Monday, January 6, 2014

REVIEW: "Reaver" by Larissa Ione

Reaver  (Lords of Deliverance, #5; Demonica, #10)
Reaver by Larissa Ione
For Ages 18+ (violence, language, sex)
Paranormal Romance
Forever -- December 17, 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 383 pages
Purchased from Amazon

Angels, Demons, Alpha Hero, Tortured Hero, Kickass Heroine, Tormented Heroine, Reformed Villain

Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he's agreed to go where no angel has ever gone steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.

Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she's been doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan's lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld's darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel's blood.

"Fate was not a word angels tossed around lightly."

Warning!  This review contains spoilers for earlier books in Ione's Demonica and Lords of Deliverance series, but is primarily spoiler-free for Reaver.

What a wonderful book!  Larissa Ione has outdone herself once again by providing readers with a sexy paranormal romance that showcases her expert world building and character development.  Reaver tells a story that Ione's fans have been waiting for years by showing the truth behind the titular hero Reaver and fallen angel Harvester.  I always have a hard time figuring out how to express my thoughts on books that are this amazing so just bear with me on this slightly unorganized gush fest.

Reaver is a very familiar character for Ione's fans and I have had a small fictional crush since he first appeared on the page.  I loved getting to see him finally take center stage after all the development he made from almost fallen angel to a heavenly hero.  He is a sweet guy who has not forgotten his time on Earth and isn't afraid to break the rules to get what he wants which is a lot of fun.  Reaver's past is still pretty much a mystery and it was interesting to seem his attempts to get it back.  He has figured out that his demonic counterpart Harvester is key to finding out the truth which is only one reason that he is trying to help her escape from Sheoul.

Harvester is another example of how well Larissa Ione writes kick-ass heroines.  Fans of the series have known her as the fallen angel who does everything she can to disrupt the lives of the other characters, but she has also shown that there is more to her than meets the eye.  Now that the truth behind her fall to hell has been revealed, I liked her even more.  She does require some initial rescuing from Reaver (and others) from Satan's torture chamber, but quickly reverts back to her normal bad-ass personality.  

Reaver and Harvester are two characters that have been at loggerheads for much of the series so it was fascinating to watch their relationship development in this book.  They spend a significant amount of time arguing while trying to escape Satan's armies, but this causes quite a bit of passion  These two have always had chemistry (to me) and this is just enhanced.  Ione is an expert at sexual tension and she really shows it with this couple.  I also liked that they did not lose their personalities when their feelings started changing since they were pretty awesome characters to begin with.

While most of the story focuses on Reaver and Harvester, this book spends a lot of time showing the aftereffects of the apocalypse that almost was.  The Horsemen are all in happy relationships, but their lives definitely are not boring.  They are still targets for both angels and demons especially Limos who is in a particularly heart-breaking situation.  I love how this book (and this series) shows that things are never black and white even in the world of Heaven and Hell.

Besides the Horsemen, Ione includes tons of other favorites from both the Demonica and Lords of Deliverance series.  The Seminus demons (Eidolon, Shade, Wraith, Lore, and Sin) all return as do the rest of the hospital staff.  I also loved the inclusion of Blaspheme, a rare False Angel, and the mysterious fallen angel, Revenant, who will be the focus of the next book.  What I liked best about all these side characters was the fact that there is a reason for each of them to be included in the story, not just as a way to have random people pop in a scene.

I don't want to go much further in this review to avoid spoiling the complex, but easy-to-follow plot, but I definitely think it is a worthy story for Reaver and Harvester.  Larissa Ione is one of the best in the paranormal romance genre and she shows it in this book.


Fever -- Definitely graphic, but still emotional descriptions.

Harvester’s heart soared. Reaver had offered to castrate an archangel for her. How sweet was that?

1. Pleasure Unbound
2. Desire Unchained
3. Passion Unleashed
3.5. Eternity Embraced
4. Ecstasy Unveiled
5. Sin Undone

Lords of Deliverance (spin-off)
6. Eternal Rider
6.5. Vampire Fight Club
7. Immortal Rider
7.5. Eternal Damnation
8. Lethal Rider
9. Rogue Rider
10. Reaver
10.5. Azagoth (Coming 2014)
11. Revenant (Coming 2014) 

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