Reviewed: November 3, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Otherkin, Book 3
Rating: 3 Stars
Length: 384 Pages
Formats: Paperback, Kindle, Nook
Malthus Krayl, now the youngest of the three remaining soul reaper sons of Sutekh, Überlord of the Underworld, is the only one of his brothers who doesn't think they are going to be able to bring their murdered brother Lokan back from the dead. The adrenaline junkie with a bad boy Lothario complex a mile wide keeps that opinion on the down low, however, because he's right on board with both Dagan and Alastor about finding whomever is responsible for that death and making them pay for their heinous act.
Making them pay a lot.
Their investigation has led them to Pyotr Kuznetsov, High Reverend of the Setnakhts, cult followers loyal to Sutekh. Mal stalks Kuznetsov, but before he can snatch him up and press him for answers, he's accosted by Calliope Kane, Daughter of Aset, ancient enemy of Sutekh. He's a little taken aback when, instead of easily overpowering her and getting exactly what he wants as he fully expected to do, she gets the drop on him and uses his own blood against him. She leaves him cut, bleeding, and stuck to a wall. And he'd never been more captivated by a female in all his years.
The challenge laid, the lines drawn, Mal and Calliope dance a wicked dance. Born enemies, vastly different agendas, and serving opposing masters, the heat of their attraction to each other may turn the final key in the puzzle of Lokan's murder. Or it will destroy them both.
It pains me to say this, but I was terribly disappointed in this third installment of Silver's Otherkin series. Fortunately I came to this series late, because when this book was originally published, it was slated to be the last in a trilogy. Had that been the case, I would've felt even less kindly for it because the conclusion was anything but satisfying.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
This third book gave me problems with both major plot arcs. The series arc, the search for Lokan's killer or killers, went a little wonky here. What had been a slow, steady accumulation of facts and disparate, confusing information that tantalized as it intrigued became, in Sins of the Flesh, a bunch of leaps and bounds of information, answers, and actions without a clear understanding of how such progress was made from one book to the next.
Compounding that issue were several unanswered questions about major players and their entourage which have been popping up since the beginning, a new character who was the key to critical information who hadn't been mentioned before, and a resolution that didn't actually resolve anything. And I may be wrong, because it's been awhile, but I could swear the events and characters featured in the Otherkin prequel, Sin's Daughter, caused a plot conflict at a crucial part in this book.
Then there were the lead characters. I loved Dae and Roxy, Alastor and Naphré. Those couples were really the driving force of my entertainment in the first two books. Mal and Calliope, however, left me a little cold. I didn't dislike them, really, they were fine in their roles, but they didn't work for me as well as the couples that preceded them. Mal was too much the typical bad boy womanizer allegedly reformed by love and Calliope was a bit too good at acting completely cold and unfeeling for far too long into the book for my tastes. Beyond that, there wasn't much attention given to character definition or depth for either of them.
And the reason Calliope had such hate on for soul reapers, the major defining aspect of her character, was resolved with almost ridiculous ease in a startlingly short amount of time once the topic was broached. I couldn't quite buy that given the circumstances and Calliope's age. On the other hand, I was absolutely right on one very big answer to a very complicated question, so I did feel some measure of satisfaction in the book.
I'm very glad that this book isn't the conclusion of a trilogy and I'm anxious to see the fallout of the events of this book as the series continues. I have enjoyed Silver's dark, edgy, unique world and her sexy, dangerous characters. This one wasn't nearly as appealing to me as the others, but I do have high hopes for the next. By the nature of the story in this one, I can't imagine it not serving as a turning point to what comes next, and I plan to be along for the ride. Besides, I liked both Mal and Calliope better when they were secondary or ancillary characters, so having them return to those roles can only have events looking up for me.
Heads Up: This is not a series I would recommend being read out of order or jumping into it anywhere but the beginning (though the prequel isn't absolutely necessary). Silver writes a cohesive series that is essentially a paranormal murder mystery spanning three books, but not enough exposition is provided at the beginning of each to sufficiently clue in new/unfamiliar readers to the breadth and scope of the world, plot, and characters.
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