This is one of my favorite books in the entire series. To say that S.M. Reine came back from the small disappointment caused by Dark Union is a huge understatement. This...this...this...GAH! I just loved it! The confusion, heartache, loneliness, love, pain, and loss. It's just a roller coaster ride of horrible feels and I loved it!
Title: Damnation Marked (Descent #4)
Author: S.M. Reine
Publication Date: November 3, 2012
Published by: Red Iris Books
There's something in the earth deep below Elise Kavanagh's territory. A shadow is falling upon local demons to devour their flesh and harvest their souls. And it's coming for Elise next.
The Union has an easy way out. They want to send Elise into hiding again with her former partner, James Faulkner. All she has to do is surrender the territory and trust that they can protect the ethereal ruins, the dark gate, and the city she's come to know as home.
Greater powers have other plans for Elise and her fabled power as Godslayer--plans that mean surrendering her life and blood to the most powerful demon alive. But if she descends, there's no turning back. Once she gazes into the abyss, it will gaze back into her... and Elise will be damned forever.
Elise Kavanagh now holds more responsibility than what she bargained for. Now in charge of keeping things on the up and up in Reno, she's always making sure that everyone is protected from "the shadow". She's also starting to get kind of tired from...everything. She might have many people helping her succeed now, but she still feels so alone and lost. But her need to save mankind wins over and gives her the strength she needs...even if it is for the last time.
James Faulkner's past and present is starting to collide and he's not sure if that's a good or bad thing. What he does know is that he must convince Elise to leave Reno if they want a chance to survive. He's both very worried and frustrated with Elise now, especially since she's pushing him away. If only he can hold on to her...before it's too late.
Okay. First things first, Elise is DEFINITELY KICKASS HERE!! That's what I was talking about. The no b.s. and no-nonsense woman who is willing to go deep deep down the earth to protect the people of this world. But more of me gushing about her later. For now let me talk about the "people" (and I use that word lightly, considering...) I loved more in this book.
Neuma, the ever so loyal nightmare who just wants to protect their territory and help Elise as much as she can. She's just such an awesome character, and the dynamic that she has with Elise is just fan---tastic! She's probably the only part-demon who can give Elise crap without losing her life.
Nukhail. Ah. The confused angel who hates Elise just as much as he loves her. He would do anything she asks without even batting an eyelash, even give his life away...and all he asks for in return is to see her smile.
Thom -- oh, Thom. Why art thou so devilishly irresistible? Oh wait...that's because you are grandpa demon. But seriously, there's a scene that he shares with Elise and it was just...*KABOOM!!*
Going back to my Elise obssession; she really made up for the lack of kickassery in Dark Union. We get to really see her in action, fighting big bad demons and stuff. There were also moments where we see her soft side, which is totally loveable. She tries to save someone who she considers important in her life, but when she fails, she just decided to grant (secret) wish. We also see her as a woman with needs and loneliness that she tries so hard to fill. The dynamic between her and James have also shifted, but when push comes to shove, she shows her love for him without any reservation.
"Still?" -- "Always."
Onto the story; we get to [officially] meet father and mother demon. They're not married, no -- they're siblings. And they're really powerful. Elise is really no match if she were to fight the battle alone, which she prefers now, to be honest, because she doesn't want more people that has meaning to her to die. Thom helps her out, but only because he has an agenda -- which is not at all hidden. I loved how dark and dangerous this book is. It has drawn me from the very first page and refused to let me go until I've finished it. I felt loads of sadness, heartbreak, pride, and fear.
When this HUGE thing happened to Elise, I feel like people didn't exhibit the proper emotions. It hurts me to think they didn't give her the credit that she deserved especially since she did prevent the demon queen from killing everyone.
I absolutely loved Damnation Marked. I give it 5 stars, no questions asked. This book changes everything from this point on, and things won't ever be the same again. I can't wait to share my review of the remaining books with you guys.