I was the guy who handled the darker side of magic.
I’d been a damn fine Death magic user back in the day. And now? Well, now I was death.
I am going to start out my review with full disclosure: What did I want to get from Stone Cold? Well I really, really, really wanted Terric and Shame to become a couple. Did I mention really? I honestly don’t know how many fans of the series want them to hook up vs those who want them to be apart. When I read Hell Bent the only person I talked to about the series was Pam (@SpazP) and I know she was with me. But I very well could be in the minority with my desire to have them be in looooove.
My Stone Cold review will discuss some minor spoilers for Hell Bent so if you haven’t read Hell Bent, what are you doing reading this review??!
At the end of Hell Bent we know that Shame killed Brandy, Eli’s Soul Complement. He did it with Eli watching through Brandy’s eyes and was using it as a way to declare open war against Eli. Shame wanted Eli to come after him for what he had done to Victor, Dessa and Terric. Eli has teamed up with a government man, Krogher, to create walking magical bombs with the goal of killing all the Soul Complement pairs and controlling the magic that can be controlled.
Stone Cold starts off as calm as things could be in the situation. Terric and Shame are living together but still avoiding each other. Because their two magics rely on each other they are uncomfortable being together and neither man wants to need the other so much in order to function. Their problem is complicated by the fact that in the Allie Beckstrom series they saved each other from death thus causing Life and Death magic to claim them. So they do not call upon magic, the magic is inside them. This makes their control a tenuous thing and only being together helps the situation but both men fight this.
In a seemingly harmless moment Eli opens up a Gate and steps into Shame’s kitchen. He kills Shame and takes Terric away to be tortured and used for his magic. Uh huh. You read that right. Shame is dead and Terric is being tortured. The events that follow are crazy, heartbreaking, diabolical, unexpected and telling you any of them would completely ruin the book for you. Let me just say that if you read Hell Bent you will WANT to read Stone Cold because so many things are answered or handled.
Overall, this book was a serious rush. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse something crazy would happen and take it up another notch. The action is non-stop and happens at a furious pace. There is no downtime from page 1 to page 300+. Ms. Monk pulled me into this awesome world she created and made me root for our two main characters, Shame and Terric. I had no idea how or even if they were going to fix things but I did know I didn’t want off the ride.
Soul Complements. Maybe we didn’t have to be living in each other’s heads like Allie and Zay. Maybe we didn’t have to go insane. Dying had brought us closer to each other. I was having a hard time finding something wrong with that.
Being drawn closer together wasn’t exactly how we wanted things to go, but right this minute, it wasn’t so bad.
Stone Cold ends in a good place. Shame still has the list of Closed people Victor gave him and he needs to do something about it. Terric is tentatively calm and happy. Magic…..well you are going to have to read yourself to find out what happened with magic.
I heard the series was contracted for only two books but there could obviously be more. Sign me up if more are available because I would go for more adventures of Shame and Terric any day. Final grade- B+
“What do you remember about me? About us?” I asked.
“Well, you tried to kill me once and never forgave yourself.”
“Yeah, sure. Which time?”
His eyebrows shot up. “Are you serious? How many times have you tired to kill me?”
“It’s still in the low single digits.” I gave him a smile.
He grinned. “So I see things are going well between us.”
“Oh yeah. We’re fantastic.”