This two-book series has it all. An evil so deep that it penetrates the skin of human beings and turns them into mindless followers forced to do the bidding of the face that commands them. The darkness is balanced by warriors of light pledged to battle this evil and protect the human way of life and freedom of choice. Between the pages of this series, we travel through the midwest as the two sides battle. Can light really engulf the dark? Or will the darkness prevail and extinguish the light forever? Thea Harrison has an uncanny knack for leveraging everyday things around us in uncommon ways to deliver her own extraordinary spin on the battle between good and evil.
Mary, a trauma nurse, is plunged into a waking dream where she sees the most heinous evil wearing the face of her ex-husband. It turns out that an evil being called the Deceiver came into our world from another dimension with the power to touch another being and take full command of them or take over their body and inhabit them fully, as has happened in this case. Mary’s to blame for Justin coming into the vicinity of the Deceiver, because it turns out that the dreams she’s been having are in reality memories of past incarnations, one of them as a warrior of light in a different dimension. Through Justin’s body the Deceiver is determined to take over the sleeping Mary and destroy the light inside her. Mary’s instincts cause her to run, but she’s like an elephant in a china shop. If she’s going to survive, she will need help.
Astra and Michael are the sole survivors, besides Mary, of the warriors of light who originally left their home world to battle the Deceiver. Michael is a skilled warrior at the peak of his fighting skill. Astra is like a white witch with formidable powers and alliances with all the natural elements. At first Mary is reluctant to trust Michael, but given no choice she becomes a wary ally as they try to stay one step ahead of the Deceiver and his minions.
As Mary starts recovering her long hidden memories and knowledge of how to use her gifts, she also remembers Michael, who’s her true soul mate. She has formidable powers, but slowly and surely she finds her strengths, along with developing her relationship with Michael. Her conversation with Lake Michigan, her first meeting with Astra, her healing of the old man. Her relationship with the ghost and the choices she generously offers him. You know all that goodness definitely will play a big hand in stemming the tide of evil. She gives of herself so freely that you can’t help but wish her success in achieving her dreams.
Michael is a warrior and he loves Mary. She’s his only vulnerability, but he’ll do what’s necessary in order to keep her safe and survive. Astra is the other really intriguing character. She’s kept the hearth fires burning through the many incarnations of the warriors, but as one by one warriors have fallen, she’s felt each loss keenly. She’s ready to bring it to an end but wants an assurance of success. She will retreat to fight another day in order to be successful, regardless of the price she might need to pay to retreat.
The author does a superb job of character building. I got sucked deep into the story and didn’t emerge until there were no pages to turn. I have a pet peeve with all these multi-part stories which end on a cliffhanger and then you have to wait a year to find out what’s going to happen, but I am so sorry to see this one end that I would be willing to wait for another part if that’s what it takes to keep it going. Perhaps Ms. Harrison will do a spinoff with the character Nicholas, whom we spend entirely too little time with in this book.
Having finally reunited, and fought off The Deceiver for now, Mary and Michael race up the Michigan peninsula to meet Astra before police forces catch up with them. But the closer they get, the less Mary is willing to trust a woman who by her own admission will do anything to finish The Deceiver – even if it means killing Michael and Mary to try again in another life. As they face their final battle unsure if they can trust either side, Michael’s loyalties are tested, making him vulnerable just when Mary needs him most.
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