Review: Soul Avenged by Keri Lake

 Soul Avenged (Sons of Wrath #1) by Keri LakeThis was a hard read for me, for several different reasons. There were things that I absolutely loved and things that drove me nuts. There might have been some emails to Sophia and Jen venting my frustration at one point.  I had to wait a bit to write this review so that I could gather my thoughts and do some deep breathing so this wouldn’t be some rambling mess that no one would understand. There will be gushing, and there will be bitching, but I think I’m finally able to put down my thoughts.

This is an all new urban fantasy world that reminded me of a cross between JR Ward’s BDB and the Underworld movies. There are demons, lycans, antidotes to the lycan venom, a secret society of people trained to kill the lycans, good guys, bad guys, trolls, incubus’ and fallen angels. One would assume that a reader would be utterly lost when they first start, but they’d be wrong. I had no problem jumping in and understanding what was going on, and if there is any misunderstanding the author has included a lovely glossary at the beginning to guide you through. The brothers Wrath, an awesome group of  seven demon brothers, live together in a mansion and take on contracts from people in order to exact vengeance against the people who have wronged them. Their main client is Ayden, a woman who was attacked by a Lycan five years ago and wants to find the one who destroyed her life. She is an Alexi, part of a group of people who carry the natural immunity to the lycan virus and were given some kind of serum to build up their strength and abilities. When they are given this serum they undergo training and their memories are wiped. As sworn enemies of the packs, they kill lycans on sight and try to keep their numbers down.

Ayden has left the cult and taken a contract out with the Wrath brothers for protection against the Alexi and help finding the wolf that ended her previous life. She has no memories of who she was or what her life was like before her attack. When out one evening fighting lycans she encounters a halfling, a bitten person who hasn’t turned fully yet, and when she touches him memories flow through him into her. Memories that feel so real she doesn’t know if they are his or hers. She decides to take him back to the mansion so that she can find out what is going on, he won’t fully turn for seven days, so she has plenty of time to solve the mystery before she kills him. In between trying to discover what these memories or visions mean she also has to keep killing the lycan population and stay off the radar of the Alexis looking for her.

THINGS I LOVED:

  • This is truly a wonderful new urban fantasy world. The author took great care in creating all the different facets and the world building was incredible. I can picture this series going on and on, with its readers becoming very faithful to each new installment.
  • I couldn’t get enough of the Wrath brothers. I must now have seven stories to accommodate all seven brothers. Two of them weren’t even introduced yet, just  bit of their back story, and I find myself wanting to find out more. These brothers are divine. Especially Gavin. I’m claiming Gavin for my own.
  • The sexy scenes were… very sexy. I didn’t like waiting to the 70% mark to get to them, but they ended up worth the wait.
  • Did I mention the sexy as hell Wrath brothers? They are truly worth a second mention.
  • I didn’t see the end coming. I was actually surprised to find out who the Alpha of the pack was, and what his true motivations were. The ending was done very well, and left room open for many more additions to the series.
  • I liked that this wasn’t just good vs. evil, each character was given broad, imperfect personalities that made them more interesting. Logan, one of the demon brothers, is rude and kill happy, but bits and pieces of his story were hinted at and it gave the reader the impression that he is a much deeper character and we will eventually see why he acts the way he does.

THINGS THAT DROVE ME NUTS:

  • I couldn’t stand the heroine, Ayden, for most of the book. She was an absolute bitch to the hero, Kane. She keeps him handcuffed to the bed upstairs, slaps him around, punches him when she feels like it, repeatedly reminds him she’s going to cut off his head and rip out his spine and basically treats him like shit on the bottom of her shoe. I still have no idea how Kane could even develop an affection for her.
  • More than half of the story deals more with Ayden and her past relationship with Gavin than her forming a new relationship with Kane. Gavin felt like more of a main character here than Kane did. Hell, up until the 60% mark I was convinced that Ayden and Gavin would run off into the sunset together.
  • While I understand Ayden’s anger coming from the fact that she was bitten and her past destroyed by lycans, I still don’t get why she had such complete hatred for a man who was himself bitten and his life ruined because of those same creatures. Kane wasn’t changed yet, he’s still a man undergoing the metamorphosis and hadn’t done anything wrong. Her absolute lack of feeling and understanding to his plight made me dislike her even more.
  • Ayden sneers a lot. Like A LOT. Even in urban fantasy a character who sneers is not attractive, and she did it every other page.
  • Kane and Ayden’s eventual relationship and HEA weren’t that believable to me, mostly because it seemed so sudden.

By the very end Ayden became a tad bit more appealing after she opened her eyes and stopped being a raving bitch. Her character seemed softer, more lucid and I actually started to feel some compassion for her circumstances. As much as Soul Avenged frustrated me, I will probably pick up the next in the series. I have mad, mad love for these demon brothers and can’t wait to visit with them again. Because I both loved and hated this book at times I’ve settled on a nice, middle of the road rating. Final Grade: C

Favorite Quote:

“Love him,” Gavin said, lifting her chin. “Sometimes, people touch our soul in ways we wish they wouldn’t. Funny, isn’t it?”

“What?”

“Our greatest weakness can sometimes be our greatest strength.”


Rating: C
Soul Avenged by Keri Lake
February 6th 2013
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