Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/05/30/review-devil-without-a-cause-by-terri-garey/
Publish Date: May 31st
How I got this book: NetGalley
Garey’s 1st book in her new series, The Devil’s Bargain, is an interesting mix of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance story lines woven together. Although this is a very interesting and new concept for me, I found that it left some of the story lacking for me. There were essentially two books going on at once, and I felt like there was so much more that could have been told in the story if we had focused on one or the other.
For the Urban Fantasy portion of the book, we follow the Devil himself, Samael. The story starts with him pining over the woman he loved and lost. We find there is so much more to the devil than just pure evil, and although Samael is a bit of a bastard, he still has an amazing amount of depth to him as well. Throughout the book we follow Samael on his wicked path to trying to take both Faith and Finn’s souls and get back a ring that Finn is keeping close.
Along the way we discover the Devil has a son, and although there isn’t much page time devoted to Cain, we do get to see a little bit of interaction between the two. We are also invited into to see a little bit of Samael’s feelings towards his son, and those few moments are some of my favorite parts, especially seeing him struggle with the love of a father and the evil of his nature.
I was pretty split on my feelings for Samael throughout the entire book. He had moments when I really enjoyed him, thought him to be an admirable character even. But he also had times when I wanted to hate him with every fiber of my being. I hope that he might have a chance to redeem himself completely, but at the same time the dichotomy of good warring with evil within his own soul is interesting to follow.
For the Paranormal Romance aspect of the book, we get to focus on the relationship between Faith and Finn. When we first meet Faith she is in the hospital chapel praying for the life of her young son. Instead of the Almighty answering, she finds herself making a deal with Samael. She is forced to have to steal a ring from Finn the rock-star she had a teenage crush on. Not wanting to do it, but desperate to do anything to save her child, Faith finds herself in bed with Finn and stealing the all important ring. Little does Faith know that the ring is tied directly to Finn’s soul as well. The two are both desperate to possess the ring, but the pull between them leads to face the fact that they might be willing to sacrifice anything for the other.
I didn’t find myself really invested in Faith and Finn’s relationship until late in the book. Being that the plot was continuously flipping back and forth between Samael and Faith and Finn, for me there was a lot of romance that was missing. They really only spent about three days together in the book, I’m not usually a fan of couples who fall in love after one night in bed together. The fact that both Faith and Finn find themselves ready to give up everything after just a few short days just didn’t really feel all that real to me.
However, I really liked both of their characters. Faith was this incredible noble and dedicated mother, willing to do just about anything for her child. She reminded me of my mother, always ready to do whatever needs to be done to keep me and my siblings safe and happy. While I found Finn to be somewhat selfish and egotistical at in the beginning, once he saw the dynamics between Faith and her son, he really took a hard look at his life and realized what was important. He really endeared himself to me that way.
I found some of the book to be somewhat redundant, especially when it came to certain phrases. It seemed like every time Samael was mentioned in the book, he was also assigned a zillion different titles typically associated with the Devil. It was interesting to see just how wide spread the good versus evil mythology is, but it also got old and trying to wade through.
All in all I enjoyed my first read by Garey. I enjoyed the world she built, the characters multiple layers of depth, and the overall good versus evil plot lines. I’m very interested to see where she takes the Devil on his next journey and to see what happens with his son and kingdom.
I give Devil Without a Cause a Cause a C+