Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark #18)
Gallery Books / April 25, 2017 / $26.00 print, $13.99 digital)
Note: This review may contain hints at where the story is going, if you don't want to know anything about the plot, turn back and read the book first! We'll be here when you're ready to talk.
It's the year of the demon! Warcraft brought demon hunters with the new expansion pack: Legion, and Kresley Cole's new book Wicked Abyss returns us to the Immortals After Dark world. I have to be honest, I was somewhat disappointed in the last two books (not that they weren't good) but the road trips that both Lanthe and Thronos (Dark Skye) and Rune and Josie (Sweet Ruin) were a bit of an exhausting read. In Wicked Abyss, we rarely leave the hero's castle, which, honestly, I can't imagine why you would want to. I love Graven Castle and want to live there!
Lila, or Calliope, is a fey princess, engaged to King Saetth (who appeared in Sweet Ruin) since birth. When we first meet her, she's 13 years old and just witnessed her parents beheading...at the order of her finance. She's standing on trial for her own life, but is instead banished to the mortal realm.
Flash to the present day, and Lila is still a princess, although this time, she's working as a princess at Disney World. Yes, Lila is working as a Cinderella character. In Disney World. She is hiding herself in plain sight, since she is part of the Sylvan fey blood line that Rune Darklight (Sweet Ruin) has vowed to exterminate. Both Nix the Everknowing and Saetth visit her with a proposition: gather information on the primordial demon King Abyssian Infernas of Pandemonia, aka Hell. Which shouldn't be too hard for Lila, as she's also Abyssian's mate, reincarnated. Lila is beautiful, very intelligent (she loves to read!), and as with most IAD heroines, is a complete smart-ass and can take down her mate when needed. Lila is also on the cusp of immortality, which means she's still vulnerable and can die.
Abyssian Infernas, (or Sian) is the current ruler of Pandemonia, inheriting the throne after his brother Gourlav, died (see Shadow's Claim for more details). He's over 10,000 years old and lives under a curse: as the King rules the kingdom of hell, they are cursed to endure the hell-change. In this case, Sian has some wicked looking horns, wings, glowing markings all over his body, and of course, claws. While most of the heroes in the IAD series at least have more human-ish qualities than not, Sian is 100% otherworld, and I immediately pictured him looking similar to Illidan Stormrage from Warcraft. Just read the book and do an image search and you'll see what I mean. Sian is part of the Morior, and best friend of Rune Darklight. Sian lives in a magical castle, Graven Castle, with another member of the Morior, Uthyr, the primordial dragon, and whom I'm already dying to learn more about. Sian is brooding, stubborn, and possesses a nasty temper. He wars with himself over his need to protect his mate, and punish her for her past crimes.
If you're thinking that this sounds much like a live action movie recently released that’s based on a Disney musical, then you win the grand prize! That's the brilliance of Kresley Cole, she takes something so simple the Beauty and the Beast trope and makes it so absurdly complicated and amazing. Like most Disney princesses, Lila has an affinity for woodland creatures, including spiders and dragons. Despite the Disney-like characteristics, Lila is young, but she's someone who doesn't take any shit off of Sian, especially when he's acting like a dick—and believe me, he does, especially as he still sees her as the reincarnation of his former love, who honestly is like the wicked step-sister in the series.
Obviously, both Lila and Sian have issues to resolve. Lila is there in Pandemonia as a spy for Nix and Saetth, so she's got to hid her true purpose from Sian. She's still being hunted by Rune Darklight, and she's engaged to Saetth. Sian has a hard time getting past his memories of Lila's former self. Let's be honest here, Lila's previous incarnation was a righteous bitch, so we do get some reasonable explanation of Sian's actions regarding Lila in her current form. Both Sian and Lila have a lot of learning to do about the each other, and of course there’s the extra little complications that both characters have to go through before coming to a very happy ending.
I do enjoy the turn that Kresley Cole is taking with the past two books, giving us a look at the “bad guys” and their perspective on the Assension. I’m still very much pro-Vertas, however, but am starting to like several of the Morior, especially Sian, who has quickly become one of my favorite IAD heroes along with Cadeon and Lothaire.
If you've never read the Immortals After Dark series, you could start with this one and not get too confused, as Kresley Cole does give the reader enough background information that you could follow along. If you’re a big fan of the series (and I personally rank it up there with Harry Potter in terms of favorite book series), and looking for glimpses of your favorite characters, I’m sad to report that only Nix, Melanthe, and Sabine appear (albeit very briefly).
I really enjoyed Wicked Abyss. The sex scenes were intensely hot, as I’ve come to expect from Kresley Cole This is the 16th full length novel in this series (not including 3 novellas), and you’d think with that many books in a series, the writing gets to be a bit cliché, repetitive, and old after so many novels. I didn’t find that at all, and definitely rank this one in my top 5 list. I can’t wait to see who the next IAD couple is.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole, available April 25, 2017:
H&H Editor Picks:
Paranormalibrarian is a real librarian who plays way too much Warcraft and reads way too many romance novels.