkness by J.D. Stonebridge

Beckoning Darkness (The Damned and the Pure #1)
by J.D. Stonebridge
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Genres: Fantasy - Paranormal - Romance
Length: 236 pages (Kindle)
Find it On: Amazon


God left humanity in the care of the angels. Centuries have passed, and Heaven is preparing for His return.

After centuries of imprisonment in Heaven, Ariel is given a chance to redeem herself in the eyes of the archangels. Years after her last descent, Ariel must return to the mortal land to fulfill her mission for the coming of God. But the memories of her past sins catch up to her, and Ariel must decide where her faith truly lies.

The city of Chicago was the chosen residence of the eccentric demon, Caelum. His taste of entertainment sets him apart from the rest of his kind, driving him to walk amongst the mortal men. But when he is presented with an opportunity to have a hand in Hell’s grand plan, temptation beckoned him to take the risks. Walking through shadows and nightmares he crosses paths with an angel from Heaven, and the memories of his forgotten humanity begin to resurface.

Both Heaven and Hell have plans for the End of Days with the angel, Ariel, and the demon, Caelum, at the center. When faith is threatened, two natural enemies become unlikely allies in a war for all Humanity.

Author Bio:

J.D. Stonebridge was always fascinated by the supernatural, paranormal and anything mysterious or out of the ordinary.

Writing became a natural outlet.

J.D. lives in a house with a cat named Jasper that thinks he's a dog, a dog named Run2 that thinks she's a cat and a Parrot named Seymour that thinks they're both crazy.

My Review:

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Beckoning Darkness is an interesting story. It's about an angel, Ariel, and a demon, Caelum, who stumble across each other and get trapped in the middle of a battle between Heaven and Hell...or is it?

This book was posed as a romance, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that, at least in this first installment, romance didn't really take the forefront.

The first main character introduced is Ariel, and angel who committed a sin against Heaven and, as punishment, was locked up and her memory of the event erased. At the start of the book, she is given the opportunity to absolve her sin and restore her status by completing a task on Earth.

The second protagonist is Caelum, a demon, and here's where I think the story concept is really cool. He, much like Ariel, committed a sin in his human life and was damned to demonhood also without memory of his sin. This is a fascinating dynamic, as he is just drifting by, not knowing why he's damned but assuming he must have been an awful person. It's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy: he's cocky, arrogant, and assholish, but it's easy to see through and understand that he acts like that because he thinks he should.

He was a fascinating character to follow, but I felt like Ariel fell a little short for me. She is blindly loyal to Heaven, even when her mission fails and everything goes awry. She reminds me of a preppy self-righteous teenager, which I assume is a deliberate character choice, but her one-track mission and loyalty irked me to the point that I couldn't quite like her.

The plot is a wild ride, but sometimes hard to follow. The mythos of Heaven/Hell and angels/demons is explained, but there are so many other creatures like gorgons and werewolves that are inexplicably thrown into the mix. Assuming this is meant to take place in a realistic world, how and why did such things arise, and how have they existed without people's notice? With such a great plot going, I wish some of these unnecessary things had been weeded out so my suspension of disbelief wasn't pushed so far.

Aside from the biggest plot-twist that I saw coming all along, there were plenty of twists and turns that kept me hooked. I always found myself wanting to see more of Caelum's motivations and how he would react to everything. I'm looking forward to the next book to see if I enjoy it more with Ariel knocked down a notch after that ending.

Rating: ☆☆

Bonus Fact: J.D.'s author picture on Amazon and Gmail is the follow stone bridge:

A+ for humor.

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