Reviewed: November 20, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Demonica, Book 5
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Length: 432 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Disclosure: This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
She is responsible for an epidemic that is scouring the earth of his kind, but the sparks between them are incendiary. Sin is the only female Seminus demon to have ever been born, not that she's particularly fond of that fact. She's strong and independent, and has chiseled herself into a deadly weapon after surviving a past chained to her succubus needs and owned by one cruel master after another. She long ago gave up any such niceties as tenderness and affection, and emotions are for saps.
He's lived for a thousand years, which is young for the half-warg (werewolf), half-vampire dhampire species, but Con has spent his time as a mostly irrepressible rogue, flitting from one thing to the next to stave off boredom and court excitement. He found a place as a paramedic at UG, the demon hospital, and has thrived there, but a chance meeting with his boss's sister Sin rocked his body and stirred his blood. Finding out she's the one responsible for the warg epidemic horrifies him, though, and his desire for her is tinged with loathing.
When politics and warg agendas take precedence over survival, Con steps in and with the help of Sin's brothers, manages to save her from imprisonment. But being incarcerated by torturous demons is the least of Sin's problems when her assassins start coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of the fact she's not in her den. Soon Sin and Con are forced to keep fleeing for their lives even as they struggle to help in the effort to stop SF from wiping out every warg on the planet.
I loved this book. I've been a fan of the Demonica series since the beginning, and I think Sin Undone is the best of the bunch. It's a fabulous swan song for a strong, original series bursting with excellent characters, sizzling sensuality, and layered, intricate plots full of danger and sacrifice.
Sin and Con are the best parts of this book, their individual development and the way their relationship evolves captivates as the world surrounding them gets grimmer and the future more grave the longer the epidemic spreads. They have complicated metaphorical demons riding them, and paired with the external crisis, these characters are imbued with a rich history and enough emotional baggage to bury lesser mortals.
One of Ione's gifts is creating characters who not only fit together perfectly, but who provide each other exactly what they need to heal from their past traumas, no matter how oblivious they are to those needs. Con brings out the best in Sin, allows her to get in touch with emotions long since denied. In Sin, Con finds the one person he can care about beyond his own self interest, a woman who accepts the darker aspects of his nature and doesn't judge or shy away from it.
They start out with a sexual chemistry that burns but they are steeped in mutual dislike. Their banter and aggression drive them hard. When they start to look past those prickly surface personae and get to the core of each other and themselves, their relationship becomes truly powerful and intense and ultimately pleasurable to experience. The additional threats of Sin's assassins trying to kill her and the warg civil war add a lot of depth and layers to their journey.
Though paranormal romances are at the top of my list of favorite genres, I've been disappointed for much of this year by many books I've read, even those in some of the long-standing series that I've been a fan of for years. There's been a gem here or there, but overall, PNRs just haven't been working for me. Sin Undone worked for me. It's more than just one of those gems, it's one of the best of them. Ione had me thoroughly emotionally invested in the characters and their relationship (the fun parts, the sexy parts, and the gut wrenching parts), and practically entranced by their story.
I loved Sin Undone, and was extremely satisfied by the overall plot arc and how all the pieces came together. I did have a few minor issues with the story, though, one or two things that seemed a little convenient or a little emotionally manipulative, like Con having time to convince Luc to do something unspeakable, but not cluing him in on the outcome. It's not like the outcome wouldn't be apparent, so not telling him made no sense. I also wasn't totally enamored with the ancillary plot thread of the Feast warg. Beyond that, though, this book was totally stellar in almost every way.
I don't want to say goodbye to these characters, but I appreciate Ione for drawing the series to a conclusion that stays true to the body of work instead of dragging on and on until the fire is gone. For a final book in a series, I thought it was exceptionally well done and tied up a lot of loose ends even as it was setting up events for Ione's Lords of Deliverance series, which is set in the Demonica world and will include familiar and beloved characters from the Demonica series.
And if I'm looking forward to Eternal Rider (Lords of Deliverance) with a fevered intensity that borders mindless obsession...well...just ignore the drool.
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