Book Review: Revenant, by Larissa Ione

ione-revenantRevenant, by Larissa Ione
Series: Demonica #11 / Lords of Deliverance #6
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (December 2014)
Genre: M/F Romance; Religion/Mythology

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Hell hath no fury like an angel scorned…

For five thousand years, Revenant believed he was alone in the world, a fallen angel beyond any redemption. Now he finds he has a twin brother who had all the light and love Revenant was denied. Caught in a tug of war between Heaven and Hell, he must weigh his thirst for revenge against his desire for a mysterious female named Blaspheme—a female whose very origins could deliver him into salvation . . . or destruction.

Blaspheme has a deadly secret: she’s the forbidden offspring of an angel and a fallen angel. Hunted by both heavenly and satanic forces, she has survived only by laying low and trusting no one. When Revenant claims he can save them both, how can she possibly believe him? But the powerful angel is persistence incarnate and for Blaspheme, there’s no place she can hide in Heaven or Hell where he won’t find her.

My Review:

I recently read Base Instincts, which is an m/m romance set in the Demonica universe soon after the events of Revenant. I loved that book and Larissa’s interesting mythology, and was fascinated by the glimpse of Revenant and Blaspheme that we got in that novel. So I knew I needed to read Revenant’s story as soon as possible!

First of all, you don’t need to read the other books in the series in order to understand this one. Should you? Probably. I’m definitely planning to read all of them as I can. But it’s not essential to understand and enjoy the plot as long as you have a base understanding of demon/angel mythology.

If you woke up one day and realized that your entire life was a lie, you’d be pretty furious, right? Now, imagine if you suddenly realized that your entire life was not only a lie, but hat you suffered five thousand years of physical and mental torture in Hell because of that lie.

Revenant isn’t just furious; he’s almost broken by the revelation. Thousands of years in the darkest pits of Hell, doing unspeakable things because you believe that you are, in fact, evil, is enough to screw up anyone’s head. But Revenant has just learned that he’s actually an angel, and therefore intrinsically good.

The flip side of the coin is Blaspheme, who knows exactly what she is but pretends to be something else to keep herself safe. She’s the opposite of Revenant in every way; a healer where he is a killer, and desperate to forget about her true nature while he is desperate to reclaim his. As you can imagine, they clash in the most epic way!

“You don’t appreciate confidence?”
“I don’t appreciate arrogance. There’s a difference.”
“And what is the difference?”
“Confidence is arrogance without an asshole.”

I love romance novels where nothing is easy for the characters. Blaspheme and Revenant aren’t “made for each other”, but they clearly balance one another in ways they could never expect. I think Larissa does an amazing job of writing these characters, and their relationship definitely feels natural and realistic. (Well, as realistic as a bunch of paranormal creatures can be!) And the novel has a plot that I was completely absorbed in, as both characters battle enemies and their own consciences.

Now, Revenant’s arrogance did bother me at times. He was a bit over-the-top, and it made him difficult to like. But really, for a guy who’s served as Satan’s right-hand-man for five thousand years, he’s not doing too badly overall! And he makes an effort with Blaspheme, even though he’s completely clueless about what “an effort” really means.

Having been raised in a dungeon, with torture specialists and executioners as his playmates, he hadn’t exactly learned the art of seduction or even polite conversation. But sex… he spoke that language fluently.

This novel met and exceeded my expectations, and reaffirmed my desire to read the entire series as soon as I can! Great characters, an interesting and well-developed mythology, and a unique plot all make this a really excellent novel.

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