My Problem that I Know Will Not Actual Bother Everyone:
Okay, the main ‘hero’ is an immortal warrior who is partially controlled by demon of Violence. Yes, Violence, which the heroine, Ashlyn, is dating. He spends the first 50 pages (give or take) chanting kill, murder, slice, hurt, killkillkill to himself. He acknowledges that while he tries to fight the demon, he does fail - on a nearly nightly bases. Now, I’m aware that in this genre love conquers all and that relationships and people in romance novels are not expected to be 100% realistic. I know this. But. If your best friend, Sally, comes to you and says that she met this really great guy who is loving and caring and good to her, but he tells her that he holds the demon of Violence in his body, not joking, you would think one of three things 1). He is crazy, 2) He has a demon of Violence in his body, or 3) this is a lovely metaphor of his behavior after three beers. In any case, wouldn’t you tell Sally to run, not walk, to the nearest exit? I had a really hard time overlooking the mass murder aspect of their relationship. My bad.
The Other Problems with the Book:
The Hero(s). The hero and his friends are the ultimate ‘bad boys.’ They are immortal warriors each containing a demon. Maddox, the warrior of this book, has the demon of Violence and is only partly in control of it. And why does he have this demon? Because he and his friends were so pissed off that the job of guarding the box of demons was given to Pandora, a girl, that they stole the box and opened it and so released Violence, Wrath, Death, Disease, Disaster, Pain, Misery, Lies, Secrets, Doubt, and Promiscuity into the world. Yeah. Very heroic. Maddox also has the distinction of being the one who killed Pandora, while he was Violence.
The Villains. So, when demons were first placed in these immortal warriors, the demons pretty much wrecked havoc slaying and killing the population for many, many, many years until the warriors figured how to imperfectly control them. In the mean time, those pesky human who were being butchered trained up fighters to kill the demons/warriors. Yes, we’re the bad guys.
The Mythology. I think the author could have picked better demons. For example, Violence and Wrath. Both guys are all about the killing. Violence has whole mindless rage going on while Wrath kills people according to their crime (rapists have their penis removed, etc). Shouldn’t Wrath be Hammurabi or Vengeance? Or is that not evil enough? Because I don’t think Promiscuity, Lies, or Secrets are that evil either. I mean, Secrets? Really?
Pandora's Box. So the bad guys, the humans, learned that if they can find Pandora’s box and hold it next to the demon ridden immortal warriors, the demons will be sucked back into the box. The side effect will be the death of the warriors, but as Maddox spent some time complaining that there’s no way to kill himself because he just heals back that shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. Needless to say, the immortal warriors are not so keen to die when it comes down to it. Now, if I hosted, let’s say Misery (we can all agree that misery is bad), and have done things in the past thousand years that make the rest of the world miserable, I would say ‘sucks to be me’ and embrace the box. But it gets better, because in the book’s reality, if I get sucked into the box – all Misery in the whole world would disappear. All of it. No more Misery. Even if it wasn’t originally my fault, even if I was an innocent bystander, if I were hosting Misery and killing the demon and myself I was ridding the world of all Misery for ever and ever, I would kind of consider it my duty to let myself be sucked into the box. And I am a selfish, selfish person.
Necessary Evil. Which leads us to another little question of what would happen if only Death and Lies got sucked into the box? I’ll even throw in Disease as well. Death, Lies, and Disease are in the box and out of the world. Which means no more telling Aunt Jenny you love the fruitcake and the orange sweater she gave you for your birthday. Lies help grease the social wheel. Just a fact. Which leaves us with the problem of Death and age. You don’t get eternal youth, you just don’t get to die. You can still be injured and hurt and age, but no Death. It’s probably a good thing that the immortal warriors are not going into the box.
Plot and Character. There are two issues that immediately spring to mind. So, those horrible, nasty humans managed to off one of the immortal warriors several hundreds of years ago which caused the immortal group of warriors to split into two factions. One faction wanted to kill the people who were responsible for the warrior’s death, burn down the city and the kill the rest of the population. The other wanted to kill all the people who were responsible for the warrior’s death and hide themselves away from the world. Now, Promiscuity (suck it up sex positive people, it’s a sin) needs to sleep with at least, at least, two women a day and they can’t be the same woman. No repeats. As a ‘hero’ he decides to hide himself away from the world, except for his many, many trips a day into town for sex. Does this make sense? Shouldn’t he be walking the world getting laid? Even if he strikes out on his own rather than hanging out with either faction, sleeping his way through Europe? Based on the first book, on average, he has a thousand different women a year. In an isolated area? Up in the mountains? Does he order them from the internet? My second problem is that when Ashlyn, the female lead, learns that Maddox is being punish because he murdered Pandora by stabbing her six times in the stomach her response is “We all make mistakes.” Well, yes, yes, we do. I, myself, killed someone in a mindless rage just this morning. Seriously? Because you could reasonable forgive him. You could. It was a long time ago, he has been punished, he really wasn’t himself when he killed her, she loves him. But I want to see that reasoning. I want her to actually think about it. Which leaves the minor problems of introducing a literal god in the machine to break the curse, having to life bond Ashlyn and Maddox because he is immortal and she’s human, and pull out all the stops to convince the reader that the human hunters are the bad guys.