Just when things are looking up for Luc Cain and Frannie Cavanaugh, with their newly saved souls and Luc's fresh mortal shell, all Hell is unleashed upon them -- literally. With Gabe gone (in an attempt to save his wings from Frannie's wiles) and only a newbie angel standing between them and utter damnation, a whole host of infernal monsters arrive -- including Lucifer's right hand and possibly the most dangerous demon of them all. The Prince of Darkness won't rest until he lures them all into the abyss -- and unfortunately, not everyone is above the temptation.
In Original Sin, Lisa Desrochers invokes new facets of the Heaven and Hell mythology and takes her series in a surprising new direction. Characters new and old make an appearance, with varying degrees of success. Luc is sexy and snarky, as always, but his new-found humanity softens his edges and gives him an endearing vulnerability. His and Frannie's relationship is also as hot and heavy as ever, and Desrochers ratchets up the tension without Gabe around to distract our heroine. Their dynamic is winning, as Luc struggles to accept his new limitations and Frannie refuses to let him forget that she can thoroughly thrash him with her Judo moves. The alternating perspectives of the young lovers ring true, with incredibly genuine teenage voices despite the supernatural slant of the story.
Readers will sorely miss Gabe (even Team Luc fans like myself), especially since his replacement, Matt, is maddening. His hypocrisy and selfishness will make readers seethe, as will Frannie's extreme willingness to forgive his interference. Fortunately, this seems to be Desrochers' intention, and she once again proves herself a master at investing readers in her characters, evoking gut-wrenching and heart-pounding emotions. This novel made me laugh, swoon and scream in frustration -- sometimes all at once.
The villain of the piece is magnificently manipulative, macabre and just plain insane. The somewhat obscure mythology is fascinating, and Desrochers adds her own flair to create a unique paranormal romance that stands out among the masses. Like Personal Demons, Original Sin is hormone-driven, playing out like a soap opera with intensity, passion, betrayal and bliss that will leave readers breathless. However, the angst becomes a little overwrought near the end of the novel, when Frannie once again begins the waffling act that exasperated me in book one, and Luc exhibits one of the more frustrating paranormal hero behaviors (you'll see what I mean).
The truth also becomes obvious to the reader midway through the story, making the characters' sluggish realization agonizing and rather forced. Nonetheless, the nonstop drama is gripping and the final twist stunning -- it is nearly impossible not to read ahead. The cliffhanger conclusion will leave readers eager for their third and final taste of this cosmic love story, as both Heaven and Hell hang in the balance.
Note: This novel is recommended for mature teen audiences.
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of Original Sin at BEA. This did not affect my review in any way.
This novel hits shelves today! Click here to purchase Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers.