I haven’t read the Demonica series by this author and I’ve heard it is set in the same world as this new spinoff “Lords of Deliverance” series. I’m thinking I probably should have read the 6.5 books in the Demonica series first but reading a series out of order seems to be what I do. Now I will be the first to admit that I am a person who is easily confused and during the first two hours of this audiobook reading I was lost and overwhelmed by the brutal avalanche of information dumped upon my tired brain. There is a glossary, tons of character introductions and an elaborate setup that boggles. But I stuck by it and restarted it no less than five times because everyone seems to love this author and I’ve been told I give up too easily (and it’s probably true). And do you know what? It paid off in the end. Phew, that almost never happens!
Eternal Rider is narrated by Hilary Hubar who has a no nonsense way with her narration which suits the intensity of the book. Her manly-man characters are done very well but there are two characters, Ares and Arik, whose names and sexy growly, gravelly voices are so similar that I mistakenly thought they were the same person, adding to my continued confusion, until the book was nearly over! Huber’s female voices are strong and pleasant to listen to and I could always tell Cara from Limos. Unfortunately, something is a wee bit off in the production here, either that or the narrator was whispering, because I had to rewind and turn up the volume numerous times because the volume would go way low and I couldn’t make out the words.
Let me sum up the complicated setup for you, best as I understood it anyway. Eternal Rider is Ares’s story. Ares is one of four immortal siblings born out of a forbidden and unholy sexual tryst between sex demon Lilith and an angel who liked his drinky too much. The kiddos caused all sorts of trouble on earth and ended up being cursed and now they are “The Four Horsemen”. Yes, those four horsemen. They are bearers of the Apocalypse and each wear a seal that when broken releases their evil alter-ego and brings on the beginning of the End of Days. Ares is the God of War. He’s a tough guy, covered in armor that keeps his body and his emotions in check and whenever he walks in a room people get an urge to brawl. Soon after the story begins, the most charming brother has his seal broken and he transforms into Pestilence, bringing on the plagues and reveling in the death, the gore and the pain. Oh noes! Ares is worried because once a seal has broken they are all in danger of transforming into this:
1887 painting by Victor Vasnetsov
And then there’s something about called an agimortus that protects the seals (methinks) and can only be transferred to a fallen angel. Pestilence needs his siblings to turn evil and thus most of the surviving fallen angels have gone over to the dark side to avoid being stuck with an agimortus after learning about the broken seal and rampage. Really, who can blame them? I know I wouldn’t want a great big target for Pestilence on my ass. So somehow a human named Cara ends up with Ares’s agimortus engraved on her chest. As if that weren’t bad enough, she heals a wounded dog only to later discover the dog she’s named “Hal” is a hellhound. And he has bonded with her out of gratitude. If he dies so does she and he’s been taken prisoner and is being tortured. Ares tracks the agimortus to Cara and the two get embroiled in a race to save humanity all the while falling in lusty love.
From here it gets all adventure-filled and yummy and super sexy despite all of the gloom and the death. Cara and Ares are well developed and compatible couple who heat things up in a most believable and imaginative way. After the excruciatingly long setup I fell in love with the storytelling and am going to jump right into the next book. The ending with Cara and Ares and the resolution of the hellhound problem was pure perfection that warmed my cold heart and made get all gooey eyed. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better ending if I tried.
Sheesh, my fingers are tired and this review is too long. If you’ve made it this far all I have left to say to you is read the book until the end no matter how it pains you. And I won’t lie, it may pain you. Just trust me on this, it gets friggin’ fantastic. Paranormal romance does not get better than the last half of this book.
Narrator Hilary Huber
Duration: 12 hours, 34 minutes
Published by Hachette Audio