This is the eighth book in the series and the story of John and Xhex.
The story opens with everyone trying to find Xhex, who they have determined was kThis is the eighth book in the series and the story of John and Xhex.
The story opens with everyone trying to find Xhex, who they have determined was kidnapped by Lash when they were rescuing Rhev at the symphath colony. They’ve had so much trouble finding Xhex, that the Brotherhood is pretty sure that she is dead. In honor of her memory, John has her name tattooed in the ancient script on his back. But he’s not giving up hope and continues to work with the Brotherhood to either find her or avenge her death.
When she is found and eventually rescued, the two of them decide to join forces to destroy Lash and vow to go their separate ways. They do this because they need to focus their energies on defeating Lash and without the agreement, they will not work together cooperatively.
Blaylock is starting to date and the person who he is interested in is Qhinn’s cousin. Qhuinn is not exactly thrilled with this, but he really can’t stop Blay from pursuing the relationship. Instead, he appears to be pursuing a relationship with Layla, a member of the Chosen. This is a relationship that Layla wants to see move to a love relationship.
Among the Chosen, Payne has been allowed to move about with the other Chosen, but she is not allowed the leave. This upsets her greatly and she is constantly unhappy and trying to persuade the Scribe Virgin to at least allow her to visit the other side. The one thing that keeps her going are her sparing matches with Wrath.
This book also gives us the back story of Darius (the Brother who has been reincarnated as John) and his relationship with Tohrment. This story explains why John is so strongly attracted to Xhex.
A new storyline about a TV ghost hunter crew stopping at a haunted house in the Carolinas. The ghost is actually a vampire.
The story of the Lessening Society is focused on Lash, who is literally falling apart and has been estranged from the Omega, his father. This and that fact that he has to drive a crappy Ford Focus and live in crappy housing infuriates him.
I liked this book better that Lover Avenged. I would say it’s on the same level as Lover Enshrined. Learning the background of Darius and Tohrment makes Tohrment and John’s relationship seem extremely natural and it reveals why John has always been inexplicably attracted to Xhex. He still doesn’t know that he is Darius reincarnated at the end of the story. It’s also not clear that Tohrment understands exactly who Xhex is.
I like the Payne storyline and am looking forward to reading her story in the next book. I would have preferred to learned more about her background and why the Scribe Virgin is determined that she cannot leave the Chosen’s traditional home.
Two storylines drove me nuts. The new storyline about the reporters following the “ghost” story was very frustrating. It constantly interrupted the flow of the story of John and Xhex (and Blay and Qhinn and Payne and Darius, etc.) It was not clear until the very end of the story what the significance of this story was to the Brotherhood. Personally, there was a lot of this story that could have been dumped and improved the storyline.
The other was the story about Lash. So the Omega has fathered this son who was raised with the Lessening Society’s enemy and now the Omega has turned his back on him. Lash is apparently kicked out of the society – it would appear because of his desire to have sex with women. Perhaps the Omega’s mistake was not castrating his son, like he does the human members of the society. So Lash’s new life is falling apart and so is he. To a strong degree, it didn’t make sense. Although, based on how the society has functioned in the past, constantly churning leadership, this shouldn’t surprise me.
And, this is a bit of a spoiler, I don’t think so, when the Brotherhood dos defeat Lash (I won’t reveal whether it was John or Xhex), they didn’t have Butch do his thing. Does this mean that Lash went back to the Omega to be reborn?
At this time, this is the last book of the series that I have to read – I waiting to get the next book, Lover Unleashed, so I’m going to include some overarching comments on the series. First, it would seem that the more books, the longer they must be. Although, Lover Mine bucked the trend and was only 615 pages long. As a reference, Dark Lover, the first book, was only 393 pages long.
The Blaylock and Qhuinn story is rather frustrating. In Lover Enshrined, we learn that Blaylock is gay – but Qhuinn is presented as definitely not gay and that despite this, Blay has a crush on Qhuinn. Now, Qhuinn is whoring himself out so that he doesn’t have a relationship with Blay. He’s jealous of Blay’s desire to date his cousin. These guys are teens so this really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Is Qhuinn bi?
I’m also finding the writing itself is getting sloppier as the series goes on. It’s not a good as the earlier books. There are also some cultural references – like to Melrose Place – that I doubt John and company would understand, so to a degree they feel wrong in the story.