Friday, June 29, 2018

Review: Embracing The Demon by Beth Woodward

Embracing the Demon
Author:  Beth Woodward
Series:  A Dale Highland Novel 2
Publisher:  Rare Bird Books, June 19, 2018
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages
List Price:  US$16.95 (print); US$13.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781945572845 (print); 9781947856820 (eBook)

Dale Highland never wanted to be a demon, never wanted to go back to the supernatural world, but now she has no choice.

A militant anti-supernatural group called the Zeta Coalition is trying to kill Dale, and a mysterious illness ravages angels and demons throughout the world. As the death toll rises, and the Zetas get closer and closer to Dale, she starts to realize the two things are connected.

To save them all, Dale will have to team up with John Goodwin, the man she once loved. The man who destroyed her.

But by the time Dale and John figure out the Zetas’ real intentions, it may be too late…

Zombie Joe's Review

Let me start off by telling you this is the second book in the series. You shouldn't have too much trouble getting into it, but there will be a touch of backstory you will be missing out on. What you really need to know about Dale from the first novel is that she has demon blood due to being a half-demon. And now that she is aware of this, she has been forced into a conflict between angels and demons that she never asked for.

Dale is the progeny of Amara, a leader among the demons. As such, there is a certain amount of influence she could exert. Should she choose to. The issue is that it feels as if she is unwilling to do so. In spite of her brooding and turbulent manner, she has an empathetic, human heart. One of the key elements she has from her human half.

Full transparency, Dale can be a little tough to relate to as a reader. If you are looking for that likable protagonist, she might not be your cup of tea. For me, I prefer the protagonists that others refer to as unlikable. They seem far more interesting. Of course, I have been described as unlikable before as well. So there is that.

In this novel, the world of angels and demons becomes revealed to humans. And it isn't a welcoming exchange like you might think. Which definitely leave Dale stuck between two worlds. And while you might root for her human heart, there is so much that can be done with those demon blood powers.

You are also faced with the challenge of shifting narrators. John, her love interest from book one, takes the mic from time to time. And by challenge, I mean an opportunity to truly see the situation from a different point of view. Which, honestly can be either an excellent tool, or pull you straight out of the story. I was definitely not pulled out of the story.

As for the story as a whole, it was definitely worth the wait. An excellent addition to her ongoing narrative. The ending alone sold me on the book, but to tell you too much would be to give away the experience. As I finished the last page, I definitely found myself already starting the countdown to the next in the series.

I'm going ahead to give this one 4.5 demons out of 5. Not the perfect storm, by damned near close to it.


The Demon Within
A Dale Highland Novel 1
Rare Bird Books, April 5, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages

Heaven is hunting Dale Highland.

For ten years, she’s been on the run, plagued by violent blackouts and increasingly baffled by a growing array of superpowers—mind control, super strength, enhanced healing abilities.

What Dale doesn’t know is that Heaven’s greatest bounty hunter, John Goodwin, has been on her trail the whole time. When John finally corners her in New York City, he reveals the source of her powers: her mother was a demon.

They forge an unlikely connection and go on the run. In pursuit are his fellow bounty hunters, a deadly guild of angels known as the Thrones. Their goal: eradicate all demons—which includes Dale. As they flee across New England, Dale delves into the mystery of her own heritage and discovers that she’s a key figure in an ancient war between angels and demons.

Only this time, the angels are the bad guys.

Headlong and action-packed, The Demon Within is the first of the four-volume Dale Highland series.


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