James - 1 and Elise - 1. What am I counting? The number of times they've died. But in terms of who's saving who, James is obviously losing. A quick recap of some things that happened in The Darkest Gate: Elise and James, along with Anthony and Betty, had to fight two opponents; one a giant spider who rules Las Vegas and the other an aspis-kopis pair with a need for vengeance. On the process, Betty died, Anthony avenged him by killing her killer, Elise also dies because He almost got her, Thom brought her back to life, Elise and James suddenly shared this weird and intimate connection, and Elise is even more dedicated to protect the world.
So basically, nothing much happened, eh? So what of the Union? Let me introduce you to the group of people I hate the most. Oh, by the way, there is not a lot of James in here. Probably for the best though.
Title: Dark Union (Descent #3)
Author: S.M. Reine
Publication Date: July 21, 2012
Published by: Red Iris Books
Every fifty years, the most powerful ethereal and infernal beings convene on Earth to resolve conflicts with mediation by kopides--humans born to police relations between Heaven and Hell. They're meeting in Elise Kavanagh's territory this year, and she used to be the greatest kopis in the world. But she's not invited.
An old friend, Lucas McIntyre, asks her to attend the summit in his place. But when she arrives, she discovers that a human faction called The Union has taken charge of the summit, and they're not playing nice. Worse yet, someone has killed a prominent Union member, and now they're demanding blood.
Elise has to bring justice to the summit in DARK UNION, a 33,000-word (120 page) urban fantasy novella featuring a decrepit ghost town, angry men with guns, and even angrier angels.
Elise Cavanagh is more emotionally distant than ever, because she just can't process the pain that comes with them. She pushes people away, and quite frankly she doesn't care anymore if they leave or stay. She tries to shut down the connection he has with James, because it pains her to see -- or rather feel -- that James is doing okay without her.
Anthony Morales has just lost his cousin, and his girlfriend is acting like it doesn't even matter. He feels neglected and taken for granted because of the way Elise treats him. He's given everything up for her, if only she can see that.
We get to meet new people in Elise's life. We also learn about the Kopis-Aspis bond.
"More permanent than marriage, more fatal than family, closer than the oldest friends."
For me, this sheds a whole new light to the relationship between the two. After the emotional turmoil Elise suffered from the loss of her best friend as well as the wall James built between them, it's nice to see Elise finally learning to shut James out. There were times -- namely when she's in pain -- wherein the connection strengthens and we "hear" the genuine concern James feels for Elise. I know it's very sadistic of me, but I like knowing that James gets all worked up and worried for Elise. Coz like dude, you sort of left her hanging first. We also get to see how much Elise actually values the people in her life. She's hell bent on proving the innocence of Lucas, even if that means putting herself in so much trouble.
I felt like Elise was weak in this book. We all know how kickass she truly is, but here, she seems to be of no importance to most people. Also, she seemed to be too cold, and it's kind of upsetting the way he treats Anthony like trash. I mean, I get that he's kind of annoying, but he does support her every step of the way.
I give Dark Union 3.5 stars. I found it okay, it's just that Elise seemed a bit weak here. Like she's not destined to kill Him or anything. The story also didn't progress well, and the strain between Elise and Anthony is really starting to get frustrating. But still, a good book. We get to meet more people. Some we'll love more in future books, while others...well, you'll just hate them and wish them death. Can't wait to continue to the next installment, Damnation Marked. Ooohhh, it's going to be awesome.