Author: Jennifer Armentrout
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Audiobook Length: 12 hours 5 minutes
Some loves will last ’til your dying breath
Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.
Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.
Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…
First things first, I am very on the fence about my feelings for the author giving control of the love interest ending to fans. The author gave fans a vote to actually choose which character would win the love triangle fight and end up with Layla. It was a contest that lasted almost a month right after book two, Stone Cold Touch, was published. If you have read any of the reviews for the first two novels (not even including mine), it was beyond obvious since the first novel as not only does the writing skew extremely in one direction, making the other romance feeling forced, but fans were 99% skewed in one direction for their choice. Therefore, there was no guesswork in who the Layla would choose. For those that like the love-triangle guessing, this novel will be an extreme disappointment. However, as I did not enjoy the forced love triangle, I was excited for Layla to finally choose so the focus could finally return to the main plot with the Lilin! The main demon/gargoyle/Lilin storyline is incredibly interesting, but got extremely derailed by the romance in book two.
Since I have started with the romance aspect, then I’ll discuss my thoughts little bit regarding this novel. Layla ends up making her decision less than a third of the way into the novel, which I appreciated as it did not need to be dragged out further. The one she chooses accompanies her through the investigation of the Lilin and also some strange changes that are also occurring with Layla. Her wings are unusual and her cravings for souls have changed. The other one barely appears in the rest of the novel and barely contributes on the page. As demons and gargoyles both are involved in stopping the Lilin, it is impossible for both sides not to be involved, but I just expected more in both the aftermath of the love triangle and the two sides actually needing to defeat a common enemy. Layla is not very sympathetic to the other man and it just further added to my dislike of her selfishness. She grew in many aspects since the character introduced in the first novel, but, unfortunately, this characteristic remained the same, for me.
As Layla and her chosen boy work together to help find and destroy the Lilin, they also get to start spending more time together. I may not be Layla’s biggest fan, but I do love the one she chooses and greatly enjoyed every page he is on. The investigation portion of the plot was interesting as they now know who the Lilin is and now they need to figure out how to stop it. The Lilin is on the path to set Lilith free and then events will be set into motion to bring on the end of the world. There is a lot of tension with some battles with everything ending in an unexpected way. I expected more from the final battle as I wanted more, but it still was satisfying in a way.
For the series as a whole, if you enjoy love triangles, then these novels are perfect. Although I am not a fan of them, I try to give them a chance. This series started okay as the triangle was there, but there was still a story. The second seemed to place the entire story on the back burner in favor of romantic tension. This finale did a mix of both of the previous novels where there was some romance and some story. I just wished that it was wrapped up in a different way, especially with the romance, as it was built up and I expected more moments dedicated to resolve the situation with each guy.
Overall, I am glad that I gave this series a try. I did rate the entire series lower than the average, so I may be in the minority in my criticisms. Roth and Zayne were both amazing characters in their own way. I love that they were opposites yet they shared some common good at their core. Layla had a lot of good qualities, but I wish she was written to handle the love triangle better. I still generally enjoy JLA’s writing as I like the ease of the reading experience. I will continue to read more of her novels, including starting the next series, The Harbinger.